When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 15 2013

Not originally on the Blackbird Theater season schedule, this infamous and tightly wound David Mamet drama is being specially mounted in collaboration with the Lipscomb theater department and the annual Christian Scholars’ Conference, which draws some 600 academics from around the country. The 2013 theme is “Crises in Ethics,” and speakers include convicted Watergate figure John Dean (see pick above). Mamet’s unflinching exploration of the perils of political correctness via a power struggle between a university professor and his female student seems wholly appropriate as a vehicle for keeping the ethically aimed discussions aloft. It’s a riveting work, and Oleanna is bound to spark serious thought among theatergoers, whether affiliated with the conference or not. Wes Driver directs, and he’s got two of our town’s busiest and most appealing actors — David Compton and Jennifer Richmond — who should give Mamet’s verbal melee a compelling workout. Two conference performances precede a run for the general public.

Martin Brady


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