Art And Culture

‘Oleanna’ at Iranshahr

‘Oleanna’ at Iranshahr‘Oleanna’ at Iranshahr

Theatre director Ali Akbar Alizad, will stage ‘Oleanna’ from July 22 at Iranshahr theatre house.

Oleanna is a two-character play by David Mamet, American playwright, on the power struggle between a university professor and one of his female students, who accuses him of sexual exploitation. This spoils his chances of an academic tenure.

The play title, taken from a folk song, refers to a 19th-century ‘vision of utopia’. Mamet later adapted his play into a film by the same name.

Pointing to the importance of the play in drama, Alizad said, “It is among the prominent texts in the theatre world,” Mehr News Agency reported.

The story has various interpretations. “Depending on the age, gender and social status, the audience can have a unique understanding of the play.” The story doesn’t judge the characters, assigning the task to the audience.

The story narrates the power struggle between a student and a professor, but deep inside, it challenges important social issues on gender relations. Oleanna “is in fact an illustration of power struggle between men and women.”

Mark Fortier, American playwright and author said: “Indeed, the play remains controversial and open to different interpretations, not only in itself, but also because of the charged social context in which issues of sexual harassment continue to be debated.”

Also, Harold Pinter, Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, said: “There can be no tougher or more unflinching play than Oleanna.”

The actors Alireza Keymanesh and Katayoon Saleki will perform on a profile theatre stage. Scenically, a profile theatre is mostly like an arena stage where the audience is placed on risers on either side of the playing space. Actors are staged in profile to the audience as the play requires the stage setting to be “abnormally elongated,” Alizad said.

Alizad, 42, is reputed for his performance in ‘Waiting for Godot’ (2006). He is a member of the Aein and Leev theater groups. In 2006 he found his own theater group ‘84 Theater’.

He has directed ‘Endless Monologue’, a documentary on the basis of verbatim technique at Tehran’s East Gallery (2011), a play by Samuel Beckett at Arasbaran Art Center (2011), ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’ by Samuel Beckett at Molavi Hall (2012) and ‘The House of Bernarda Alba’ by Lorca (2014).