Oleanna
by David Mamet

Immediate Theatre Project
Asheville NC
2007

"His staging is brilliant in its simple concept."

Asheville Citizen-Times

We had a production slot, sort of a budget, and a play... and then we lost the play. What to do? Quick, find an American classic that we might be able to cast and start rehearsing in two weeks. That's all the preproduction time we had. At the start of rehearsals I hadn't cracked the problem of how to stage this two-person play that takes place in an office in North Carolina Stage Company's space; the intimacy was right, but the thrust stage was not. About halfway through the rehearsal period we found a solution and threw away all the staging we had come up with so far. Instead of sticking the desk in the corner and worrying about how to make the professor as visible as possible, we split the room down the middle and had both actors face straight out as if they were facing each other. Chalk outlines mirrored the missing furniture on each side. It really put the audience on the spot, and when it came time for physical contact between characters a line had to literally be crossed. While the production circumstances weren't exactly ideal, I love being forced to come up with the right thing almost accidentally.

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