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3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,819 Ratings  ·  191 Reviews
In David Mamet's latest play, a male college instructor and his female student sit down to discuss her grades and in a terrifyingly short time become the participants in a modern reprise of the Inquisition. Innocuous remarks suddenly turn damning. Socratic dialogue gives way to heated assault. And the relationship between a somewhat fatuous teacher and his seemingly haples ...more
Paperback, 140 pages
Published 2010 by نشر بیدگل (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 23, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
I will say about Oleanna that when I saw Mamet's production of the play, I thought it was one of the most offensive depictions of feminism, so-called political correctness and campus life I'd ever seen. Then I was asked to be the dramaturg on the Yale Rep's production of the play, and discovered it's a much richer, balanced view of the kind of misunderstanding and conflict that could take place in any institution than Mamet himself may have even intended.

As Mamet so often does so well, these tw
No había leído nunca ‘Oleanna’, pero hace años había visto la adaptación cinematográfica que dirigió el mismo David Mamet. Supongo que puedo decir que, durante este tiempo que ha pasado, habré cambiado un poco porque las impresiones y la opinión que me ha dejado esta obra han variado ligeramente. La primera vez me irritó bastante. Me irritó básicamente porque el personaje femenino acusa de violación al personaje masculino, algo que es totalmente inventado. En aquel momento me irritó que una muje ...more
Chuck O'Connor
Jul 06, 2012 Chuck O'Connor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this play and the film version of it when I was an actor but that was when I thought narrative was seated in the dynamic individualistic choice of character, and had no clue, in my mid 20s, how power structures worked.

This is a stupid play full of choice moments for actors to play but it lacks nuance and is completely misunderstood regarding the institution it investigates.

Narrative fiction of which I place plays should put the reader or viewer in a place of cognitive dissonance where
Carac Allison
Aug 23, 2014 Carac Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I grew up in an academic family. Both my parents were professors. I remember when they first started talking about colleagues being accused of sexual harassment. A chill descended on campus in the late eighties and it remained throughout the nineties.

Mamet's "Oleanna" is a devlish trap of a play. You start to side with the professor and then you see that the student is making good points. You rock back and forth, back and forth.

I saw this play three times when it came out and got into an argume
Feb 03, 2008 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
This is the first Mamet play I have read (sacrilege, I know) and I was pleasantly surprised. My only prior experience was a production of Sexual Perversity in Chicago which I found to be dated (reasonable) and stilted (unacceptable). I also find it annoying that actors, in general find his writing to be so brilliant. Plus the scenes I have seen people do never sound natural: too many cryptic pauses and unfinished thoughts, not enough contractions, and Mamet's penchant for saying "do you see?" in ...more
Oct 21, 2015 Behzad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As for the significance of the title: To put it briefly, and to dispense with the historical background attached to it, "Oleanna" means a false utopia.

It is significant in the way, in this play, all ideals fail in the end. John might initially seem overly confident, full of ambitions and stuff, and Carol might appear as a hideous monster. But they are both only too human, striving after their oleannas.
This play is a powerful representation of the failure of language; of the impossibility of co
"Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
-John Dalberg-Acton

David Mamet's Oleanna starts off slowly but builds up incredibly fast. It left me flabbergasted on just how realistically dramatic and poignant it became. It's a two character play. John is a pretentious professor and Carol is a seemingly daft college student. What begins as a discussion over a grade quickly escalates to verbal sparring of equality and power.

This is my first play by Mamet and it was great. I like how it was a question of wh
Darren Cormier
Sep 06, 2011 Darren Cormier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a theater-goer. Going to a play is not necessarily on the top of my list for a night out. Yet I sometimes enjoy reading plays. I realize this is like reading sheet-music and lyrics without hearing the music performed: the performance and the emotions of the performer gives meanings to the notes, to the words: the reader/listener is not experiencing the piece as it's meant to be experienced. But, then again, perhaps reading a play without knowledge of the performance, without the stigma o ...more
Josh Drimmer
Jun 12, 2014 Josh Drimmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably best,

a) Read. (It's a tough play to stage, and avoid the Mamet-directed movie at all costs.)
b) Read without any knowledge of Mamet's opinions on this play. I think he wrote something more interesting than he knows.
Nov 19, 2014 Otto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This play was originally written in the early 90s. It has only gotten edgier over time, which is unusual.
Corey McEuin
Mar 03, 2016 Corey McEuin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first saw this play in 2012, when a local theatre company produced it with a new director from the East Coast. The production received favorable reviews from the local media:

Four years later, we discussed this play in class today, and damn did the debate get vicious.

There's so many ways to interpret this play, and each side has it's own valid arguments. Is Carol defending herself, or is she just confused and delusional regarding her accusations on her p
Mark Valentine
First. John. He asked for it. I am sympathetic to his character and I want to cheer for him, but for anyone to get that far in his career and not realize what Carol could or would do to him is reckless and I had very little pathos for him by the end of the play.

Next. Carol. She began the play acting as a naif and indecisive spirit but by Acts 2 and 3 she is a a seasoned campaigner for women's rights and social justice. I missed the switch and I had less sympathy for her character because I didn'
Ben Peyton
Aug 01, 2015 Ben Peyton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally read plays, in fact I can't even remember why I picked this one up, so I know I'm a little out of league on this one but I found this to be jarring and uncomfortable. Something I don't normally experience when reading. I finished it yesterday in one sitting and I've still been thinking about it. Sometimes I feel like the play was not whole, or incomplete. As if there is whole swaths of it missing either on purpose or not. I'm giving it four stars because I can't remember the las ...more
Mar 30, 2007 Anne-Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Mamet Speak without the profanity... this play is a dysfunctional, miscommunicated conversation between a college professor and his student. Multiple interpretations - brings up great questions about ways in which we communicate.
Feb 11, 2016 Niamh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oleanna. This play evokes very strong emotions in me. I cannot deal with it. I am doing this play for my drama exam and to get a better judgment on my character I read it (of course), I hate Carol. With a passion. In the first act, her idiotic nature just pisses me off, she sits there assessing, knowing, but yet always playing the fool she knew what she was doing, she sat there and John played right into her hand. No one that smart can actually be that stupid... I wish I could show you my book a ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Oleanna, David Mamet
عنوان: اولئانا؛ اثر: دیوید ممت؛ مترجم: علی اکبر علیزاد؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، بیدگل، 1388، در 139 ص، شابک: 9786005193015؛ موضوع: نمایشنامه های نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 20 م
Dec 07, 2014 Benja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't like it as much as Glengarry Glen Ross but the Mamet magic is there: the "realistic" stuttering dialogue, the passive-aggressive power play, the black humor, even the vicious world of real-estate makes a cameo appearance. Then again I suppose every world is a vicious, merciless world if Mamet writes about it. In this case he tackles political correctness and sexual harrassment within an academic context. The one thing I didn't like was the fact that the ending hid no real surprise. You fi ...more
May 11, 2008 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Terrificly tense! Ever since I read this I have wanted to see an actual production. As riveted as I was to the text I can only imagine how suspenseful it would be in person.
Jan 25, 2009 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Both are right, both are wrong. And what happens when we hold tightly to our own position, and the heat turns up. Mamet is a master of speech and thought.
Mar 01, 2015 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, american
Tense microcosm focused on the gender and power dynamics implicit in the relationship between a male professor and his female student.
Timothy Faust
Jan 11, 2010 Timothy Faust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't think Mamet can ever hit us with anything as powerful as Oleanna. The play makes me physically uncomfortable. Stellar.
Feb 09, 2015 Gileblit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Es una obra interesante porque en cada página (sólo la he leído, no la he visto) los roles de los personajes cambian. Al principio parecen una cosa y acabas descubriendo que son otra. Como ya han comentado varios lectores, me sorprendieron un poco la reacción de Carol y la forma de la que ella narra las cosas para sacar provecho, esa inversión de los poderes que consigue con una interpretación. Personalmente, esta obra me ha dejado con un desasosiego bastante importante: no sé muy bien cuál de l ...more
Very interesting, I'm not sure what my thoughts or feelings are about this. This play explores the notions of power and its abuse... Carol acusses John of abusing his power, but ends up abusing her own power in return... Bunch of misunderstanding happens - or perhaps that was the intention of the characters all along? Very thought provoking. Definitelly not a black and white view, there's no good side to this, I think. I should side with Carol, since I'm on the same boat with her - female colleg ...more
Daniel Finch
To be perfectly honest...this book is extremely annoying! Having to analyse it in college was one of the view true moments of boredom within the two years. The actual premise of the book in it's argument over political correctness is in itself quite interesting; yet the constant butting in of both characters to one another along with the repetition is not only aggravating, but shows a sheer lack of manners! Rude!!

Although it is true that you can't really agree with what John is underst
Jul 28, 2015 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting in that the reader's interpretation creates the protagonist and antagonist in this play (which truly their is neither I suppose). Mamet writes this where it is easy to take the side of either character. It is interesting that what seems innocuous on the surface can be something so different when taken out of context and given a different perspective. This play certainly would be interesting to view from various directors/productions because it can be very different depending on how i ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Jorie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-college
Honestly, this was something that I had to read for a class, and if given the choice, I would never read Mamet. I think performed, his work is great, but I just can't get into the rhythm of his writing when I read it, and for that reason I have a difficult time connecting with the work. In addition, I just wasn't a fan of this plot. I found Carol to be a ridiculous caricature in all acts, and even though we're supposed to sympathize with John, I couldn't. The anti-feminist undertones rubbed me t ...more
Michael Colyott
Sep 05, 2008 Michael Colyott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
. . . ambiguity . . . love it.
Nancy Mcdaniel
i hated the woman
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
You might want to ask me, WHY is this book on the film-hated-it shelf AND the pissing-me-off shelf, and yet it still has a 5-star rating? Because David Mamet is a fucking GENIUS, that's why. We watched the film of this (WATCH IT -- William H Macy is PHENOMENAL) in one of my Literature classes in college. For the FULL DURATION of that film, our entire class of 25+ alternately wanted to punch something/someone or rip our own hair out. It was infuriating on a scale I'd never encountered before. And ...more
Apr 12, 2010 §-- rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Amazing! Mamet is the best living American playwright and this is why. Only a Mamet could pull off something this difficult, this ambiguous, this tense. Only a great writer could write a script with almost no complete sentences and have it still make sense and be powerful.

JOHN: No one thinks you’re stupid.
CAROL: No? What am I…?
CAROL: …what am I, then?
JOHN: I think you’re angry. Many people are. I have a telephone call that I have to make. And an appointment, which is rather pressing; th
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David Alan Mamet is an American author, essayist, playwright, screenwriter and film director. His works are known for their clever, terse, sometimes vulgar dialogue and arcane stylized phrasing, as well as for his exploration of masculinity.

As a playwright, he received Tony nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross (1984) and Speed-the-Plow (1988). As a screenwriter, he received Oscar nominations for Th
More about David Mamet...

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“We can only interpret the behavior of others through the screen we create.” 5 likes
“JOHN: You said “Good day.” I think that it is a nice day today.

CAROL: Is it?

JOHN: Yes, I think it is.

CAROL: And why is that important?

JOHN: Because it is the essence of all human communication. I say something
conventional, you respond, and the information we exchange is not about the
“weather,” but that we both agree to converse. In effect, we agree that we are both
More quotes…