This week’s Art Talk was written by Jennifer Downs, NCLAC Technical Writing Intern, and Louisiana Tech Graduate Student, seeing her Master of Arts in English, with a Certification in Technical Writing.
Basket and Beverage (B&B) Theatre in partnership with the North Central Louisiana Arts Council (NCLAC) announces the production of David Mamet’s Oleanna, a provocative drama about a university student and her professor who she accuses of sexual harassment. This play has mature content and is intended for adult audiences. Critics have called Mamet’s drama a tough and “unflinching play” with an ending that chills the audience “like dramatic ice.” The female student will be played by actress and Stitchville owner Allie Bennett, and the male professor will be played by Paul B. Crook, a performing arts professor at Louisiana Tech. Crook is also the founder of B&B Theatre, alongside his wife Mary Fran Crook.
Performances of Oleanna will be held at 7:30pm from September 3-5 in the Norton Building, located at 207 W Mississippi Ave in downtown Ruston. Half of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART). In addition, “talk-back” sessions will be held after the performances, and patrons are welcome to stay and discuss their feelings about the play and the topic of sexual harassment with a representative from DART. Crook spoke to NCLAC of the success of these “talk-back” sessions in the past, noting that “this firecracker of a show lends itself to these discussions.”
Part of B&B Theatre’s mission is to bring something new and exciting to Ruston area culture with a combination of performing arts and picnic-style dining, so Paul Crook encourages the audience to bring their own picnic baskets and drinks to Oleanna. In addition, patrons are invited to decorate their tables with the theme of “school spirit” in mind, as there will be a table decorating contest. The doors will open at 6:30pm for the performances, and tickets will be on sale for $10 at the door.