NE Theatre stages David Mamet’s Oleanna Sept. 8-10

The Northeast State Community College Department of Theatre kicks off the 2016-17 season with American playwright David Mamet’s Oleanna, an explosive play about power and politics on campus.

Directed by Northeast State alumna Hannah Duncan, the production runs Sept. 8, 9, and 10 in the Northeast State Auditorium (A202) of the Blountville campus 2425 Highway 75 next to Tri-Cities Regional Airport. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Oleanna is being presented in cooperation with the College’s Cultural Activities Committee and Safe Northeast.

“Oleanna is a play about humanity at its core. How far we’re willing to go, the difference between right and wrong, and the gray area in us all,” said Duncan. “This show has been a beautiful and exciting challenge for me, the actors, and the design team.”

Oleanna centers on a power struggle between a university professor and a female student. Madison Grace Phillips portrays Carol, a college student who drops by her professor’s office seeking his advice to do better in class. A graduate of Sullivan South High School and a Theatre major, Phillips appeared on stage last spring as Nurse Flinn in the department’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Russel Onks takes on the role of her professor John who is poised and excited to receive tenure from the university. A second-year theatre student, Onks has been involved in theatre for several years. He most recently served as scenic designer on Cuckoo and Hair and Make-up Designer for Steel Magnolias performed by NST in fall of 2015.

Northeast State Theatre promises an exciting 2016-17 season.
Northeast State Theatre opens the 2016-17 season with David Mamet’s Oleanna.

As the first meeting progresses the two discuss the nature of understanding and judgment in society, as well as their very own natures and places in our society.

When next the two meet, John learns a report has been filed to the tenure committee. Carol has joined a “group” and has decided that John sexually harassed her during their first meeting.

John’s unsuccessful attempts to convince Carol to retract her accusation escalate to a more dangerous level. The third meeting climaxes violently, leaving John and Carol both physically and emotionally devastated.

Tickets are free but donations are welcomed. All proceeds go to fund Northeast State scholarships. Doors open approximately 30 minutes prior to show time. Oleanna is being presented with special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

For more information, call the Box Office at 423.354.5169 or e-mail at

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