Stiles and Pullman Square Off in Academia in L.A. Oleanna

News   Stiles and Pullman Square Off in Academia in L.A. Oleanna
 
The Center Theatre Group production of Oleanna, David Mamet's play about academic and gender status, starring Bill Pullman as a professor and Julia Stiles as his student, begins performances May 28 at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.
Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles
Bill Pullman and Julia Stiles Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award winner Doug Hughes (Doubt) directs the "gripping account of a power struggle between a male university professor (Pullman) and one of his female students (Stiles)."

The production, opening June 5, is presented in association with commercial producer Jeffrey Finn (On Golden Pond). It will play to July 12. Producers are hoping for a wider commercial life for the production.

Pullman is perhaps best known for his roles in the films "Independence Day," Lost Highway," "Sleepless in Seattle," "Ruthless People," "While You Were Sleeping," "The Grudge," "Spaceballs" and more. Pullman received a 2002 Drama Desk Award nomination when he starred opposite Mercedes Ruehl in Edward Albee's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? on Broadway, and a second Drama Desk nomination for his appearance in Albee's Peter and Jerry in 2007 at Second Stage in New York. He was also nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for the 2006 Kennedy Center production of The Subject Was Roses.

Stiles earned rave reviews in a previous production of Oleanna in London's West End in 2004. She began her career in the theatre at a young age in New York City, and her additional stage credits include the 2002 Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night as Viola, James Lapine's Fran's Bed at Playwrights Horizons and The Vagina Monologues. She made her cinematic debut at age 15 in "I Love You, I Love You Not" with Claire Danes. Her films include "10 Things I Hate About You," "Save the Last Dance," "Mona Lisa Smiles," two David Mamet films — "State and Main" and "Edmond" — and the three Bourne movies — "The Bourne Identity," "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum."

Mamet is the author of numerous plays including Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award, 2005 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play), American Buffalo, Boston Marriage, Romance (which was presented at the Taper in 2005), Keep Your Pantheon and The Duck Variations (presented at CTG's Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2008 as Two Unrelated Plays by David Mamet), November, Speed-the-Plow and the upcoming Race. Creating the physical world of the college-set two-actor drama are set designer Neil Patel, costume designer Catherine Zuber (a four-time Tony Award winner) and lighting designer Donald Holder (a two-time Tony Award winner). The production stage manager is Charles Means.

Tickets for Oleanna start at $20 and are available by calling (213) 628-2772 or online at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org or in person at the CTG box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center.

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The not-for-profit GTG runs the 739-seat Mark Taper Forum and the 1,600 to 2,000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center of Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.

Doug Hughes, Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman in rehearsal for <i>Oleanna</i>
Doug Hughes, Julia Stiles and Bill Pullman in rehearsal for Oleanna Photo by Joan Marcus
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