OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

“Always be closing” – Mamet’s ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ comes to OSU

01/25/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about the misguided pursuit of the American dream, “Glengarry Glen Ross,” during a six-show run in February.

Performances are set for Feb. 4-5 and Feb. 10-12 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 6 at 2 p.m., at Withycombe Hall Main Stage (2901 S.W. Campus Way).

Mamet’s drama about four cutthroat real estate salespersons willing to lie, cheat and steal in order to grab their fair share of the American dream feels even more pertinent today than during its original 1984 production. Laced with Mamet’s characteristic brutal language, this play ruthlessly jerks the audience from dark comedy to tragedy and back again and has become a masterpiece of American theater.

Set in Chicago, “Glengarry Glen Ross” depicts a handful of salespersons facing termination from a second-rate real estate company who viscously compete with one another for the best “leads” to the most promising clients. The play was made into a critically acclaimed film in 1992 starring Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, and Al Pacino, who garnered an Oscar nomination for his performance as Ricky Roma.

Although the play was written for and originally produced with an all-male cast, the author gave OSU Theatre and director George Caldwell permission to cast women in this production, which lends to a new dynamic to the interpretation of the play’s relationships. Caldwell’s production depicts the complex nuance of gender, power and age in a work culture motivated by greed.

Audiences should be warned that the script contains extremely course language. One of the points of the play is the degree of cruelty humans are willing to wreak upon each other when their own survival is at stake, and for some, abuse can become a lifestyle. Mamet is unrelenting in his portrayal of that devastating human weakness. His play won both the 1984 Tony Award for Best Play, and the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The cast features OSU students Jordyn Patton (San Diego, Calif.) as Ricky Roma, Rowan Russell (San Francisco) as Shelley Levene, Jamie Bilderback (Wilsonville) as Moss, Lacey Nolan (Pendleton) as Williamson, Michael Beaton (Dallas, Ore.) as bartender/bouncer, Alexandra Schireman (Central Point) as the prologue, and Thomas Severs (Pocatello, Idaho) as James Lingk. OSU graduates Jordan Brinck, as Baylen, and Jeff Nichols, as Aaronow, also appear.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for persons 55 and older, $8 for youth and $5 for OSU students with I.D. To purchase or for more information: 541-737-2784 or go to http://oregonstate.edu/dept/theatre