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Blackbird Adds Mamet’s ‘Oleanna’ to New Season Slate

Blackbird Theater CompanyBlackbird Theater is adding David Mamet’s Oleanna to its 2012-13 season. The troupe plans to announce the addition Friday through its email list, according to Managing Director Greg Greene.

Greene emailed members of the press Thursday about the addition, explaining that the Christian Scholars Conference, which is hosted alternately between David Lipscomb University and Pepperdine University each summer, approached Blackbird about producing a show to coincide with the conference’s 2013 theme “Crises in Ethics”. “We recommended Oleanna,” he wrote, “and they loved the idea (most of their participants are professional academics).

“We’re pretty jazzed about adding Mamet to our docket. The show will open June 6 or 7 (2013) and will hopefully run 3 weeks.”

The 1992 play focuses on the fall-out from an accusation of sexual harassment made by a female student against a male professor. Mamet later adapted his play into a 1994 film.

Blackbird previously announced it would present Red by John Logan and Amadeus by Peter Shaffer in 2012-13. In a news release the theater wrote that “Red delves unflinchingly into the work and ideas of famed artist Mark Rothko as he struggles to finish a series of paintings for the Four Seasons restaurant, one of the most lucrative and notorious commissions in the history of modern art.” Red runs Oct. 4-20 and will be directed by Mike Fernandez, chair of the Lipscomb Department of Theatre and a Blackbird board member.

Peter Shaffer’s masterwork Amadeus “takes a trenchant look at the troubled life, brilliant music, and tragic death of Mozart through the envious eyes of Salieri, the rival who claimed to have killed the great composer,” Blackbird noted when its initial season schedule was released. Amadeus runs March 7 – 23, 2013.

Blackbird productions are presented in collaboration with the Lipscomb University Department of Theatre and performed in Lipscomb’s Shamblin Theatre. More information about the nonprofit professional group is available at BlackbirdNashville.com.

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About Evans Donnell

Evans Donnell is the chief theater, film and opera critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He wrote reviews and features about theater, opera and classical music for The Tennessean from 2002 to 2011. He was the theater, film and opera critic for ArtNowNashville.com from 2011 to 2012. Donnell has also contributed to The Sondheim Review, Back Stage, The City Paper (Nashville), the Nashville Banner, The (Bowling Green, Ky.) Daily News and several other publications since beginning his professional journalism career in 1985 with The Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat. He was selected as a fellow for the 2004 National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) arts journalism institutes for theater and musical theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2006 and classical music and opera at the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2009. He has also been an actor (member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA), founding and running AthensSouth Theatre from 1996 to 2001 and appearing in Milos Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt" among other credits. Donnell is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (www.americantheatrecritics.org).