Getting into the city can be a challenge to watch a show. Luckily, there’s a crop of theatres in Westchester, including the new Katonah Classic Stage (KCS), a nonprofit, professional theatre company dedicated to classic dramatic and comedic works.
Founded in 2019, KCS was originally planning to present its inaugural show with a relatively large cast, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, in May 2020. However, like most live performance art, KCS had to pivot and get creative to keep audiences both engaged and safe from Covid-19. In addition to online and local community events, KCS hosted their second outdoor, annual film festival at the Bedford Playhouse this past August, as well as a masked, socially distanced, one-man show, Will Eno’s Thom Pain (based on nothing), in late April 2021. Similarly, with Oleanna, KCS will continue to monitor Covid-19 conditions and they will take all necessary precautions to keep attendees safe.
They are back this November for a production of David Mamet’s seminal play, Oleanna, =at the Bedford Historical Hall. This exhilarating drama explores and upends our concepts of power, privilege, consent, and political correctness. Debuting off-Broadway in 1992, in the wake of the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings, KCS’s Oleanna takes on new life as it is reimagined in a world of #MeToo and cancel culture. On choosing Oleanna for this production, Dawson said, “Aside from being a magnificent display of playwriting craftsmanship, the piece feels so relevant to the current dialogue. After seeing this show, I want people to leave the theatre inspired to continue these conversations. Go grab a drink and debate, discuss, and, ultimately, decide where you stand on these important issues.”
A combative two-hander, Mamet’s play revolves around a nervous, young college student who meets with her professor in his office to discuss her grades. What transpires between them is nothing less than riveting and will leave the audience ready to defend their chosen champion in this explosive fight for power. The New York Times called Oleanna’s original off-Broadway production “a typically virtuoso display of Mr. Mamet’s gift for locking the audience inside the violent drama of his characters.”
The 2022 season of KCS is currently in development. Dawson & Team aim to provide seasonal, professional productions of classic plays in Northern Westchester, cultural enrichment events like the KCS Film Festival and play readings at local libraries, and they will eventually offer educational programs to children and adults with an emphasis on Shakespeare and other master dramatists..
Oleanna Ticket Information
Bedford Historical Hall
608 Old Post Rd.,
Dates: November 4 – 14, 2021 (Thursday through Sunday) at 8PM
On sale now at www.katonahclassicstage.com/oleanna