David Mamet Cancels Clarence Thomas Play Over Cast Switch

Image: David Mamet Cancels Clarence Thomas Play Over Cast Switch

Monday, 23 Jun 2014 02:25 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet ordered a Milwaukee theater company to shut down a controversial play he wrote after producers cast a man to play the female lead, according to Breitbart News.

The play "Oleanna," which Mamet wrote in response to Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court hearings, had performed just one show at the Alchemist Theater before the company pulled the plug after receiving a cease-and-desist order from Mamet, a former "brain-dead liberal" turned conservative.

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"We excitedly brought this story to the stage because, even though it was written years ago, the unfortunate story that it tells is still relevant today," the producers said in a statement explaining its gender switch.

"We auditioned for this show looking for the best talent, not looking for a gender. When Ben Parman auditioned, we saw the reality that this relationship, which is more about power, is not gender-specific but gender-neutral."

The play centers on a female undergraduate student who accuses her professor of sexual harassment after initially seeking him out to help her. After he loses his tenure and his wife, it becomes clear that she had made her allegations while being directed by a mystery "group."

Mamet wrote "Oleanna" following allegations in 1991 by then-law student Anita Hill that Supreme Court nominee Thomas had sexually harassed her. The play first appeared off-Broadway in New York a year after Thomas was confirmed to the high court, Breitbart reported.

Mamet, who authored such hit plays as "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "Speed the Plow," also wrote the movies "The Verdict," "House of Games," "Ronin," and "Wag the Dog," among others.

In 2008, he wrote an article  titled, "Why I'm No Longer a Brain-Dead Liberal," and two years ago he published "The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture," a book-length essay on his political awakening.

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