WINONA, Minn. — “It’s just business.”
Saint Mary’s University thespians will be ‘closing deals in heels’ Oct. 4-8 as the Department of Theatre and Dance presents the scalding comedy Glengarry Glen Ross in the studio theatre, located in the university’s Performance Center.
Glengarry Glen Ross, written by David Mamet, focuses on a group of small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen trying to grind out a living by pushing plots of land on reluctant buyers. As poignant today as when it premiered, this masterpiece of American drama was revived on Broadway in 2005 and 2012 and became a celebrated film starring Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, and Alan Arkin.
Under the direction of Walter Elder, the Saint Mary’s production takes on an interesting twist by featuring a nearly all-female cast. And the show was specifically chosen for this year’s performance lineup because its valuable message is in keeping with Saint Mary’s mission to prepare students for ethical lives of service and leadership.
“In a world where people take risks with other people’s money, this play is very reflective of our society and the rush to get ahead,” Elder said. “Within the setting of a shady real estate office, Mamet explores and critiques issues related to dominance and power, job-related personal identity and self-worth, and business ethics in a workplace culture of masculine aggression. Mamet intended to challenge the assumptive acceptance of these behaviors and systems by showing their effects on the characters in his play.”
By securing permission from the author to cast women in male roles, leaving the text of the play unchanged, including its gendered pronouns, male character names, and coarse language, Elder said his intent is to “create a kind of cognitive dissonance in our contemporary audience, to re-challenge our assumptions, and stay true to the original intent of the play.” Additionally, he said, as a side benefit, he is able to highlight the department’s strong female leads.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 4-7; and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7-8.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors and are available by calling the Performance Center box office at 507-457-1715 from noon to 6 p.m. weekdays online at pagetheatre.org. Due to strong language this production is recommended for mature audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.
Glengarry Glen Ross is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.