Academic Relations

It’s the old “he said, she said,” updated for the era of sexual harassment. In truth, Oleanna, David Mamet’s bristling and divisive dust-up of a drama, concerns more of a “she said he took advantage” — an allegation that fuels not just 75 minutes of Mamet’s wicked back-and-forths but also, no doubt, serious arguments among theatergoers afterward. Set in an academic office, Oleanna pits a fetching female student against an ambitious professor about to make tenure. Her accusation of harassment could end his career; he fights off the enraged outburst, which can only make the situation worse. The show comes from JERIC Productions, a new theater company dedicated, in part, to plays about the African-American experience. Expect that dedication to add an extra layer to Mamet’s ferocious examination of gender, language, class and power. The trouble starts at 7:30 tonight at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center (3700 Blue Parkway). Tickets cost $20; call 816-569-1413.

Fri., Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 21, 3 p.m.; Wed., Feb. 24, 10 a.m.; Fri., Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m., 2010