Oleanna is David Mamet’s study of power and gender in academia. Carol, a student who is struggling in John’s class, comes to his office for help. John, a forty-something professor trying to make tenure, offers her an “A” in the class if she will visit him diligently and let him teach her everything he knows about the subject. Yet, while Carol is in John’s office, he constantly interrupts her, either by lecturing her or talking on the phone. John’s interaction with her is inappropriate – he puts his arm around her at one point – and condescending, but he never quite seems to cross the line of sexual harassment. However, Carol feels more and more powerless as their meetings continue, and she eventually accuses him of battery and rape. The audience never sees any physical violence, and we are left to wonder – Did a crime really take place? Is this charge Carol’s only way of regaining power over John? Is the truth even relevant after such an accusation? He knows that this incident will be the end of his quest for tenure, if not his freedom, and he reacts with violence.