David Mamet: A Research and Production Sourcebook

David Mamet: A Research and Production Sourcebook

David Mamet: A Research and Production Sourcebook

David Mamet: A Research and Production Sourcebook

Synopsis

The most complete record of a contemporary American dramatist available, David Mamet: A Resource and Production Sourcebook is the result of ten years' research by a widely published drama and theatre scholar and a university bibliographic specialist. Presenting a complete overview of all reviews and scholarshp on Mamet, the authors challenge assumptions about the playwright, such as the charge that he is an antifeminist writer. This comprehensive sourcebook is an essential purchase for Mamet scholars and students of American drama alike.

Excerpt

We believe that reference books such as this one are valuable tools for students, scholars and practitioners engaging in analysis of performance. From the time we began this endeavor in 1992 with the first issue of The David Mamet Review, we have watched the field of drama criticism change as scholars began citing performance reviews of the plays they examined. the performance dimension became standard in the discussion—though it was built into the first books on Mamet by C.W.E. Bigsby and Dennis Carroll. Individual sensitivity to performance can be expanded by reading the full panoply of reviews for a given play and especially in discovering how a play itself changes from cast to cast, as well as from decade to decade. Using this approach, a play is closer to a Rorschach test than a work of fixed meaning. Examining the reviews of American Buffalo we discover the range to which the text can be stretched in actual performance. Nussbaum's paranoia, Kellin's seedy pretending, Duvall's insane rage, Pacino's frustration, and Macy's comic self-delusion together create an understanding of the complexity of the character of Teach. Similarly, Madonna, whose ability as an actor was initially pilloried by many critics, gained their respect when they came to appreciate the ambiguities of the role as played by Felicity Huffman in New York, Rebecca Pidgeon and much later by Kimberly Williams in London. Scholars are now coming to the same appreciation of the possible interpretations of any role. We hope this work will facilitate criticism by students, scholars and practitioners who love the living theatre as well as the text.

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