David Mamet

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Mamet, David

(mămĕt`), 1947–, American playwright and film director, b. Chicago. He taught drama (and produced some of his early plays) at Goddard College. His work, often dealing with the success and failure of the American dream, is noted for its sharp, spare, compressed, often profane, and insightful dialogue. He came to public attention with such plays as Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1974) and American Buffalo (1975), later achieving widespread success with the corrosively brilliant Glengarry Glen Ross (1983; Pulitzer Prize) and Oleanna (1992), a scathing look at sexual politics. He also has written screenplays for The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), Hoffa (1992), the film version of Glengarry (1992), and many other films. In 1987, Mamet made his debut as a film director with House of Games, a complex story about deception and gullibility; he has since written and directed several films, including The Spanish Prisoner (1997), Heist (2001), and Spartan (2004). Mamet has also written, directed, or produced several television films. His first television series, The Unit, a network military drama, aired from 2006 to 2009.

By the beginning of the 21st cent. Mamet was widely regarded as one of the finest American writers for stage and screen. Some of his later plays, such as The Cryptogram (1995) and The Old Neighborhood (1997), have explored difficult semiautobiographical material. Mamet also ventured into satire with November, a play about contemporary presidential politics that was produced on Broadway in 2008, and he explored the nature of guilt and shame as they relate to racial, sexual, and legal issues in Race, which debuted on Broadway the following year. Throughout his career, Mamet has treated the themes of belonging, the vagaries of authority, the pivotal role played by loyalty, and the importance of speaking the truth. In addition to more than 20 plays and some two dozen screenplays, he has also written novels, e.g., The Village (1994), several collections of essays (including the autobiographical Jafsie and John Henry, 1999, and Bambi vs. Godzilla, 2007, on the film industry), a book on acting (1997), The Wicked Son: Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and the Jews (2006), and The Secret Knowledge (2011), an explanation of his conversion to conservative politics.


See biography by I. Nadel (2008); L. Kane, ed., David Mamet in Conversation (2001); studies by D. Carroll (1987), A. Dean (1990), N. Jones and S. Dykes (1991), L. Kane, ed. (1992) and as author (1999, 2004), G. Brewer (1993), C. C. Hudgins and L. Kane, ed. (2001), D. K. and J. A. Sauer (2003), H. Bloom, ed. (2004), and B. Barton (2005): C. Bigsby, ed., The Cambridge Companion to David Mamet (2004).

Mamet, David

(1947–  ) playwright; born in Flossmore, Ill. A founder and playwright-in-residence of Chicago's St. Nicholas Theatre Company, his best-known works are American Buffalo (1977) and A Life in the Theater (1977).
References in periodicals archive ?
it is no secret that Mamet loathes those who work against committed individuals, especially artists with real vision, people like, well, David Mamet.
The allure of this book, and the reason it was published, can be found in the celebrity name on the colorful jacket, David Mamet, which takes up substantially more space than the book's twelve word title.
In the 1992 film version of Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet creates a new character for his screenplay adaptation of his 1989 play; an expensively dressed, Rolex-wearing executive (played by Alec Baldwin) stops by the real estate office as a henchman for the unseen, but often referred--to bosses, Murray and Mitch.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, left, plays a mixed martial arts teacher who sees his ideals tested -- and betrayed -- in "Redbelt," solidly directed by David Mamet.
She's just landed a role in The Unit, the latest creation of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet .
Nicolas James directs the David Mamet play, which looks at the lives of New England women as they deal with issues of power and obsession.
Romance * Written by David Mamet * Directed by Neil Pepe * Starring Bob Balaban, Larry Bryggman, and Keith Nobbs * Atlantic Theater Company, New York (through May 1)
But writer/director David Mamet isn't interested in what initially appears to be a straightforward snatch.
This American TV and film actor is currently making his West End theatre debut in a David Mamet play.
This is a superb drama with great performances, sharply scripted by David Mamet from the novel by Barry Reed and directed by Sidney Lumet for maximum emotional impact.
of California, Irvine) examines the ideas and theories of Andre Antoine, Jacques Copeau, Michel Saint-Denis, Elia Kazan, Uta Hagen, David Mamet, Anne Bogart, and Keith Johnstone.
David Mamet and Rebecca Pidgeon attend the "Redbelt" screening at the Egyptian Theatre on Monday.