Plays by David Mamet

audio Glengarry Glen Ross

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

"A group of low-ranking real estate salesmen are trying to survive in a cut-throat office culture. But when two of them devise a plot to redress the company’s wrongs, the resulting turmoil increases the pressure to unbearable levels.

A 1984 Pulitzer Prize winner for Drama. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring: Joe Mantegna as Ricky Roma Gordon Clapp as David Moss Kyle Colerider-Krugh as Detective Baylen Richard Dreyfuss as Shelly Levine John Getz as James Lingk Richard Schiff as George Aaronow Josh Stamberg as John Williamson Directed by Eric Simonson. Recorded by L.A. Theatre Works before a live audience."

Featuring: Gordon Clapp, Kyle Colerider-Krugh, Richard Dreyfuss, John Getz, Joe Mantegna, Richard Schiff, Josh Stamberg

Lakeboat

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Dale Katzman is spending his summer vacation from university aboard a cargo ship on the Great Lakes. Hired on as a cook – to replace the unfortunate Guigliani who suffered a violent attack of some sort while on shore leave – Dale is thrust into a world of swearing, drinking, bordeom and sailing; a world, above all, of men.

Described by the New York times as 'Mamet's Life on the Mississippi [a memoir by Mark Twain] . . . the writing is effortless and intuitive - and some of tales are as tall as Twain's', Lakeboat is a semi-autobiographical play which draws inspiration from Mamet's own time working aboard a cargo ship.

Written first in 1970, it was revised and first performed in 1980 by the Court Street Theater, a project of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Wisconsin.

A Life in the Theatre

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A Life in the Theatre shows the relationship between two stage actors – Robert, the older, and John, the younger – who are playing side by side in a season of plays. We see them both off stage and on as their relationship evolves from one of professional solidarity to one marked by bitterness and division, with John's promise as a young actor beginning to be realised just as Robert's talent starts to wane.

‘As so often in Mamet, a sense of desolation lies behind the laughter. In the spare, beautifully poised dialogue of the off-stage scenes he captures all the tension and rivalry between the old stager and the young pretender, scrupulously charting the balance of power as it shifts from age to youth . . . Mamet brings us to the heart of transcience and loss.’ Sunday Telegraph

A Life in the Theatre was first produced by the Theater de Lys, New York City, and opened on 20 October 1977, in a production directed by Gerald Gutierrez.

Mr Happiness

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A short monologue about a radio agony uncle reading out his listeners’ letters and responding to their troubles of the heart, Mr Happiness first appeared at the Plymouth Theatre on Broadway in 1978.

The Old Neighborhood

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

When Bobby returns to the old neighborhood, the people and places of his past cast shadows over the present.

In a trio of interleaved scenes, The Old Neighborhood provides a rare personal insight into Mamet’s world.

After its London opening, the Evening Standard reviewed the play, giving Mamet high praise in the process: ‘Mamet, ranked with Miller, Albee and Shepard as America’s finest living playwrights, distills the raw, rank flavour of people wading down streams of consciousness . . . A play of riveting disquiet.’ Mamet himself writes at length in his introduction, saying ‘The play is, of course, just three one-act plays with the same protagonist - three visions of ‘the trip home’. Both the subject and the form are modern, grown out, let me pontificate, of the late Industrial Revolution and the decampment from the Land . . . Stanislavski wrote that tragedy stands in the same relation to melodrama that drama does to comedy. I find the insight useful, as this drama . . . can, by squinting, be seen as comedies . . . They rely upon manufacturing incidents to reveal character, which incidents might as well be gags; and, at the play’s end, the protagonist is surprised to find him or herself right back where they started.

The Old Neighborhood was first performed in the United States at the Hasty Pudding Theatre, Massachusetts on 11 April 1997. Its first performance in the United Kingdom followed at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, London, on 17 June 1998, in a production directed by Patrick Marber.

Oleanna

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Considered to be Mamet’s most controversial play, Oleanna has shocked and enraged audiences since its first performance in 1992. A confrontation between John, a college professor, and Carol, one of his students, quickly becomes an arena for a male–female power struggle that threatens both their careers.

As Mamet’s trademark dialogue crackles along, the mechanisms of power, censorship and abuse in our politically correct age are laid bare. Writing about the play, the New York Times described it as ‘wholly absorbing . . . a virtuoso performance . . . As if ripped right from the typewriter, it could not be more direct in its technique or incendiary in its ambitions’.

Oleanna was first performed at the American Repertory Theatre, Massachusetts, in May 1992. It was first produced in the United Kingdom at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1993, in a production directed by Harold Pinter.

Prairie du Chien

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

In Prairie du Chien a railway carriage speeding through the Wisconsin night is the setting for a violent story of obsessive jealousy, murder and suicide, told within shooting distance of a card-hustler and his victim.

Reviewing the play alongside another mysterious Mamet play The Shawl, the New Statesman wrote ‘The concerns of Prairie du Chien and The Shawl are familiar ones. Do values exist? Is the world a jungle only? And how, finally, can we know the answer to that or anything else? Big general questions but dramatised with a succinctness, a concreteness, an energy, a fizz and a snap of which few if any playwrights are capable’.

Written so that it can be performed either onstage or on the radio, Prairie du Chien premiered on ‘Earplay’, a National Public Radio show in April 1979. It was first performed in Britain at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs on 9 June 1986, in a production directed by Max Stafford-Clark.

Reunion

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Reunion is a short, but touching play which shows the meeting between a father and daughter after nearly twenty years of separation. A play which pitches great emotion through restraint, awkwardness and small talk, it was first produced by the St Nicholas Theater Company, Chicago, on 9 January 1976, in a production directed by Cecil O'Neill. It was first produced in Britain in a double bill with Dark Pony at the King's Head Theatre Club, London, in February 1981.

'It would be hard to over-praise the way Mr Mamet suggests behind the probing, joshing family chat an extraordinary sense of pain and loss . . . although the play has astrong social comment about the destrictively cyclical effect of divorce, it is neither sour nor defeatist.' Guardian

audio Romance

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

In this outrageous new comedy, playwright David Mamet skewers everything from sexuality to the justice system to world peace. In a world where nothing is as it seems, prepare to be offended! Fred Willard and Ed Begley Jr. star in this over-the-top comedy.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Fred Willard, Ed Begley Jr., Gordon Clapp, Noah Bean, Steven Goldstein, Rod McLachlan and Rob Nagle.

Featuring: Fred Willard, Ed Begley Jr., Gordon Clapp, Noah Bean, Steven Goldstein, Rod McLachlan, Rob Nagle

Sexual Perversity in Chicago

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Dan’s friend and colleague Bernie claims to have had a plethora of unusual sexual encounters, ranging from war-themed coitus to animal intercourse. When Dan meets, dates and moves in with the more down-to-earth Deborah, Bernie reckons it’s only a matter of time before Dan gets bored – a view shared by Deborah’s former flatmate, Joan. The fast-paced, forceful dialogue points to the city male’s propensity for sexual exaggeration and the disturbing misogyny that underpins it.

First produced by the Organic Theatre Company in Chicago in 1974, Sexual Perversity in Chicago played the Cherry Lane Theatre, New York, in 1976, before transferring to the Regent Theatre, London, the following year.

Picture of David Mamet

David Mamet (Playwright) plays by David Mamet include: The Penitent, China Doll, The Anarchist, Race, Keep Your Pantheon, School, November, Romance, Boston Marriage, Faustus, Oleanna, Glengarry Glen Ross (1984 Pulitzer Prize and New York Drama Critics Circle Award), American Buffalo, The Old Neighborhood, A Life in the Theatre, Speed-the-Plow, Edmond, Lakeboat, The Water Engine, The Woods, Sexual Perversity in Chicago, Reunion and The Cryptogram (1995 Obie Award). His translations and adaptations include: Faustus and Red River by Pierre Laville; and The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekov. His films include: The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Verdict, The Untouchables, House of Games (writer/director), Oleanna (writer/director), Homicide (writer/director), The Spanish Prisoner (writer/ director), Heist (writer/director), Spartan (writer/director) and Redbelt (writer/director). Mr. Mamet is also the author of: Warm and Cold, a book for children with drawings by Donald Sultan, and two other children's books, Passover and The Duck and the Goat; Writing in Restaurants, Some Freaks, and Make-Believe Town, three volumes of essays; The Hero Pony and The China Man, a book of poems; Three Children's Plays, On Directing Film, The Cabin, and the novels The Village, The Old Religion and Wilson. His other books include the acting books, True & False and Three Uses of the Knife, Bambi vs. Godzilla, The Secret Knowledge, The Wicked Son, Theatre, and Three War Stories.