On November 30th, 1947 David Alan Mamet was born in Chicago. Known for having an avid imagination and a natural knack for storytelling, throughout his childhood he was known to keep a pen and paper close and even professed to his mother that one day he would eventually become a famous writer.
When he was older, he taught at several prestigious universities including Goddard College, New York University, and the Yale Drama School.Currently, he occasionally still lectures to classes at the Atlantic Theater Company, of which he is a principal founding member.
He originally started his career as an actor, then a director before he was noted as a talented playwright in the 1970’s.His first major plays were “The Duck Variations“, “Sexual Perversity in Chicago“, and “American Buffalo“.
Many of his plays have been originally produced and performed by the St. Nicholas Theater Company in Chicago.There, he is not only esteemed as a founding member, but also as the current Artistic Director.
The production was a hit with both audiences and critics alike and was eventually awarded the coveted Obie Award.The play soon thereafter opened on Broadway and enjoyed similar widespread fanfare.
Other popular works of Mamet’s during this period include “The Woods“, “A Life in the Theatre“, “The Water Engine“, “Edmond“, and “Lakeboat“.Once the seventies passed, Mamet began writing for other projects, including a handful of extraordinarily popular films.
These films included “Ronin“, which was originally published under an assumed name, J D Zeik.Other film work included “The Verdict“, “The Untouchables“, “The Postman Always Rings Twice“, “Rising Son“, “Hoffa“, “Vanya on 42nd Street“, and “The Edge“.Many of Mamet’s first screenplays were simply adaptations of plays which he had already published.
It was only “Glengarry Glen Ross“, his third screenplay that ultimately won him the coveted Pulitzer Prize.Following the award, in 1986 he wrote and directed the film “House of Games“.Since then, he has written and directed a steady stream of other films including “State and Main“, “Homicide“, and “Things Change“.
Once he began writing screenplays, Mamet’s dedication to playwriting have slowly declined.Since his critically-acclaimed hit “Glengarry Glen Ross“, he has released a handful of new plays including “The Cryptogram“, “The Shawl and The Old Neighborhood“, “Speed-the-Plow“, “Oleanna“.”Oleanna“ was his last truly hit play and it was written in 1992.
Even though Mamet’s interest in regular theater seems to be disintegrating, to the comfort of many of his loyal theatre fans, the majority of his plays are generally independently produced, thus encouraging many critics and theater fans that he has not completely sold out to Hollywood-type productions.
On the contrary, Mamet’s films each seem to be distinctly his own, emphasizing his own intellectual approach and style of writing.He has tapped into a market and niche entirely of his own, one that no other playwright nor screenwriter has been able to break into thus far.
The directors who have worked with and produced his films vary and offer an especially interesting insight into the market which Mamet has managed to create for his work.These directors include many A-list, well-reputed names in the industry and command a respect that only Mamet could boast of.
They include: Bob Rafelson, Barry Levinson, Brian De Palma and Louis Malle, Robert de Niro, Madonna, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Sean Connery, Steve Martin, Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Jonathon Pryce, Nigel Hawthorne, Jeremy Northam and Joe Mantegna.
Critics insist that Mamet has found his audience through a devilishly simple writing ethic including sharp, concise dialogue that is relatively general and accessible to a wide variety of audiences.
The plots usually are based upon very realistic and understandable everyday situations which a wide range of viewer can interpret and identify with.
Mamet’s works are not only limited to plays and screenplays, he has also written a vast assortment of poetry, essays, two novels, and a handful of children’s books.He is widely popular throughout the UK and international audiences alike.
Mamet is a classic example of a screenwriter’s uncanny ability to Ã?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½tune into’ his audience and write scripts which are almost handcrafted uniquely for them.His style has yet to be emulated and his fans and viewers have an insatiable appetite for most anything he is able to produce.