Mamet On Mamet: Politics and Poetics in Oleanna, Race, The Anarchist, and China Doll
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Mamet on Mamet: Politics and Poetics in Oleanna, Race, The Anarchist, and China Doll” aims to illuminate Mamet’s mature aesthetic through a close examination of four of his later plays. The thesis blends textual examinations of the plays with reporting on major, commercial productions of them. The combination of the two modes yields insights about current perceptions of David Mamet’s place in the American theatre. In every chapter, Mamet’s The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (2011)—a work of nonfiction by the playwright—is referenced to further highlight the themes of the play and the playwright. However, the first chapter “David Mamet and the Eight Selling Playwrights of the Twenty-first Century” is an introductory chapter that establishes Mamet’s canonical status in the theatre, within the pantheon of playwrights who are commercially reliable. The final chapter “Lions in Winter: China Doll” follows the format of the middle chapters, except for the primary account of attending the world premiere of the play at the Gerald Shoenfeld Theatre on Broadway in New York.
Table of Contents
The eight selling playwrights and David Mamet -- Desires in the University: Oleanna -- Gladiators in the courtroom: Race -- Words in the office: The Anarchist -- Lions in winter: China Doll -- Epilogue