VERY Briefly Noted:
An Interview with Pulitzer Prize Winner David Mamet A writer known for straightforward brevity gives us just that… Amy Levinson: American Buffalo has this uncanny aspect to it wherein it is both completely a play of its time and place and incredibly timely. Can you talk a bit about the spark that lead you to write it and how you see these characters now? David Mamet: I used to spend a lot of time with hustlers and thieves. A play set among them is, like a play set among the super-rich, in politics, or among Kings and Queens, or in OZ, a device which lets us participate fully. It means “Once upon a time.” AL: I have heard some say that they put you on a trajectory of writers that reads: Beckett—Pinter— Mamet—LaBute. The idea being that each writer has built upon the specific writers that came before him. Do you think there is validity to this? DM: There is validity to a whole raft of things. AL: Whom of your contemporaries inspires you? What is the work you find most exciting? DM: I adore Doubt. I loved Joe Gatins’s script for Flight, and Anderson and Coppola’s Moonrise Kingdom. AL: When you begin work on a play or a film does the idea always come to you in a similar way; do you think of a character, some dialogue, a setting and go from there? And once the idea sets in, what are the first steps you take to make it come to life? DM: None of your goddamned business. AL: As a playwright, screenwriter and episodic writer, how do you know in which medium an idea belongs?
playwright david mamet P4 PERFORMANCES MAGAZINe
DM: I can’t even figure out how to correctly arrange the silverware. And I have a compartmented drawer for that.