This Actor Prepares: A Discussion of David Mamet, His Dramatic World, His Acting Theories, and the Play Glengarry Glen Ross
Russo, Romolo J.
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When I learned of the potential opportunity to act in Glengarry, which is one of my favorite plays, I decided to use the Kalamazoo College SIP requirement as an opportunity to explore new territory in personal acting preparation. While I was not promised any role in the play, or a role at all for that matter, I nonetheless hoped that this SIP would provide me with a foundational understanding of the play's dramatic world upon which I could develop a strong character should I be cast. This SIP represents the ideal amount of effort that I would like to put into each play of which I am a part, and is an attempt to emulate the preparatory efforts of a great professional actor, Robert Kropf. It consists of three parts. The first part is a discussion of the playwright, David Mamet, and includes a brief biographical sketch, as well as an analysis of his dramatic world, that is based upon my undertaking to read as much of his work as I possibly could. In this section I attempt to determine the various thematic components of Mamet's dramatic world that contribute to his characters inability to connect with themselves or others. This is followed by a discussion of the play Glengarry Glen Ross, in which I explore how capitalism negatively effects the individual identities and patterns of interaction amongst the play's characters, with a brief discussion of many of these characters. Finally, the third part is an attempt to summarize David Mamet's philosophies on acting, followed by a brief analysis of them. This analysis consists of my attempts to explain that, while Mamet' s onstage techniques serve me well, I disagree with his philosophy regarding preparation for a role.