Mamet believes the proper function of the actor or playwright in our ""dying'' civilization is to get to the heart of what is essential in all of us and establish a communion among listeners. He feels that most acting today is mechanical because of society's demand for reassurance that nothing will change, that we are safe. In these short, hard-hitting essays, the well-known playwright (American Buffalo, etc.) delves into the collective mentality of the American theater, which, he maintains, acts as a brake on the creativity of producers and dramatists. Mamet looks at the hidden politics of the theater, how actors are manipulated and controlled by directors. He rails against the electronic amplification of the live stage. Among the themes explored are why radio is a great training ground for writers, theater as an arena for dreams and the subconscious, Tennessee Williams's dramatic mission, and the craze for fashion as a symptom of the middle class's sterile lifestyle and loss of the ability to fantasize. (December)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1986 Release date: 12/01/1986 Genre: Nonfiction
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