Leslie Kane explains the formation of the society, and her work with Chris Hudgins to create the review.
When it meets in San Diego in December, the Executive Committee and the membership of the newly organized David Mamet Society will have before it three issues: voting to ratify a Constitution, establishing a timetable and a format for submission of manuscripts for The David Mamet Review, and exploring ways in which to expand the exchange of scholarship between those of us for whom David Mamet energizes our research, engages our interest, and draws us continually to the stage and screen. At its organizational meeting at the Modern Language Convention in Toronto in December 1993, Chris Hudgins and I provided background information, including the fact that our institutions have provided start-up funding over a period of two years to launch the David Mamet Society, whose primary purpose it is to encourage scholarship on this seminal contemporary playwright and filmmaker. The group of thirteen people agreed that I would serve as President and Chris Hudgins as Vice-President and Treasurer for an initial term of office. Moreover, the group concurred that initially The David Mamet Review would appear annually as a twelve-page newsletter containing performance and book reviews, a scholarly bibliography, and items of interest that would be disseminated to its membership prior to its annual meeting at the MLA Convention, and assuming continued interest and an increase of operating capital, the Executive Board would commence plans to launch an annual scholarly journal in its third year. In addition to designating editorial responsibilities to Leslie Kane, Chris Hudgins, Matthew Roudane, Deborah Geis, and David Sauer, the group solicited the assistance of Robert Scanlan, Brian Mexicott, Lee Papa, and Chris Hudgins, who agreed to serve on a Constitutional Committee, and David Levine, who would solicit abstracts for a Special Session at the 1994 MLA Convention. Although a very strong proposal entitled "Genre and Gender Transformations" was submitted based upon fascinating abstracts by Profs. Goldensohn, Borden, and Pearce, the session was not approved.
During the spring and summer of 1994 Hudgins and Kane have launched an extensive effort to disseminate information about the organization to academics and theatre professionals by direct mail and presentations made to the conventions of a variety of professional organizations, including the American Society for Theatre Research, The American Theatre and Drama Society, and ATHE and through advertisements placed in PLMA, Modern Drama, American Theatre, Film Quarterly, New Theatre Quarterly, Comparative Drama, and Performing Arts Journal. The response has been gratifying: the international David Mamet Society numbers fifty-two paid members, and the expression of interest from more than fifty additional scholars, directors, translators, dramaturgs, and doctoral students from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Turkey, Australia, Israel, West Africa, Japan, the New Territories of China, Korea, Taiwan have assured us that the cultural and ethical issues raised by Mamet's savage satire on the collapse of American values and tone poems of betrayal and loss have inspired the interest and intelligence of like-minded individuals throughout the world. While we can neither account for the Pan-Asian connection nor the paucity of response from South America, we have received so much interest from Great Britain, where Mamet's work is extraordinarily well-received, that Steven Price of the University of Wales has generously offered to serve as European Secretary and Editor. He will expand our efforts to reach those interested in Mamet's work throughout Great Britain and Europe.
The Second Annual Meeting of the David Mamet Society promises to be lively and informative, and I hope many of you will attend on Thursday, December 29 at 5:30 P.M in the Marriot Marina Hotel. Please check posted announcements for the place of the meeting. I also encourage you to contribute suggestions for a David Mamet Special Session for next year's MLA Convention in Chicago, which seems an especially likely site for a Mamet session (a quick thumbing of this year's schedule will confirm that the strong proposal submitted for San Diego was not approved). Please send topics to me at 7710 E. Gainey Ranch Road, #149, Scottsdale, AZ 85258. I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego.
The David Mamet Society gratefully acknowledges Westfield State College and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for their generous and continued support of The David Mamet Society and The David Mamet Review