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President's Message

Leslie Kane announce "Mamet at 50" Conference and other plans for the David Mamet Society.

President's Message

Last December the Executive Board met in Chicago at the MLA convention to discuss the publication format of future issues of The David Mamet Review and affiliation with MLA. With our minds very much on anniversaries, namely the twentieth anniversary of American Buffalo, the topic of our very successful panel, “ American Buffalo: Twenty Years After: Chicago, Gender and Parodic Jewish Characterization” chaired by Chris Hudgins, our conversation naturally drifted to David Mamet’s fiftieth birthday in November 1997. Out of that fortuitous conversation grew a plan to celebrate Mamet’s milestone birthday by convening an international conference in Las Vegas.We hope that you’ll join us in toasting the playwright’s extraordinary career together with our special guests and long-time Mamet collaborators in a weekend of scholarly papers and poker.

By now you have received a call for papers and registration information for “Mamet at 50,” which promises to be a singular event in Mamet scholarship. those who attended our Special Session at last year’s MLA know that we were one of the hits of the convention, in no small measure due to the presence and contribution of Mike Nussbaum who performed all four parts of a short Mamet play and freely fielded questions from the large audience. Similarly generous and accomplished Mamet collaborators will join us in Las Vegas: Gregory Mosher, Bill Macy, Joe Mantegna, and Felicity Huffman are among those who will deliver keynotes or participate in plenary panels. We are also delighted that members of the Atlantic Theater Company, founded by Mamet, Mosher, and Macy, it’s “godfather” will perform early and late one-acts at the theater space generously donated by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Screenings of Mamet’s films will run throughout the conference. capping off the festivities will be a fifty dollar buy-in poker game. We are, of course, hopeful that the playwright will not be able to stay away. Put this event on your agenda: proposals for papers on any aspect of Mamet’s work will be accepted until February 1, 1997.

Although sponsored by the society, “Mamet at 50” is by no means lmited to members of the society. By all means encourage colleagues interested in Mamet’s plays, prose, and screenplays to attend; comparative proposals are certainly welcome. And, selected papers from the conference will be published. Do not hesitate to call me at 413-572-5685 or fax 4133 562-3613 or email: ; or contact Chris Hudgins at 702 895-4801, if we can be of any assistance.

Plans to convert the annual newsletter to a hardbound annual issue that would include scholarly articles and interviews s well as our annual—and indispensable—bibliography have been extended by one year. Funding remains our major difficulty, but as the David Mamet Society continues to grow,  to attract the interest of libraries, and to emerge as an international society of scholars whose interest, energy, and research is animated by David Mamet’s prolificacy in various genres, we are encouraged that there is both the interest and a widening pool of talent from which we can draw for the new journal. Hopeful that we will soon attract funding to publish a hardbound issue., we are still especially pleased that the third issue of The David Mamet Review reflects significant contributions by a broad base of reviewers who have not previously contributed to the newsletter; the estimable efforts of the DMR ’s new Theatre Review co-editor, Robert Vorlicky, provided us with extensive coverage of productions of Mamet’s work in various venues nationwide. I trust that you will concur that he has done a magnificent job in his maiden voyage. We also welcome the contribution of Steven Price, whose industry in the past year has resulted in an enhanced European connection, and new members in Great Britain and throughout Europe. And, we are once again grateful to Janice and David Sauer for their diligence in uncovering current reviews of Mamet’s plays and fiction as well as recent scholarship published both here and abroad.

Much of the work of the David Mamet Society is ultimately completed by others. Thus, the Officers of the David Mamet Society would like to express their appreciation to the wide range of individuals who have worked closely with us to coordinate mailings and conference materials, and contributed their time and effort to the David Mamet Review. We especially thank Susan Fraine of the boston film Festival and Becky Watson and Louise Ruck of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Finally,the Fourth Annual Meeting of the David Mamet Society once again promises to be a memorable event. We are delighted to offer a Special Session on “David Mamet and Film: Religion and Mystification” on Saturday, 28 December at 10-15-11:30 AM in the Sheraton Washington, Atrium #2. Prof Chris Hudgins will again moderate as Prof. Diane Borden, Joseph Csicsila and I present short papers on masculinity and mystification, the role of religion, and marginality and homelessness in Mamet’s films, respectively. Our special guest, Debra Eisenstadt—Carol in numerous stage productions of Oleanna and the film version directed by Mamet—will speak about the film and her work with David Mamet, director. Based on last year’s success, I urge you to mark your calendars for what we hope will again be a highlight of the MLA Convention. A business meeting for Board members and interested members will be held at 5:15 in my hotel room, unless otherwise posted in “Who’s Where.” to discuss the conference, funding for the journal, and future panels. Please check “Who’s where for my hotel in Washington. If you are unable to attend but would like to chair a Special Session in association with the Society next year, please let me know prior to the MLA.

I look forward to seeing yo all in Washington—and Las Vegas. Don’t forget the deadline for conference abstracts: February 1. Early registration is encouraged, but registration will be available until just before the conference. Plan to be there!