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President's Message

Janet Haedicke bids the Mamet Society farewell.


    As I assume the Presidency of the David Mamet Society, I must confess to uncharacteristic fear and trembling at the prospect of following in the footsteps of our founders. First and long-standing President Leslie Kane is a woman of incomparable integrity and energy, one whose presence has become essential to my life both professionally and personally. Her scholarship on Mamet has been ground-breaking, her editorship impeccable, her contribution to this society inimitable. We first met at that incredible Mamet at 50 conference organized by Leslie and our equally impressive founding Vice-President and Treasurer, Chris Hudgins. Chris has also become an invaluable and irreplaceable friend whose intellect permeates his scholarship as his grace does his personal relationships. 1 would say that they will be missed, but I would not have assumed this position without assurances of their continued involvement.

I also wish to express appreciation for the new members of our Editorial Board, who will be handling book and theater reviews: Elizabeth Klaver and Dick Brucher. On behalf of the Society I’d like to thank departing film review editor Bob Vorlicky for his contribution to The David Mamet Review. Bob will be guest-editing Theatre Journal in the coming year, and we shall miss him. Diane Borden will assume the post as film editor. Please direct all future inquiries and film reviews to Diane.

    I also wish to acknowledge the continuing contribution of our European editor, Steven Price, and of Jan and David Sauer, without whose wonderfully rich annual bibliography we would all be adrift. I urge you to reward their commitment and to support the DMR by offering to these editors numerous contributions of your own and soliciting contributions from others. Anyone seeking information regarding the DMR or the Society may consult our new website at . In the coming months we hope to post more links and to facilitate online calls for papers and conference announcements.

    Having applied for affiliate status with MLA. the Society was rejected on the grounds that Mamet is too contemporary a figure. The letter forwarded to me by Leslie seems distressingly dismissive in tone. When, however, I expressed this reaction at an ATHE meeting, I was told by one of the MLA representatives that such a rejection is standard fare and that repeated applications are the usual course. Our other option is to affiliate on some formal basis with the American Theatre and Drama Society, a focus group of ATHE eager to expand its boundaries. Its former President, Bob Vorlicky, asked that I work with him, using the David Mamet Society as a test case, to explore the possibilities of a mutually beneficial relationship. ATDS, on whose Board I serve, publishes the Journal of American Drama and Theatre , sponsors panels at ATHE. MLA, and ALA, and is in the planning stages of its own conference. I would welcome any suggestions and shall keep you informed as we progress.

These and other issues will be considered at our business meeting held during the MLA Convention in New Orleans, December 27-30, 2001. As usual, we will hold the business meeting on the day of our Special Session, Friday. December 28. at 5:15 P.M.; the meeting will be in Karen Blansfield’s room. Please check “Who’s Where” or check with Karen or me at the Special Session. This year we are sponsoring a panel organized by Karen Blansfield, our overworked but ever-capable new Vice President and Treasurer. Entitled “Acting and Performance in the Films of David Mamet,” the panel is scheduled for Friday, December 28, from 12:00 to 1:15 p.m. in Gallery A and B of the Sheraton; program participants include Gregory Kable, Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, and Frank Donoghue as panelists and myself as respondent. Please endorse us with your presence at both this obviously stimulating session and at our business meeting. As Louisiana is my home state and New Orleans my second home, I would love to welcome you by hosting drinks at our condo just outside the French Quarter immediately following the business meeting. I hope that you bring guests, especially those interested in our Society, to the business meeting and to my home. We shall also post the meeting time and directions on our website.

I look forward to seeing you all in the “the city that care forgot” and hope that, in the interim, your own cares are navigable.