David Mamet sat in on a poker game full of thieves and left with the inspiration for American Buffalo. Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Glengarry Glen Ross takes you through his process for turning life's strangest moments into dramatic art. He'll teach you the rules of drama, the nuances of dialogue, and the skills to develop your own voice and create your masterpiece.
Trying to understand drama? Look no further than everyday life. David teaches you how to recognize drama at its best. Learn how drama functions as a form of myth, the ways in which it enlightens the complexities of humanity, and how it provides us with an outlet for expressing the issues that preoccupy us.
As a dramatist, your job is to tell a story. David teaches you how to keep your story simple by using Aristotle's Poetics as a guide. Learn how to keep your hero's journey at the heart of your narrative. Start at the beginning of your story and don't stop until you reach the end. Throw away anything that isn't plot. David teaches you what to cut from your script and how to master the rules of writing.
David teaches you how to harness your fantasies and life experiences for drama. Look for drama in places where you'd least expect it and discover the inspiration behind several of his plays. David teaches you what character really is action. Learn how to create objectives for your characters and avoid the erroneous techniques commonly taught.
Plot is paramount. Become familiar with the essential ingredients of a plot like the precipitating event and the second-act problem. Learn how to find the plot hiding behind your scenes. David shares with you the methods he uses to structure a plot and teaches you how to connect plot points.
Learn how David developed his style for writing dialogue, famously known as "Mamet-speak," and where to draw inspiration when trying to write great dialogue. David talks about what informs and motivates dialogue, and how to achieve a musicality and rhythm in your character's speech pattern.
Writing drama is not the same as conveying information. A dramatist's job is to entertain, not bore, the audience. Learn how to recognize unnecessary narration and exposition and how to let the audience help you cut it out. Every scene must contain three things. Learn what those are and how to recognize and remove scenes that are unnecessary to your script.
Learn how David reveres his audiences, what they are looking for when they come to the theatre, and how to learn from them. And finally in the role of the theatre director, how he views what makes a great actor and how to cast the right ones for your play.