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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mamet's Presidential Satire

David Mamet returns to Broadway later this year with "November."

I have to say... Mamet is sort of late to the dance on satirizing the now lame duck Bush Adminstration on the stage (if that is, in fact, what he's doing.)

Sure he's done some stuff for Huffington Post (so I read). Maybe he's been too busy doing car commericals and writing a show about covert government operatives to make some sort of significant statement about current politics?

It's interesting how few of the more significant US playwrights seemed interested in tackling Bush, even though this White House is clearly the most corrupt in our nation's history.

So...what happened? Where were the American playwrights? Why did we need David Hare to write "Stuff Happens" and "The Vertical Hour?"

Mamet's never been a political writer, per se. But to write this now is almost an afterthought. We got 8 years of Bush, and now we get a satire?


Zack Calhoon said...

One thing you can almost count on . . . he'll cast his wife, Rebecca Pidgeon.

Anonymous said...

As Dick Cheney.

Anonymous said...

I think she as the emotional range for that role, now that you mention it.

Her role in "Spanish Prisoner" ran the emotional rollercoaster from A to A.

Anonymous said...

He's writing and directing a jujitsu movie called RED BELT that has me all warm and goeey, just thinking about it.

He has a black belt in Brazillian jiujitsu

Alison Croggon said...

On the knocker, Freeman-o.

Mark said...

Mamet's movie Spartan, which played prior to the 2004 election, was a stinging rebuke to the Bush Doctrine. And his play Romance dealt comically with the Middle East peace process or lack thereof.

He is also a personal friend of John Kerry and supported his campaign in 2004.

Jigsaw said...

To be fair, I don't think the theater is necessarily the best medium to use to criticize the current administration; television seems better suited to the task somehow.

As for Mamet, it sounds a bit like he's just discovered he isn't relevant anymore, and decided to put down the barbecue and toss something off real quick that would get people blogging about him again.

Freeman said...


I haven't seen Spartan, so that may well be true. I'm hardly calling Mamet a conservative.

More than anything, I'm using this as an example. No writer is bound to write a play satirizing the Bush Administration, specifically. I certainly haven't.

But... it does as if there's a rather gaping hole where our most heralded and established playwrights should be, when it comes to this particular administration.

It may well be that (and this might get to the heart of it) playwrights in America feel their time is better spent actually working on campaigns and writing editorials. Is there a sense that plays aren't the proper place (or an effective place) to make political statements?

Mark said...

I think one of the reasons is that, as you well know, plays take a long time to write. But I think there are more major American writers who are engaged than one might think.

As mentioned, Mamet wrote and directed Spartan. Sam Shepard wrote God of Hell. Kushner has been working on Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy.

Who else are you waiting for?

Scott Walters said...

Who needs Mamet's superficial paranoia and elaborate con jobs when we have the real thing in Washington? What could he possibly write that would top reality? Fox News has eaten Mamet's lunch!