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The Actor's Guide to Creating a Character

by David Mamet Patricia Heaton William Esper Damon Dimarco

William Esper, one of the most celebrated acting teachers of our time, takes us through his step-by-step approach to the central challenge of advanced acting work: creating and playing a character. Esper's first book, The Actor's Art and Craft, earned praise for describing the basics taught in his famous first-year acting class. The Actor's Guide to Creating a Character continues the journey. In these pages, co-author Damon DiMarco vividly re-creates Esper's second-year course, again through the experiences of a fictional class. Esper's training builds on Sanford Meisner's legendary exercises, a world-renowned technique that Esper further developed through his long association with Meisner and the decades he has spent training a host of distinguished actors. His approach is flexible enough to apply to any role, helping actors to create characters with truthful and compelling inner lives.

Bambi vs. Godzilla: On The Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business

by David Mamet

InBambi vs. Godzilla, David Mamet, the award-winning playwright and screenwriter, gives us an exhilaratingly subversive inside look at Hollywood from the perspective of a filmmaker who has always played the game his own way. Who really reads the scripts at the film studios? How is a screenplay like a personals ad? Whose opinion matters when revising a screenplay? Why are there so many producers listed in movie credits? And what the hell do those producers do, anyway? Refreshingly unafraid to offend, Mamet provides hilarious, surprising, and bracingly forthright answers to these and other questions about virtually every aspect of filmmaking, from concept to script to screen. He covers topics ranging from "How Scripts Got So Bad" to the oxymoron of "Manners in Hollywood. " He takes us step-by-step through some of his favorite movie stunts and directorial tricks, and demonstrates that it is craft and crew, not stars and producers, that make great films. He tells us who his favorite actors and what his favorite movies are, who he thinks is the most perfect actor to grace the screen, and who he thinks should never have appeared there. Demigods and sacred cows of the movie business-beware! But for the rest of us, Mamet speaking truth to Hollywood makes for searingly enjoyable reading. From the Hardcover edition.

Boston Marriage

by David Mamet

One of America's most revered and provocative dramatists, David Mamet conquers new territory with this droll comedy of errors set in a Victorian drawing room. Anna and Claire are two bantering, scheming ladies of fashion who have long lived together on the fringes of upper-class society. Anna has just become the mistress of a wealthy man, from whom she has received an enormous emerald and an income to match. Claire, meanwhile, is infatuated with a respectable young lady and wants to enlist the jealous Anna's help for an assignation. As the two women exchange barbs and take turns taunting Anna's hapless parlour maid, Claire's young inamorata suddenly appears, setting off a crisis that puts the valuable emerald at risk and threatens the women's future. "Devastatingly funny . . . exceptionally clever" - New York Times "Brilliant . . . One of Mamet's most satisfying and accomplished plays, and one of the funniest American comedies in years" - New York Post "Wickedly, wittily entertaining . . . what makes the play such brilliant fun is its marriage of glinting period artifice and contemporary frankness" - Boston Phoenix "[Mamet's characters] are at each other's throats with a wit akin to characters out of Wilde and a vengeance not unlike those from Pinter or Edward Albee" - Boston Globe Boston Marriage was first performed at the American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in June 1999. It received its British premiere at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in March 2001.

The Cabin

by David Mamet

In these mordant, elegant, and often disquieting essays, the internationally acclaimed dramatist creates a sort of autobiography by strobe light, one that is both mysterious and starkly revealing.The pieces in The Cabin are about places and things: the suburbs of Chicago, where as a boy David Mamet helplessly watched his stepfather terrorize his sister; New York City, where as a young man he had to eat his way through a mountain of fried matzoh to earn a night of sexual bliss. They are about guns, campaign buttons, and a cabin in the Vermont woods that stinks of wood smoke and kerosene -- and about their associations of pleasure, menace, and regret.The resulting volume may be compared to the plays that have made Mamet famous: it is finely crafted and deftly timed, and its precise language carries an enormous weight of feeling.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Chicago's Nelson Algren

by Art Shay David Mamet

They met in 1949 when Art was a reporter for Life. Shay followed Algren around with a camera, gathering pictures for a photo-essay piece he was pitching to the magazine. Life didn't pick up the article, but Shay and Algren became fast friends. Algren gave Shay's camera entrance into the back-alley world of Division Street, and Shay captured Algren's poetry on film. They were masters chronicling the same patch of ground with different tools.Chicago's Nelson Algren is the compilation of hundreds of photos--many recently discovered and published here for the first time--of Nelson Algren over the course of a decade and a deeply moving homage to the writer and his city. Read Algren and you'll see Shay's pictures; look at Shay's photos and you'll hear Nelson's words.

The Cryptogram

by David Mamet

In this gripping short play, David Mamet combines mercurial intelligence with genuinely Hitchcockian menace. The Cryptogram is a journey back into childhood and the moment of its vanishing--the moment when the sheltering world is suddenly revealed as a place full of dangers. On a night in 1959 a boy is waiting to go on a camping trip with his father. His mother wants him to go to sleep. A family friend is trying to entertain them--or perhaps distract them. Because in the dark corners of this domestic scene, there are rustlings that none of the players want to hear. And out of things as innocuous as a shattered teapot and a ripped blanket, Mamet re-creates a child terrifying discovery that the grownups are speaking in code, and that that code may never be breakable.

Faustus

by David Mamet

Having put his personal stamp on the contemporary theater, David Mamet now performs the supremely audacious feat of reinventing the theater of the past. He does so by telling his own ingenious and eerily moving version of the tragedy of Dr. Faustus. Mamet's Faustus--like Marlowe's and Goethe's before him--is a philosopher whose life's work has been the pursuit of "the secret engine of the world." He is also the distracted father of a small, adoring son. Out of the clash between love and intellect and the fatal operation of Faustus' pride, Mamet fashions a work that is at once caustic and heart-wrenching and whose resplendent language marries metaphysics to conman's patter. A meditation on reason and folly, fathers and sons, and a breathtaking display of magic both literal and theatrical, Faustus is a triumph.

Five Cities of Refuge: Weekly Reflections on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy

by Lawrence Kushner David Mamet

In the ancient Jewish practice of the kavannah (a meditation designed to focus one's heart on its spiritual goal), Lawrence Kushner and David Mamet offer their own reactions to key verses from each week's Torah portion, opening the biblical text to new layers of understanding. Here is a fascinating glimpse into two great minds, as each author approaches the text from his unique perspective, each seeking an understanding of the Bible's personalities and commandments, paradoxes and ambiguities. Kushner offers his words of Torah with a conversational enthusiasm that ranges from family dynamics to the Kabbalah; Mamet challenges the reader, often beginning his comment far afield--with Freud or the American judiciary--before returning to a text now wholly reinterpreted. In the tradition of Israel as a people who wrestle with God, Kushner and Mamet grapple with the biblical text, succumbing neither to apologetics nor parochialism, asking questions without fear of the answers they may find. Over the course of a year of weekly readings, they comment on all aspects of the Bible: its richness of theme and language, its contradictions, its commandments, and its often unfathomable demands. If you are already familiar with the Bible, this book will draw you back to the text for a deeper look. If you have not yet explored the Bible in depth, Kushner and Mamet are guides of unparalleled wisdom and discernment. Five Cities of Refuge is easily accessible yet powerfully illuminating. Each week's comments can be read in a few minutes, but they will give you something to think about all week long. Lawrence Kushner teaches and writes as the Emanu-El Scholar at The Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. He has taught at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City and served for twenty-eight years as rabbi of Congregation Beth El in Sudbury, Massachusetts. A frequent lecturer, he is also the author of more than a dozen books on Jewish spirituality and mysticism. He lives in San Francisco. David Mamet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. He is the author of Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cryptogram, and Boston Marriage, among other plays. He has also published three novels and many screenplays, children's books, and essay collections.

November

by David Mamet

David Mamet's new Oval Office satire depicts one day in the life of a beleaguered American commander-in-chief. It's November in a Presidential election year, and incumbent Charles Smith's chances for reelection are looking grim. Approval ratings are down, his money's running out, and nuclear war might be imminent. Though his staff has thrown in the towel and his wife has begun to prepare for her post-White House life, Chuck isn't ready to give up just yet. Amidst the biggest fight of his political career, the President has to find time to pardon a couple of turkeys -- saving them from the slaughter before Thanksgiving -- and this simple PR event inspires Smith to risk it all in attempt to win back public support. With Mamet's characteristic no-holds-barred style, November is a scathingly hilarious take on the state of America today and the lengths to which people will go to win.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Old Neighborhood

by David Mamet

In The Old Neighborhood David Mamet confirms his stature as a master of the American stage, a writer who can turn the most innocuous phrase into a lit fuse and a family reunion into a perfectly orchestrated firestorm of sympathy, yearning, and blistering authentic rage. In these three short plays, a middle-aged Bobby Gould returns to the old-neighborhood in a series of encounters with his past that, however briefly, open windows on his present. In "The Disappearance of the Jews," Bobby and an old buddy fantasize about finding themselves in a nostalgic shtetl paradise while revealing how lost they are in their own families. In the comfort of her kitchen, Bobby's sister "Jolly" unscrolls a list of childhood grievances that is at nice painful and hilarious. And the old girlfriend in "Deeny," faced with a man she once loved, finds herself obsessively free-associating on gardening, sex, and subatomic particles. Swerving from comedy to terror, from tenderness to anguish--with a swiftness that unsettles even as it strikes home--The Old Neighborhood is classic Mamet.

Oleanna

by David Mamet

In David Mamet's latest play, a male college instructor and his female student sit down to discuss her grades and in a terrifyingly short time become the participants in a modern reprise of the Inquisition. Innocuous remarks suddenly turn damning. Socratic dialogue gives way to heated assault. And the relationship between a somewhat fatuous teacher and his seemingly hapless pupil turns into a fiendishly accurate X ray of the mechanisms of power, censorship, and abuse.

Oleanna: A Play

by David Mamet

In David Mamet's latest play, a male college instructor and his female student sit down to discuss her grades and in a terrifyingly short time become the participants in a modern reprise of the Inquisition. Innocuous remarks suddenly turn damning. Socratic dialogue gives way to heated assault. And the relationship between a somewhat fatuous teacher and his seemingly hapless pupil turns into a fiendishly accurate X ray of the mechanisms of power, censorship, and abuse.

Romance

by David Mamet

Exhilarating courtroom farce from America's finest playwright. Romance is an uproarious courtroom farce which lampoons the American judicial system and exposes the hypocrisy surrounding personal prejudices and political correctness. Wildly humorous and often gob-smackingly outrageous, the play is set in a modern-day courtroom in New York during a week when there are Middle East peace talks being brokered in town. The court case at hand is unrelated, but the defendant and counsel come up with a plan to solve the conflict in the region. A pill-popping judge, a defendant and lawyer (on the same side) who hate each other, and a prosecutor with a troubled personal life are part of the picture. A new comedy from 'the finest American playwright of his generation' Sunday Times. 'A deliriously funny David Mamet farce' Associated Press. 'An exhilarating spectacle. Mamet is a connoisseur of fiasco, knows all about legal punctilio, and he has great fun bringing mayhem to the ritual' New Yorker. Published to tie-in with the play's European premiere at the Almeida Theatre, opening 6th September 2005.

South of the Northeast Kingdom

by David Mamet

Compared to some of its New England neighbors, Vermont has seemed to long-time resident David Mamet a place of intrinsic energy and progressiveness, love and commonality. It has lived up to the old story that settlers came up the Connecticut River and turned right to get to New Hampshire and left to get to Vermont. Is Vermont's tradition of live and let live an accident of geography, the happy by-product of 200 years of national neglect, an emanation of its Scots-Irish regional character? Exploring the ways in which his decades in Vermont have shaped his character and his work, Mamet examines each of these strands and how the state's free-thinking tradition can survive in an age of increasing conglomeration. The result is a highly personal and compelling portrait of a truly unique place.

The Spanish Prisoner and The Winslow Boy: Two Screenplays

by David Mamet

THE SPANISH PRISONER "Elegant, entertaining. . . . Mamet's craftiest and most satisfying cinematic puzzle. " --The New York Times THE WINSLOW BOY "One of the most subtly compelling love stories of the year. " --The New York Observer Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet ranks among the century's most influential writers for stage and screen. His dialogue--abrasive, rhythmic--illuminates a modern aesthetic evocative of Samuel Beckett. His plots--surprising, comic, topical--have evoked comparisons to masters from Alfred Hitchcock to Arthur Miller. Here are two screenplays demonstrating the astounding range of Mamet's talents. The Spanish Prisoner, a neo-noir thriller about a research-and-development cog hoodwinked out of his own brilliant discovery, demonstrates Mamet's incomparable use of character in a dizzying tale of twists and mistaken identity. The Winslow Boy, Mamet's revisitation of Terence Rattigan's classic 1946 play, tells of a thirteen-year-old boy accused of stealing a five-shilling postal order and the tug of war for truth that ensues between his middle-class family and the Royal Navy. Crackling with wit, intelligent and surprising,The Spanish PrisonerandThe Winslow Boycelebrate Mamet's unique genius and our eternal fascination with the extraordinary predicaments of the common man.

Three Uses of the Knife

by David Mamet

The purpose of theater, like magic like religion...ids to inspire cleansing awe. With bracing directness and aphoristic authority, one of our greatest living playwrights addresses the questions: What makes good drama? And why does drama matter in an age that is awash in information and entertainment? David Mamet believes that the tendency to dramatize is essential to human nature, that we create drama out of everything from today's weather to next year's elections. But the highest expression of this drive remains the theater. With a cultural range that encompasses Shakespeare, Bretcht, and Ibsen, Death of a Salesman and Bad Day at Black Rock, Mamet shows us how to distinguish true drama from its false variants. He considers the impossibly difficult progression between one act and the next and the mysterious function of the soliloquy. The result, in Three Uses of the Knife, is an electrifying treatise on the playwright's art that is also a strikingly original work of moral and aesthetic philosophy.

Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama

by David Mamet

Mamet unravels the infamous "Second-Act Problem," considers the mysterious persistence of the soliloquy. Three Uses of the Knife is an inspired guide for any playwright that doubles as a trenchant work of aesthetic philosophy.

True and False

by David Mamet

Invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school. With these words, one of our most brilliantly iconoclastic playwrights takes on the art of profession of acting, in a book that is as shocking as it is practical, as witty as it is instructive, and as irreverent as it is inspiring. Acting schools, "interpretation," "sense memory," "The Method"--David Mamet takes a jackhammer to the idols of contemporary acting, while revealing the true heroism and nobility of the craft. He shows actors how to undertake auditions and rehearsals, deal with agents and directors, engage audiences, and stay faithful to the script, while rejecting the temptations that seduce so many of their colleagues. Bracing in its clarity, exhilarating in its common sense, True and False is invaluable.From the Trade Paperback edition.

True and False: Heresy and Common Sense for the Actor

by David Mamet

A guide into acting careers for aspirant actors, it helps in judging a role, approaching the part, working with the dramatist, going through auditions, and the industry in general.

The Voysey Inheritance: A Play

by Harley Granville-Barker David Mamet

This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

The Wicked Son

by David Mamet

As might be expected from this fiercely provocative writer, David Mamet's interest in anti-Semitism is not limited to the modern face of an ancient hatred but encompasses as well the ways in which many Jews have themselves internalized that hatred. Using the metaphor of the Wicked Son at the Passover seder-the child who asks, "What does this story mean to you?"-Mamet confronts what he sees as an insidious predilection among some Jews to seek truth and meaning anywhere-in other religions, in political movements, in mindless entertainment-but in Judaism itself. At the same time, he explores the ways in which the Jewish tradition has long been and still remains the Wicked Son in the eyes of the world. Written with the searing honesty and verbal brilliance that is the hallmark of Mamet's work,The Wicked Sonis a scathing look at one of the most destructive and tenacious forces in contemporary life, a powerfully thought-provoking and important book. From the Hardcover edition.

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