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Playwright, Writer and Director David Mamet to Visit Campus to Work with Students

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posted: Friday February 1, 2008

AUSTIN, Texas — David Mamet, author of more than 50 plays and 25 screenplays that have earned him a Pulitzer Prize, Oscar nominations and a Tony Award, will visit The University of Texas at Austin campus the first week of February to speak and meet with students in the James A. Michener Center for Writers and the departments of Radio-Television-Film, Theatre and Dance, and English.

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center acquired Mamet's archive in 2007. In support of the archive, Mamet will contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by joining the university community in a series of short residencies for four years, this being the first one. During these residencies, Mamet may be a guest lecturer in various courses, work with students on the production of a play and give readings, lectures and public addresses.

"David Mamet is one of the most important American playwrights of the last 40 years," said Charlotte Canning, professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. "His experiences writing for film, as well as non-fiction, and his work in theater training make him an immensely valuable resource for UT students planning a career in performance."

Mamet will visit the class of English Professor Doug Bruster, who has included Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Glengarry Glen Ross" (1983) in his curriculum this semester.

"Having a writer of world stature like this available to share his thoughts-while we're studying one of his finest plays-it's an unbelievably fine opportunity for the students," said Bruster.

Mamet's archive, which is made up of more than 100 boxes of material, covers his entire career and contains manuscripts, journals, office and production files, correspondence and multiple drafts of each of his works, including the acclaimed plays "American Buffalo" (1975) and "Glengarry Glen Ross" and screenplays "The Untouchables" (1987), "The Spanish Prisoner" (1997) and "Wag the Dog" (1997). These materials record the writing and revision of all of his published texts, as well as several that are unpublished or were abandoned.

The archive is being processed and cataloged, and the Center estimates it will be finished and available to the public in 2009.

There will also be a public component of Mamet's visit as he discusses his career and work with Austin Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires for the 2008 Harry Middleton Lecture Series on Monday, Feb. 4, at 6:30 p.m. at Hogg Auditorium on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

Tickets are required for this event. All tickets have been distributed for this event, but there will be a stand-by line beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Hogg Auditorium the day of the event to fill unclaimed seats. Seating is not guaranteed for guests in the stand-by line.

Mamet's visit is sponsored jointly by the Ransom Center, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Fine Arts, the College of Communication, the Michener Center for Writers, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, and the LBJ Foundation.

High-resolution press images of Mamet and items from his archive are available.

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