David Mamet to Teach Online Drama Writing Course

david mamet
Courtesy of MasterClass

Holy [insert expletive here].

David Mamet, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, screenwriter, and director of such works as “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “American Buffalo,” and “Wag the Dog” will offer his first-ever online writing class through Silicon Valley startup MasterClass.

The class, which will cost $90, will launch later in the spring. In the course, Mamet will teach writing for both the theater and screen, with lessons on how to structure a plot, create compelling characters, write dialogue, and create a compelling scene. Pre-enrollment for Mamet’s class is open now (at this link).

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Here’s a serpentine statement from Mamet about his forthcoming MasterClass course: “I hope you will find my presentation diverting; you may even conclude, at some point, that the things I say are both true and useful. More likely, if they divert you, you may, some day, remember my class with affection, and, having had your own career, opine, as will then be your right, that I was good-hearted but misguided.”

The Chicago-born Mamet, well known for his profanity-laced dialogue, started his career with off-Broadway plays such as “The Duck Variations,” “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” and “American Buffalo.” He has gone on to write over 30 plays, more than 15 books, and screenplays for films including “The Verdict,” “Hoffa,” and “Wag the Dog.” In 1987, Mamet made his feature-film directorial debut with “House of Games.” He won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for “Glengarry Glen Ross” in 1984.

MasterClass, founded in 2015, has released about a dozen celebrity-led online courses to date, from Christina Aguilera (singing), Kevin Spacey (acting), James Patterson (writing), Dustin Hoffman (acting), Werner Herzog (filmmaking), Aaron Sorkin (screenwriting), Hans Zimmer (film scoring), for Shonda Rhimes (writing for television) and Steve Martin (comedy).

Watch a trailer for Mamet’s MasterClass course:

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  1. I might spend the $90, but Mamet shouldn’t disparage French cinema. The U.S. produces more garbage cinema per capita than any nation in the world. In fact, most of Hollywood is a foetid garbage dump. If Mamet were half the writer that Jean Pierre Melville was he’d be fortunate.

    • Tom says:

      Mr Mamet wrote many great plays and even more great screenplays original and adapted. But for my money the best first step a budding playwright can take is to read William Goldman’s “The Season”.

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