A.C.T. sponsors Mamet contest

Potential scribes must have handle on 'Mametspeak'

In conjunction with its production of the world premiere adaptation of Harvey Granville-Barker’s “The Voysey Inheritance” by David Mamet, San Francisco’s A.C.T. will revive the David Mamet writing contest first conducted in conjunction with the company’s staging of “American Buffalo” in the 2002-03 season.

The writing contest encourages entrants to emulate “Mametspeak” by authoring an original three-page scene, featuring no more than four characters, written to be performed.

Winning submissions will be performed by members of the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program at open readings in Fred’s Columbia Room at the Geary Theater on April 1-2.

“When we conducted the Mamet writing contest before our production of ‘American Buffalo’ in 2003, we expected a modest number of entries, mostly from true Mamet aficionados and local theater die-hards,” said A.C.T. audience development manager Randy Taradash. “Little did we know how quickly word would spread and that we’d be met with hundreds of entries, from locations as far away as Manhattan and southern Florida.”

The winning scripts from A.C.T.’s last Mamet writing contest ranged in styles from a Mametian take on the reality TV show “Survivor” (featuring the characters from “American Buffalo”) to classic tales by Shakespeare and Dr. Seuss as they might be reinterpreted by Mamet.

The new version closely adheres to the themes of “The Voysey Inheritance,” a Victorian-era drama involving the fate of a family business that has been secretly cheating its clients for generations.

Contest entrants are required to submit a scene that fits one of three categories: a scene depicting a family (fictional or nonfictional) facing an ethical crisis or moral dilemma, written in Mamet’s style; an adaptation of a period play, as written by Mamet (i.e. “David Mamet’s Hamlet”); or a scene depicting contemporary characters from a Mamet work placed in a period setting (i.e. the characters from “Glengarry Glen Ross” in Elizabethan times).

Submissions may be e-mailed as a Word attachment to writingcontest@act-sf.org or sent as hard copies to Mamet Writing Contest, A.C.T., 30 Grant Ave., 6th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108.

Scenes must be no longer than three pages, double-spaced, featuring a maximum of four characters. All submissions must include a Mamet writing contest cover sheet that can be downloaded from the A.C.T. Web site, http://www.act-sf.org

All submissions must be received by the end of the day on March 18; the winners will be notified by March 23.

A complete list of contest rules and regulations can be found on A.C.T.’s Web site, www.act-sf.org.

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