David Mamet Prohibits Post-Show Talkbacks at His Plays | Playbill

Industry News David Mamet Prohibits Post-Show Talkbacks at His Plays Violation of the new restriction risks the loss of license and a $25,000 penalty.
David Mamet Courtesy of MasterClass

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet has prohibited theatres from hosting post-show discussion within two hours of a performance. A violation of this new clause, outlined in the license for any Mamet play, risks the loss of performance rights and a fine of $25,000 for every post-show talkback, The Guardian reports.

Peter Hagan, president of the Dramatists Play Service in New York, said that the clause has been in action since March this year.

In April, the Detroit-based Outvisible Theatre Company was forced to cancel a planned talkback during its run of Mamet’s play Oleanna after learning of the contract update.

The new clause has since re-ignited discussion within the theatre community about the extent to which a playwright should control his or her vision for his or her play. Similarly, the Edward Albee Estate came under fire earlier this year after withdrawing the rights to a production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? upon learning that a black actor would be cast in a role outlined by Albee as blue eyed and blond. Playwrights, actors, and directors each weighed in with whether a playwright should have such authority.


Mamet’s newest work, The Penitent, debuted Off-Broadway this spring at Atlantic Theater Company. His plays China Doll, The Anarchist, Glengarry Glen Ross, A Life in the Theatre, and Race are among those that have been produced on Broadway. He is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Glengarry Glen Ross, for which he also earned his first of two Tony nominations.
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