David Mamet

David Mamet

Past Event: Tuesday, April 1, 2003

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

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Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet is the author of some of the best-known and most important plays in American theater, including American Buffalo (1977), Glengarry Glen Ross (1982), and Speed-the-Plow (1985). Born in 1947, Mamet grew up in a small Jewish neighborhood on the south side of Chicago and his plays often concern the everyday dramas of urban, working class people—the small-time con artist, the cutthroat salesman, the ingenious factory worker. He attributes his ear for dialogue to listening to his father talk and to several years of piano lessons, which gave him a feel for the musicality in speech. “Mamet deserves recognition for his careful, gorgeous, loving sense of language,” writes The Village Voice. “He has the most acute ear for dialogue of any American writer since J. D. Salinger.”

Mamet has also written numerous screenplays, including The Untouchables (1987), Wag the Dog (1997), and Ronin (1997). His awards include an Oscar, a Golden Globe Award, and a Tony. He received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1977 for American Buffalo. Mamet is also the author of several collections of essays and a collection of poems. He has taught at New York University, Goddard College, and the Yale Drama School.

Excerpt from Glengarry Glen Ross (1982)
AARONOW: How many leads have we got?
MOSS: The Glengarry… the premium leads… ? I’d say we got five thousand. Five. Five thousand leads.
AARONOW: And you’re saying a fella could take and sell these leads to Jerry Graff.
MOSS: Yes.
AARONOW: How do you know he’d buy them?
MOSS:: Graff? Because I worked for him.
AARONOW: You haven’t talked to him.
MOSS:: No. What do you mean? Have I talked to him about this? (Pause.)
AARONOW: Yes. I mean are you actually talking about this, or are we just…
MOSS: No, we’re just…
AARONOW: We’re just “talking” about it.
MOSS: We’re just speaking about it. (Pause.) As an idea.
AARONOW: As an idea.
MOSS: Yes.
AARONOW: We’re not actually talking about it.
AARONOW: Talking about it as a…
AARONOW: As a robbery.
MOSS: As a “robbery”?! No.
AARONOW: Well. Well…
MOSS: Hey. (Pause.)
AARONOW: So all this, um, you didn’t, actually, you didn’t actually go talk to Graff.
MOSS: Not actually, no. (Pause.)
AARONOW: You didn’t?
MOSS: No. Not actually.
AARONOW: Did you?
MOSS: What did I say?
AARONOW: What did you say?
MOSS: Yes. (Pause.) I said, “Not actually.” The fuck you care, George? We’re just talking…
AARONOW: We are?
MOSS: Yes. (Pause.)
AARONOW: Because, because, you know, it’s a crime.
MOSS: That’s right. It’s a crime. It is a crime. It’s also very safe.
AARONOW: You’re actually talking about this?
MOSS: That’s right. (Pause.)
AARONOW: You’re going to steal the leads?


Selected WorkThe Cryptogram (1995)Oleanna (1993)Some Freaks (1989)Uncle Vanya (1989)Speed-the-Plow (1985)Glenngarry Glen Ross (1982)Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1978)American Buffalo (1977)

LinksSalon.com interview with MametUnofficial David Mamet web siteDrama study guide to Glenngarry Glenn Ross

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the largest event space at Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.


All of our venues have accessible seating and listening devices available. Please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230 x10 for more details and to let us know you’re coming so we can better accommodate your needs.