Mamet’s works reflects a minimalist approach and it would appear that, given the meaning and elements of narrative in the performing arts, Mamet’s minimalist approach was demonstratively more inconsistent with the narrative process. This research study analyses Mamet’s contention that actor training limits the narrative process is undermined by his work. It is concluded that Mamet’s approach to acting is formalistic and although his approach to acting is interesting, actor training helps to create academy award winners none of whom can be accused of letting their acting techniques limit the narrative process. In fact, actor training is a more certain way of ensuring that the narrative process flows fluidly. Table of Contents Abstract 2 Introduction 5 Narrative in Film and the Visual Arts 5 Definitions 5 Narrative in Film and the Visual Arts 6 Actor Training and Acting Styles and Techniques 8 Mamet’s Works and The Narrative Process 10 Conclusion 20 Bibliography 21 Certification I certify that this dissertation is original and any ideas or material that are not the authors is properly cited and credited using Chicago referencing format. Introduction The fact that David Mamet’s claim that actor training limits the narrative process is undermined by his own work, is not surprising. As both a writer and director, Mamet’s works often contradict his style and philosophies. For example, Mamet’s writing is replete with realism, however, his directing produces minimalist styles rather than realism.1 This dissertation focuses on the contradiction between Mamet’s claim that actor training limits the narrative and his own work. It is hypothesized that Mamet’s claim is limited by his understanding of the narrative process as a screenwriter and playwright, yet his work reflects a directing style that understands that acting, directing, choreography and the ensemble of scenes and sounds produce a seamless narrative. In order to explore and test this hypothesis this dissertation is divided into three main parts. The first part of this dissertation describes and analyses narrative in the film and visual arts. The second part of this dissertation analysing actor training and the styles contemplated by actor training. The third part of this dissertation demonstrates how Mamet’s claim is undermined by his claim. Narrative in Film and the Visual Arts Definitions According to action theory, narrative is story telling that moves the plot along. Thus narrative is action within a story that moves the plot along and this is usually driven by action and character.2 The theory of narratology of drams is represented in two ways. Prior to the 20th century, narratology of drams limited the concept and definition of drama to “the verbal transmission of fictional stories”.3 However, as the landscape of fiction changed, there was an increasing interest in narrative in all forms, including paintings. Thus the theory of narratology of drama took into account the fact that there were “extranarrative” forms that not only helped to tell a story, but was a manifestation of the story itself.4 The theory of narratology of drama is now connected more firmly with the idea that narrative is any text that tells a story and narrative is therefore comprised of “temporal structure, a set of characters, and a setting.”5 Depending on the discipline, narrative can have a restrictive or very broad meaning. For example in psychology, narrative narrowly contemplates
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David Mamet's Claim that Actor Training Limits the Narrative Process is Undermined by his own Work By Course Institution Date Abstract David Mamet was opposed to method acting and maintained that actors trained in method acting became organic and as such limits the narrative process…
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