David Mamet

Lesson time 6:53 min

David outlines what he'll cover in this class, and the best mindset you can have to learn how to write great drama.

David Mamet
Teaches Dramatic Writing
The Pulitzer Prize winner teaches you everything he's learned across 26 video lessons on dramatic writing.
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A, B, C. A always B. B be C closing. Always be closing. I don't understand what anything means. You want to learn the first rule? You'd know if you ever spent a day in your life. What do you want me to do? Teach me. I want you to teach me. What do you mean? I talk to him about this? Yeah. Are you just talking about this, or are we just talking about it? We were just speaking about it. Speaking about it as an idea. What I hope I'm doing, and here's where your English paper has got a point is, I'm responding to the will of the people. You laughing now? No, there are people out there. People who came here to know something they didn't know. Who came here to be helped. I've been in this business 15 years. What's your name? Fuck you. That's my name. I think you're angry. Oh. Have I got your attention now? Good. They say when the student is prepared, that the teacher appears. So the same is true of most of the lessons you're going to learn in any-- I don't know if any art, but certainly in any craft. When you're ready to learn it, you will. If you want to and if you need to, and if you don't want to and you don't need to, you ain't ready yet. Or maybe you don't want to. I always say the arts, in my experience, is like running away to the circus. If you've got something to fall back on, the circus doesn't need you. The circus doesn't want you. You've got to run away, say OK. I'll leave, but you're going to have to kill me. And that's one of the great things I found in this wonderful show business. And also in the movies is the kid who shows up and says, what can I do? And you say, nothing. Get out of here. The kid keeps coming back. A week later you say, for Christ's sake, give me a cup of coffee and get out of here. By the end of the third week, you're saying where's that kid? Right? And at the end of the movie you're saying, kid, what do you want to do next? It's magnificent. But I always thought that being a writer is a lot like being a beaver. That beavers-- their teeth itch. And so that's why they cut down trees. Because that's the only thing that stops their teeth from driving them crazy. And so I think that I'm kind of leaning with it's not the teeth, it's my consciousness. It's is the same thing. How can I get it to shut up for a while? Give it a different-- give it a problem that it likes. And so once in a while the problem that likes-- is unpleasant. But what else am I going to do. I'm not going to play golf. I think I'm going to talk about a unified field theory of aesthetics. And if anyone is still listening after that, you're probably even more caffeinated than I am. So I've always been fascinated by the idea that exists a unified field theory where we can regularize the way we perceive with the way that ...

Write great drama

David Mamet sat in on a poker game full of thieves and left with the inspiration for American Buffalo. Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Glengarry Glen Ross takes you through his process for turning life’s strangest moments into dramatic art. In his writing class, he’ll teach you the rules of drama, the nuances of dialogue, and the skills to develop your own voice and create your masterpiece.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

David help lay a great foundation of the writing process for beginners. I'm so glad he shared these lessons and look forward to applying these tools.

I will be applying the plot line to my stories.

Although I have technically finished David Mamet's Master Class, the insight, wisdom, and inspiration I have garnered from his lessons are endless. Mamet embodies his teaching completely making him truly a "living testimony" of his words . His generosity of expertise, spirit and heart has made this one of or possibly the best class I have ever taken in my life...and that is no joke.

This was the best class I've seen so far and one of the most informative pieces of content I've ever seen. Ever. It was fantastic.



I've been watching a few classes. And this being just an introductory one, tells me I'm going to get more than my monies worth.

Judy M.

This is truly a master class. Funny, philosophical, erudite, insightful and marvelous.

Janet M.

David Mamet's point about tragedy requiring recognition and reversal, provides insight and focus. Being reminded of the King of Thebes I just went to read it and the writing, the words, are so rich and expressive, and what a lens to have that this tragedy is headed for recognition and reversal. The course travels solidly along basic theories and history and builds on that inviting me to be a part of it. I love that.

Maia T.

Utterly splendid. David Mamet is quintessentially human and very approachable, while, at the same time, scathingly brilliant and just shy of godlike to serious (and also comedic) writers. After taking this class whilst filling up a notebook with "Aha!" scribblings, he is most definitely someone with whom I would be happy to be stranded with in a blizzard (providing we didn't actually die, although, what a way to go.) Despite his apparent sincere hatred of cilantro and kale (were you force-fed Socal cuisine as a child, David?) I just love this guy and learned a ton. Thank you for sharing your immense experiencial talent with us!

Drew T.

This is my second time through the whole program and I only had to listen to a couple of minutes before my "teeth" started itching. Brilliant. Love it.

Rosemary D.

It gave me some great advice, which I need in order to work on my writing again.

Nicholas P.

Listening to these writers is extremely helpful, because it seems that we all have the same problems getting the job started and done from beginning to end. Writing is much like fitness and the martial arts. Only you can do it. No one can do it for you. Granted, an editor will be a huge benefit, but fighters have to do enormous amounts of training and conditioning before being developed and taken to the next step by a great coach. You may have a great coach and corner team, but we are those who have to fight in the ring. Shout out to Mr. Mamet from Ivica Simic, we had worked together in Seattle Children's theater in 1994, and while I was driving around down town Seattle, Ivica rolled down the window to say hey, but you had already gone into your destination. Sorry about the delay, I hope you and Ivica have spoken since then.

Peter K.

Many of Mr. Mamet's propositions and summations are intriguing. I'm not yet sure what I think of this as a lesson. It depends on where it goes from here. I know I was entertained by the way Mr. Mamet speaks and I'm eager to go on.

Maureen E.

I love David Mamet's plays. I signed up because of him and now I know why. I am ready.

Mitchell F.

I can tell this is going to be worth it. Ready to throw away my preconceptions.