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'A Life in the Theater' Blurs the Lines Between Acting & Real Life


David Mamet is one of this country’s great playwrights.  From plays such as American Buffalo to Glengarry Glenross, to Oleanna and Speed the Plow, Mamet’s is a particularly American voice.

This weekend, a very early play from his canon is on stage at the Alchemist Theater.  “A Life in the Theater” is directed by Jill Anna Ponasik and starring Jim Pickering and David Sapiro. The play includes hallmarks of Mamet's later work, such as intense characters, revealing dialouge, and a mentor/teacher relationship. It also describes life in the theater from an actor's point of view, so for Sapiro, the meta-truth of Mamet's play is particularly astounding.

"We can joke about it, but it's so true...the line between us as actors and a director rehearsing this play and what's happening on stage blurs tremendously," he says.

Sapiro, Pickering and Ponasik visited the Lake Effect studio recently to discuss the play, and even act out a few scenes:

“A Life in the Theatre” opens Friday night at the Alchemist Theatre in Bay View and runs through mid-October. 

Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.