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A.C.T.'s Mamet Writing Contest Winners Announced

American Conservatory Theater is excited to announce the 11 winners of the fourth Mamet writing contest, held in conjunction with A.C.T.'s West Coast premiere production of David Mamet's November-extended by popular demand through November 22. A.C.T. received 45 entries from all around California, as well as Texas, Chicago, and New York. The winning entries range from a hilarious take on Sarah Palin's infamous resignation speech to a funny look at the planners of the Boston Tea Party. Members of A.C.T.'s acclaimed Master of Fine Arts Program will present the winning pieces in public readings in Fred's Columbia Room at the American Conservatory Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco) following the performances of November on Friday, November 13, and Saturday, November 14. The general public is welcome to attend these late-night events. For more information about the contest, please see

The guidelines for the contest focused on political content to match Mamet's presidential farce, November, and the entries ranged from downright hilarious sketches to hard-hitting takes on American politics. Vice President Joe Biden, Senator John McCain, and impeached governor Rod Blagojevich all get their due in the winning entries, but Sarah Palin seems to have provided the strongest inspiration, with three of the winning entries focusing on her failed bid for the vice presidency and her resignation speech from her post as the governor of Alaska. Quite a few writers found interest in historical events, with one especially funny entry presenting a "historically inaccurate and politically incorrect" take on the infamous Hamilton-Burr duel.

Winning entries performing on Friday, November 13:

· Glenbelly Glen Watson, by Timothy Faust of San Francisco, CA, a lighthearted and surprisingly aggressive exchange between Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson regarding the invention of the telephone
· The Corrupt Bargain, by Ellen Cassidy of Palo Alto, CA, a frenetic dispute between Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay in the moments before Clay threw the 1824 presidential election to John Quincy Adams
· When Joe Met Sarah, by Peter N. Chumo II of Oakland, CA, a hypothetical predebate exchange between the 2008 vice presidential candidates
· 31 Degrees, by Megan O'Patry of San Mateo, CA, in which physicist Richard Feynman and Rogers Commission chair William P. Rogers argue about Feynman's decision to issue a minority report regarding the explosion of the Challenger space shuttle
· Levene's Concession Speech, by Yolanda Yeb of San Francisco, CA, the forlorn Glengarry GLen Ross salesman's concession speech after a failed bid for city councilman

Winning entries performing on Saturday, November 14:

· American Blago, by Joshua Hill of New York, NY, a hilarious glimpse behind the Blagojevich impeachment hearings
· Hamilton and Burr, by Elijah Guo of Berkeley, CA, an admittedly "historically inaccurate and politically incorrect" take on the infamous Hamilton-Burr duel
· American Idol, by Michael Sachs of Los Angeles, CA, in which John McCain and some trusted advisers reflect upon his running mate selection
· Grenada, Granada, by Henry Tenenbaum of San Mateo, CA, a witty tongue twister in which President Reagan clarifies exactly which country he's invading
· Paint and Feathers, by Maggie McCally of San Francisco, CA, a conversation between a hard-boiled cobbler and his young apprentice about the impending Boston Tea Party
· Sarah Opts Out, by Shirley King of Benicia, CA, a Mametized revision of Sarah Palin's infamous resignation speech

Photo credit: Walter McBride

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