“Lie. Cheat. Steal. All In A Day’s Work.”
Blank Canvas Theatre is ready to roll out David Mamet’s fast-paced Glengarry Glen Ross beginning Friday, August 5, 2016. Playing through August 20, director Patrick Ciamacco is ready to expose all of the little gray areas of American morality.
Kate Klotzbach: Why do you feel that Glengarry Glen Ross is “more relevant than ever”?
Patrick Ciamacco: As we head into the heart of the election season, integrity and ethics are going to be fresh on our minds no matter which candidate you are voting for. Glengarry Glen Ross is simply a microcosm of the American capitalist society, showing the mechanics by which the rich only get richer. A struggle for control, power, and what we are willing to do to achieve that power or security.
KK: As a director, how do you begin to tackle a David Mamet piece?
PC: I think to truly create a show that draws the audience in, it’s important to just focus on the story, no matter who wrote it. Obviously concentrating on how the author penned the piece. David Mamet is known for his attention to detail in dialogue. All the characters of Glengarry Glen Ross have very specific speech patterns. Words are often omitted from sentences, and the grammar, though rarely “proper,” always seems natural and realistic. As a cast and staff we have spent a lot of time discussing each character, their motivations and backstory. We even had a wonderful cast bonding dinner, at a Chinese restaurant, and really flushed out the show.
KK: With high profile actors playing these roles in the stage and screen versions (ie – Richard Roma was played by Joe Mantegna in the 1984 Broadway play, and Al Pacino picked up the role in the film version), how did you go about casting these characters?
PC: Often when I am producing a show or even rehearsing a show, I try to stay away from any videos of productions. Even musicals I stop listening to the soundtrack and wait until I can hear our cast singing the songs. It had been almost 10 years since I have seen the movie and even longer since I have seen a live production. So when I went into auditions it was easier to cast based solely on the text. I feel it’s always best to make the production our own. Even at auditions and the first day of rehearsals I stated that I did not want to see Al Pacino or Kevin Spacey. It’s important for these actors to find their own versions of these characters.
KK: As it’s billed on the show art, “Lie. Cheat. Steal. All in a Day’s Work,” how do you connect with such a cynical tagline? Do you think most people can associate with parts of this? Or do you feel that most people are inherently honest when it comes to work? Life? Ethics?
PC: That tagline was used for the movie and, while it focuses on the story we are telling, I do think people can relate to it in some way. I would like to believe everyone in this world is inherently honest. While I hope that not everyone makes some of the decisions that take place in this show, I do think that in business and in life we often find ourselves at crossroads that test our integrity. Do I lie on a resume to get an interview? Should I enhance data to help sell my product? Should I bad mouth someone to make myself look better? None of these illegal, but sadly these and many more happen all the time. Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not. Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace. The characters in this show each have very different lines drawn in the sand.
KK: Your Benefit for Blank Canvas Theatre is coming up on September 3 – tell us what guests can expect this year? How can people get tickets? What’s the cost? Attire?
PC: We are halfway through our 5th season and our benefit will pay tribute to the work that has been done over the past 5 years! Dress is casual and tickets are available online and are only $25. This includes some food, a wonderful show and the chance to win some amazing raffle prizes.
“First prize is a Cadillac. Second prize is steak knives. Third prize? You’re fired. In David Mamet’s cutthroat world of real estate all that matters is the sale. In the midst of a high stakes sales competition, a group of tough-talking Chicago agents will do anything to close a deal and stay in the game—blackmail, bribery or even burglary.”
Glengarry Glen Ross* runs August 5-20, 2016 at Blank Canvas Theatre (at 78th Street Studios) – 1305 West 78th Street, Suite 211. Cleveland, OH 44102. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 7pm. Tickets are $18.
*This show contains adult language and content.
Chris D’Amico (George Aaronow)
Jeff Glover (Dave Moss)
Greg Mandryk (James Lingk)
Daniel McElhaney (Richard Roma)
Dave Moody (Baylen)
Darrell Starnik (Shelley Levene)
Daniel Scott Telford (John Williamson)
“Glengarry Glen Ross” cast photos courtesy of http://www.blankcanvastheatre.com