Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts

First Committee Member

Jeffrey Koep

Number of Pages



David Mamet's American Buffalo, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Speed-the-Plow explore the damage American business has done to the human spirit. The frontier myth has evolved into exploitative capitalism where competition becomes an obstacle for community and friendship. The characters in these plays try to establish and define their identities by their particular status within the business hierarchy. Unfortunately the nature of competition creates an environment in which the characters use each other's needs and vulnerabilities for their own gain. To openly express the need for love and community in this climate is to expose weakness. Fear of revealing such vulnerability prohibits Mamet's characters from accepting their real needs. The conflict between the need for community and the fear of rejection from society because of a weak position within the business structure relegates them to compromised versions of truth and the identities they seek.


American; Buffalo; Claiming; David; Effects; Glengarry; Glenn; Human; Identity; Mamet; Myth; Plow; Relationships

Controlled Subject

Theater; American literature

File Format


File Size

1505.28 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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