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Speed-the-Plow Summary
David Mamet

Everything you need to understand or teach Speed-the-Plow by David Mamet.

  • Speed-the-Plow Summary & Study Guide
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  • 30 Speed-the-Plow Lessons
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  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
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Speed-the-Plow Summary


David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow is one of several successful plays he has written about the business world. Filled with Mamet's trademark, rapid-fire dialogue, Speed-the-Plow focuses on the ruthless nature of Hollywood and the movie industry. Mamet was familiar with this environment, having written several produced screenplays in the 1980s. The title Speed-the-Plow is derived from an old English farming phrase which was used to confer good luck and a swift and profitable ploughing. Critics and scholars have speculated that Mamet might be comparing Hollywood's fast pace and profit motivations to this past, for in the play cold business fact wins out over artistry and idealism.

Speed-the-Plow was first produced on Broadway in the Royale Theater, opening on May 3,1988. The play was a box office success even before opening night, in part because pop star and cultural icon Madonna played the role of Karen, the temporary secretary. Advanced ticket sales exceeded...

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Study Pack

The Speed-the-Plow Study Pack contains about 91 pages of study material in 6 products, including:

Speed-the-Plow Study Guide

Lesson Plan

All teaching products sold separately.

Speed-the-Plow Lesson Plans contain 113 pages of teaching material, including:

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