A Life in the Theatre Essay

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Petrusso is a freelance writer and editor living in Austin, Texas. In this essay, Petrusso interprets the relationship between John and Robert in Mamet's play and argues that, despite most critics' interpretations, Robert depends on John from the beginning of the play.

Many critics who have written about David Mamet's A Life in the Theatre have maintained that Robert and John have a mentor-protégé relationship. Early on, they believe, Robert dominates the relationship, though the roles reverse as the play progresses. By the end, critics hold, John has matured and become the dominant person in the relationship. Catharine Hughes of America is one such critic. Writing about the original off-Broadway production in 1977, Hughes claims

At first, the older Robert is the obvious mentor, and John merely the subservient apprentice. But John begins to enjoy some success, and there is a considerable role reversal, which finds...

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This section contains 1,822 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the A Life in the Theatre Study Guide
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