Ruby Lewis by Victoria Kait, Circumpunct Studio

Speed-The-Plow Comes to The Gateway Theatre: Exclusive Interview with Ruby Lewis

Foursome Productions and Adriano Aragon have announced the limited San Francisco’s engagement of David Mamet’s SPEED-THE-PLOW, directed by Peter Allas.

The production will run from March 18 – April 4, 2020 at San Francisco’s Gateway Theatre.

Tickets range from $30 – $65 (with group discounts available) and can be purchased at

The cast of SPEED-THE-PLOW includes  Ruby Lewis as “Karen, ” the role played by Madonna in the original Broadway production some years ago.

SPEED-THE-PLOW runs approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes with 2 intermissions.

As promised, here is an exclusive interview with Ms. Lewis:

Cultural Currents: Karen is a challenging role to take on in this day and age…what’s changed about Hollywood when the play was first staged in the last century?

Ruby Lewis: Over 30 years later, and this material maintains its relevance and stands as a satirical exposé on Hollywood and many offsets of it. While we have made great strides in the industry there is still a gross inequality. The role of Karen is a challenge in itself, despite the Me Too Movement. I think Karen stands for naivete and could be played male or female. The challenge to me comes in the honest conviction she espouses and the delicate dance she finds herself in with someone much more powerful than her.

CC: How do you prepare for this role? Any special exercises, for example?

Lewis: Overcoming self doubt was the first order of business. Mamet is poetry, and should be treated as such. The initial memorization has taken a good deal of repetition, hand-writing lines over and over again. Reciting monologues in the car, in the shower, before bed… now the exercise is injecting life into the role and getting it on its feet. The rehearsal room has become a playground, and as my costars and myself continue to massage the text, we are finding the rhythm and the honesty in it.

CC: What should the audience expect from this production?

Lewis: While parts of the play can be quite dramatic, we are definitely painting the piece in a comedic light. It’s poking fun at the industry and at people who take themselves too seriously. The audience will be surprised by many easter eggs, planted on the set, incorporated in the audio design… It’s satire, it’s period, it’s topical, it’s quick and it’s damn fun.

CC: Bay Crossings readers spend a lot of time on the ferry. Would this be a good script for them to bring along on the journey?

Lewis: This play, in true Mamet style, reads fast and furious. It’s a ton of fun to take on, as you are immediately transported to the Hollywood executives bougie office, immediately invested in who’s gonna screw who.

CC: Finally, how do you unwind after rehearsals and performances? Any particular restaurants and/or bars?

Lewis: It has been exactly 10 years since I spent time in SF. A lot has changed! I’m a foodie and a wino, so this scene is particularly tantalizing to me. Many nights, I will likely take myself home, draw a bath and cook myself dinner, as I use that as my meditation. But I welcome any and all suggestions, please slip into my DMs and tell me your can’t miss!