Posts Tagged ‘william goldman’

I have been reading William Goldman’s The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway. You may remember Goldman as the author of such films as The Princess Bride or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and the script doctor for many, many more. In 1968, he saw every show during the Broadway season, talked to critics, directors, actors, writers, ushers, ticket sellers. He had a study commissioned to see why people go to the theater. Goldman knows what he’s doing, and for as crabby and sarcastic and bitchy he is about his material, it’s plain that he has enormous affection for Broadway, and for the theater in general.

There’s a lot in this book that isn’t really particularly useful, anymore. The box office and budget numbers, for instance, must be adjusted for inflation since 1968. At the time, Goldman’s study showed that fully a third of Broadway audiences were out-of-towners; I suspect that this number is even higher now. And, of course, the mechanics of the Broadway theater industry are peculiar to Broadway, and don’t really apply in places like Philadelphia.

But there is one thing that remains as true fifty or so years later, and that is dramaturgy.