There are a number of similarities between Philadelphia playwright Bruce Graham and Gavin Miller, the main character in Graham’s play, According to Goldman.
Both are screenwriters who teach at a university. Both have wives who love to cook.
But there are also vast differences between the writer and his character.
“People assume I’m Gavin. I’m not,” Graham said. “I’ve never lived in Los Angeles and I’ve never wanted to live in Los Angeles. I did pretty well in the movie business but I never lived there and the thought of going there makes me nauseous.”
Graham’s screenplay credits include Dunston Checks In and Anastasia. Even though it’s been a few years since his last movie, his playwriting career is on a roll. He’s the most produced playwright in the Philly region this season, with upcoming productions at Theatre Exile, the Arden Theatre, and Passage Theatre. Graham is also a successful television writer; he’s currently the co-executive producer of the Hallmark Channel show Cedar Cove.
Gavin, by contrast, has little else going for him at the beginning of the play other than his teaching career.
“The desperation this guy has – I’m lucky I’ve never had that. I’ve had too many other ways to make a living,” Graham said.
For Graham, “being in the movie business was always a means to an end so I could write plays.”
The title of According to Goldman comes from screenwriter William Goldman’s famous quote that in Hollywood, “Nobody knows anything.”
The title doesn’t just refer to the movie business, Graham said. It’s also about marriage, and how sometimes husbands and wives don’t really know what’s going on with each other.
“When you’ve been married to someone for so long, sometimes you just wonder who they are,” Graham said.
-Act II Playhouse Communications Director Bill D’Agostino