Goodman uses the occasion to examine the pros and cons of reading plays. However, the most interesting bit is revealed in just the first paragraph.
Of course, we know from the periodic NEA surveys of arts participation that just under 10 percent of our population even sees theatrical plays. But how many READ them?
Here is Goodman:
Every year, scores of plays are published in book form. Most come from specialized publishers like Samuel French or Playscripts, whose target audiences are mostly theater companies planning to produce the works. But a handful of important modern plays are published each year by academic and trade presses, and they’re intended for … whom? People, somewhere, who just enjoy reading drama. And the number of people for whom that is true is pitifully small: according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 75 percent of print sales nationwide, the three Tony nominees for best play currently available—, , and , all in stores six months or more—have sold a of 7,400 copies.