Interview with director David Saint about Arthur Laurents book “Mainly on Directing”

David Saint is a Director who was very close to Arthur Laurents.  After Arthur’s death, David was left in charge of his literary estate.


The Playbill Collector (TPC): How did you first meet Arthur Laurents?

David Saint (DS): I was directing a show in New York City called AFTER PLAY, and he had seen the show.  We had coffee and a meal and really hit it off.  My agent told me I had a script from him to look over, but she advised me not to work with him because she said he could be a monster.  I read the script, loved it and never looked back.


TPC: What was the first Arthur Laurents show you directed?



TPC: In total, how many shows of his did you direct?

DS: Eleven.


TPC: You are currently in charge of Arthur Laurents’ book about the making of GYPSY, WEST SIDE STORY and other musicals called “Mainly on Directing.” What more can you tell us about the book?

DS: The book was meant to be a reference book for people in the theater.  It should help young directors get an insider’s glimpse into musical theater.  This book became Arthur’s chance to put down in writing what he learned over the years about the art of directing the musical.


TPC: Were you part of the writing process?

DS: Well yes, I was sitting next to him throughout the whole thing.  Whenever he was writing new things, he would use me and Tom [Hatcher] to bounce things off of.


TPC: Does anything stand out that you want people to know about Arthur?

DS: GYPSY and WEST SIDE STORY are in the top five musicals of all time.  This is the only man who has written the books for more than one of the top five musicals.  It’s extraordinary.


TPC: What is your current position?

DS: I am the Artistic Director at George Street Playhouse.  Arthur previewed many of his shows at my theater, and we had a great working and personal friendship through the years.


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