How to Succeed Dramaturgy

By Sabrina KhanSenior Plogger How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is a musical comedy about a clever window washer, J. Pierrepont Finch, attempting to rise up the ranks of the World Wide Wicket Company using the book How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. The musical is based on a self-help satire written by Sheperd Mead in 1952: How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying; The Dastard’s Guide to Fame and Fortune. He worked for an advertising agency in 1936 as a mail-room clerk, and worked his way up to a vice-presidency by 1956, when he left to pursue a writing career. It was the first many similar titles such as How to Succeed With Women Without Really Trying and How to Stay Medium-Young Practically Forever Without Really Trying. The book that started it all became a bestseller and eventually adapted into a musical in 1961. Its story was then awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and two Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Book in 1962. While the plot can be interpreted as old fashioned (and even somewhat sexist), it’s also a comical look at the corporate landscape in any time period - especially in light of the recent recession and financial scandals on Wall Street.