The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, a play written by Edward Albee, premiered on Broadway at the John Golden Theatreon 10 March 2002 where it ran for 309 performances. A production opened in London in 2004.
Albee's sub-title for the play is "(Notes toward a definition of tragedy)". The word tragedy comes from the Greek for "goat song".
The tale of a married, middle-aged architect, Martin, his wife Stevie, and their son Billy, whose lives crumble when he falls in love with a goat, the play focuses on the limits of an ostensibly liberal society. Through showing this family in crisis, Albee challenges audience members to question their own morality in the face of other social taboos including infidelity, pedophilia, incest and, of course, bestiality.
The name of the play refers to the song "Who is Sylvia" from Shakespeare's play The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Proteus sings this song, hoping to woo Silvia. Franz Schubert's setting of the song contributed to its popularity outside Shakespeare's play. It is also referred to in an earlier work of Albee's, "Finding the Sun" (1982).
Awards and nominations