Available from Limelight Editions, the 521-page tome is a permanent record of the 2001-2002 theatre season. Under series editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, the release honors ten New York-based dramas, three plays from resident theatres as well as facts and figures about the theatre season in and around the country. This year's edition also honors the late Al Hirschfeld, whose drawings illustrated the series' pages for 50 years. About the "Best Plays" series, Hirschfeld once quipped — with a nod to Cole Porter — "When other books have been forgot, ours will still be hot." Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off Off-Broadway plays that opened between June 1, 2001, and May 31, 2002, were eligible for consideration, and the choices were made by Jenkins after consultation with the Best Plays editorial board. The 2001-2002 board comprised Robert Brustein, Tish Dace, Christine Dolen, Mel Gussow, Robert Hurwitt, John Istel, Chris Jones, Julius Novick, Michael Phillips, Christopher Rawson, Alisa Solomon, Jeffrey Sweet, Linda Winer and Charles Wright.
The Best Plays of 2001–2002 are Big Love by Charles L. Mee (essayist, John Istel); Breath Boom by Kia Corthron (essayist, Michael Feingold); The Dazzle by Richard Greenberg (essayist, Donald Lyons); Franny's Way by Richard Nelson (essayist, Charles Wright); The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman (essayist, Chris Jones); The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? by Edward Albee (essayist, Charles Isherwood); Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner (essayist, Jennifer de Poyen); Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman (essayist, Christopher Rawson); [sic] by Melissa James Gibson (essayist, Bruce Weber); Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks (essayist, Margaret B. Wilkerson). A special citation was also awarded to Elaine Stritch at Liberty by Elaine Stritch and John Lahr (essayist, Michael Sommers).
The book, which includes photographic highlights from each honored play, sells for $47.50. For more information, go to www.BestPlaysOnline.com.