Off-Broadway's Mint Theatre has dedicated itself to blowing the dust off forgotten American plays and giving the rescued works a much-needed professional mounting — often at the risk of the play not finding a contemporary audience. This artistic recipe won the Mint an Obie grant last spring and has won them a hit in the current The Voice of the Turtle by John van Druten, a co-production with the Keen Company.
Now, coming on its 10-year anniversary, the Mint has brought together some of its bigger successes into the new compendium, "Worthy but Neglected: Plays of the Mint Theatre Company." Among the included works are two rarely seen Pulitzer Prize-winners, Susan Glaspell's once controversial Alison's House, and Zona Gale's domestic drama, Miss Lulu Bett; novelist Thomas Wolfe's all-but-lost early play Welcome to Our City; Edith Wharton and Clyde Fitch's adaptation of Wharton's The House of Mirth; and A.A. Milne's 1920 work Mr. Pim Passes By. Rounding out the collection are Diana of Dobson's by Cecily Hamilton and Rutherford and Son by Githa Sowerby.
Mint artistic director Jonathan Bank has written an introduction and Martin Denton, the editor of the "Plays and Playwrights" anthology series, penned a forward. Introductions to individual plays were scripted by Banks, Lisa Bostnar, J. Ellen Gainor, Yvonne Shafer, Richard S. Kennedy, Eleanor Reissa and Richard Corley.
The book will be released in March 2002. The Mint is publishing the volume itself. List price is $15.95.
—By Robert Simonson