Essays about the ten plays will be featured in the upcoming tome, the latest in the acclaimed series that dates back to 1920. Jenkins, in consultation with his editorial board — Misha Berson, Christine Dolen, Sylviane Gold, Robert Hurwitt, John Istel, Chris Jones, Charles McNulty, Julius Novick, Christopher Rawson, Alisa Solomon, Jeffrey Sweet, Anne Marie Welsh, Linda Winer and Charles Wright and consulting editor Robert Brustein — chose the top-ten list from a mix of Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions. Plays up for consideration opened between June 1, 2008 and May 31, 2009.
The ten plays chosen and the essayists who will write about them follow:
Becky Shaw by Gina Gionfriddo (essayist, Charles Wright)
Blasted by Sarah Kane (essayist, Alisa Solomon)
The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson (essayist, Jill Dolen)
Ruined by Lynn Nottage (essayist, Awam Amkpa)
33 Variations by Moisés Kaufman (essayist, Nelson Pressley)
Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them by Christopher Durang (essayist, Garrett Eisler)
A special citation was also given to Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell's [title of show]; essay penned by Michael Sommers.
In addition to the plays, the 90th edition of the series also honors three regional plays (E.M. Lewis' Song of Extinction, produced by Moving Arts in Los Angeles, CA; Lee Blessing's Great Falls, produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville in Louisville, KY; and Tracy Letts' Superior Donuts produced by Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, IL) and provides a collection of facts and figures about the year in American theatre.
Limelight Editions will publish "Best Plays of 2008-2009" in early 2010. For more information visit www.bestplays.org.