Book of Mormon, iHo, Good People, Other Desert Cities, Jerusalem Among Titles in "Best Plays Theater Yearbook"

News   Book of Mormon, iHo, Good People, Other Desert Cities, Jerusalem Among Titles in "Best Plays Theater Yearbook"
The ten "Best Plays" chosen for the annual "Best Plays Theater Yearbook" chronicling the 2010-2011 U.S. theatre season were announced Sept. 19 by editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins. The playwrights include Jon Robin Baitz, Tony Kushner, Amy Herzog and Robert Lopez, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

The works in the 92nd edition, to be published by Limelight Editions, include (in alphabetical order):

After the Revolution by Amy Herzog (essayist, Jeffrey Sweet)
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph (essayist, David Barbour)
The Book of Mormon by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone (essayist, Una Chaudhuri)
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by Lynn Nottage (essayist, Elisabeth Vincentelli)
Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire (essayist, David Cote)
In the Wake by Lisa Kron (essayist, Jill Dolan)
The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures by Tony Kushner (essayist, Charles Wright)
Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth (essayist, Christopher Rawson)
The Motherf**ker With the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis (essayist, Jason Zinoman)
Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz (essayist, John Istel)

The "Best Plays Yearbook" is a tradition that dates back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual.

In addition to the Best Plays of 2010-2011, the volume also spotlights three regional plays cited in the Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Awards and Citations competition, which is administered by the American Theatre Critics Association. The "Best Plays Theater Yearbook" will again offer a comprehensive collection of facts and figures about the year in United States theatre.

The ten Best Plays of 2010-2011 were chosen from Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions of new plays (works by foreign writers included) that opened between June 1, 2010, and May 31, 2011. The choices were made by the editor after consultation with the "Best Plays Theater Yearbook" editorial board, which includes Misha Berson, Julie York Coppens, David Cote, 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. Robert Brustein is consulting editor to the series. Jenkins, who will write about the Broadway and Off-Broadway season for the volume, noted that "although expletives flew with abandon in plays and musicals alike, a kind of poetry arose from the earthy language employed by playwrights. These authors asked significant questions about the nature of human experience, often providing answers filled with a heady admixture of pain, profanity and pleasure."

For the 92nd edition, George Jean Nathan Award winner Sylviane Gold will write about the Off-Off-Broadway scene.

A "Best Plays" Special Citation will go to War Horse by Nick Stafford and Michael Morpurgo (essayist, Michael Sommers).

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Award and Citations, administered by the American Theatre Critics Association, are for Circles by Bill Cain (New Play Award, essayist Wm. T. Hirschman), produced by Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, CA; The Good Counselor by Kathryn Grant (Citation, essayist Peter Filichia), produced by Premiere Stages in Union, NJ; The History of Invulnerability by David Bar Katz (Citation, essayist Rick Pender), produced by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati, OH.

Jenkins remarked, "It will come as no surprise to anyone who has used the internet, seen a Kindle or handled an iPad that the economics of publishing books has shifted dramatically. With the support of our steadfast publisher, John Cerullo, and our new editorial staff, managed by Jennifer Ashley Tepper, we have begun to get 'Best Plays' moving in the right direction again. Our greatest thanks, however, go to the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, without which 'Best Plays' might well cease to exist."

Other donors have agreed to help the series expand its reach in print, in electronic formats and on the web. More details will be announced. A publication date will be announced.


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