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 — 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 — 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, 2003, and May 31, 2004.
The ten plays chosen and the essayists who will write about them follow:
Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (Essay by Christine Dolen)
Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori (Essay by John Istel)
Frozen by Bryony Lavery (Essay by Anne Marie Welsh)
Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage (Essay by Lenora Inez Brown)
Living Out by Lisa Loomer (Essay by Charles Wright)
The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel (Essay by Tish Dace)
Omnium Gatherum by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten Vassilaros (Essay by Chris Jones)
Small Tragedy by Craig Lucas (Essay by Charles Isherwood)
The Violet Hour by Richard Greenberg (Essay by Michael Feingold)
Well by Lisa Kron (Essay by Michael Sommers)
In addition to the plays, the 85th edition of the series also honors three regional plays and provides a collection of facts and figures about the year in American theatre.