NEW YORK (September 19, 2011) — Continuing a tradition that dates back to 1920, the Best Plays of 2010-2011 were announced today by editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins. For its 92nd edition, the annual chronicle of United States theater honors 10 new works staged in New York City and three regional plays cited in the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association new play awards competition, and it continues its comprehensive collection of facts and figures about the year in United States theater.
The Best Plays Theater Yearbook
THE BEST PLAYS OF 2010-2011
[EXPLETIVE] GOOD PLAYS ON BROADWAY AND OFF
SPECIAL CITATION TO WAR HORSE
NEW YORK (September 19, 2011) — Continuing a tradition that dates back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual Best Plays Theater Yearbook, the Best Plays of 2010-2011 were announced today by editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins.
For the 92nd edition, to be published by Limelight Editions, the annual chronicle of United States theater honors 10 new works. In addition to the Best Plays of 2010-2011, the volume also honors 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. As always, the Best Plays Theater Yearbook will continue to build its ongoing theater history project with a comprehensive collection of facts and figures about the year in United States theater.
The Best Plays of 2010-2011 were chosen from Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions of new plays 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 survey the Broadway and Off Broadway season, 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 pain, profanity and pleasure.”
The editor also said he hoped to allay the anxieties of those who worry over recent challenges in publishing that have delayed publication of the series for the past year. “It will come as no surprise to anyone who has used the internet, seen a Kindle or handled an iPad,” Jenkins said, “that the economics of publishing books has shifted dramatically. With the support of our steadfast publisher, John Cerullo, and our new editorial staff, which is 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 generous donors have agreed to help the series expand its reach in print, in electronic formats and on the web. More news on that front will come before the end of the year.
For the 92nd edition, George Jean Nathan Award winner Sylviane Gold will continue to explore the Off Off Broadway scene in search of highlights for her annual OOB overview. Each of the Best Plays of 2010-2011 will be celebrated in an essay to be published in The Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2010-2011. The Best Plays of 2010-2011 (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)
War Horse by Nick Stafford and Michael Morpurgo (essayist, Michael Sommers)
HAROLD AND MIMI STEINBERG NEW PLAY AWARD AND CITATIONS
(Administered by the American Theatre Critics Association)
New Play Award ($25,000): 9 Circles by Bill Cain (essayist, Wm. T. Hirschman); Produced by Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, California
Citation ($7,500): The Good Counselor by Kathryn Grant (essayist, Peter Filichia); produced by Premiere Stages in Union, New Jersey
Citation ($7,500): The History of Invulnerability by David Bar Katz (essayist, Rick Pender); produced by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park in Cincinnati, Ohio