Press Release (updated **)
American Theatre magazine, published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), has released its annual October Season Preview issue, which includes lists of the Top 10 Most-Produced Plays and Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights for the new season.
Based on the 2018-19 seasons reported by 387 TCG’s Member Theatres, these lists customarily omit holiday-themed shows (The Santaland Diaries and A Christmas Carol) as well as works by Shakespeare.
Lucas Hnath will be the most-produced playwright, with 33 total productions, including 27 productions of the most-produced play, A Doll’s House, Part 2.
These lists appear online at AmericanTheatre.org, as well as in the October 2018 Season Preview issue of American Theatre magazine.
This year’s 11 most-produced plays include works by 9 female playwrights (and 2 female composers) opposite 3 male playwrights, a historic margin for this list, while the 20 most-produced playwrights comprises 11 women and 9 men. What’s more, there are 6 playwrights of color on the most-produced playwrights’ list, making it the most racially diverse it’s ever been.
On September 20 from 6 to 7:30 pm, American Theatre celebrated the launch of the lists through a free live-streamed event at The Lark, 311 W 43rd St #406, New York, NY 10036. At this free event, American Theatre editors discussed the lists and their significance for the state of the field. They also interviewed playwrights Lucas Hnath and Karen Zacarías, and actor Quincy Tyler Bernstine performed an excerpt from A Doll’s House, Part 2. The event was live-streamed on Facebook, and the audio will become an episode of American Theatre’s Offscript podcast.
“Ever since we began reporting on our Member Theatre’s seasons back in 1994, the Top 10 list has been a bellwether of trends in our field,” said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. “While much work remains, these new lists give us hope that years of sustained activism for gender parity and racial equity on our stages may at last be gaining enough momentum to affect systemic change.”
“It’s humbling to think of these plays I’ve written being produced so widely,” said Lucas Hnath. “To think of theatremakers across the country having their own unique encounters with A Doll’s House, Part 2, in addition to The Christians, Red Speedo and others, rendering them in ways I could never anticipate or imagine. It’s an incredible honor.”
American Theatre’s Top 10 Most-Produced Plays of 2018-19:
- A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath: 27
- Sweat by Lynn Nottage: 16
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted by Simon Stephens from the novel by Mark Haddon: 13
- Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon: 13 **
- The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe: 13
- Fun Home book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel: 12
- Indecent by Paula Vogel: 12
- Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías: 12
- Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau: 11
- Once, book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, based on the film by John Carney: 9
- Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen: 9
Lauren Gunderson, last year’s most-produced playwright, is back at #2. New to the top of the list is Skeleton Crew author Dominique Morisseau, who said, “To be named the 3rd most-produced playwright in the country makes me greatly hopeful that I can be part of shifting the cultural landscape of theatre. That it won’t be such an anomaly for artists like me to be produced. That students won’t be starving (as I once did) for representations of themselves in theatre curriculum. And mostly that I can continue to help normalize black women writers as part of our studied theatre literary canon.”
American Theatre’s Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights of 2018-19:
- Lucas Hnath 33
- Lauren Gunderson 29 (including 14 co-writing credits)
- Dominique Morisseau 26 (including 1 co-writing credit)
- Lynn Nottage 20 (including 1 co-writing credit)
- Karen Zacarías 18 (including 3 co-writing credits)
- Kate Hamill 18
- Paula Vogel 18
- Lisa Kron 17 (including 13 co-writing credits)
- Simon Stephens 17
- August Wilson 16 (including 2 co-writing credits)
- Sarah DeLappe 13
- Ken Ludwig 12
- Branden Jacobs-Jenkins 11
- Jen Silverman 11
- Christina Ham 10
- Enda Walsh 10 (including 9 co-writing credits)
- Tennessee Williams 10 (including 1 co-writing credit)
- Bess Wohl 9
- Duncan Macmillan 9
- Sam Shepard 9
Photo (above) courtesy of American Theatre: Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, and Jayne Houdyshell in A Doll’s House, Part 2 on Broadway in 2017.