Plays staged the most in America during the last decade — America's favorite plays , The Loop — AAPEX

Monday, January 11, 2010

Plays staged the most in America during the last decade

America's Favorite Plays
Which are staged most often? You may be surprised

Facts, it's said, are stubborn things. Anyone curious about the state of American theater will find plenty of stubborn facts to chew on—some of which are tastier than others—in American Theatre's annual list of the 10 plays and musicals, not counting Shakespeare revivals and seasonal shows, that are produced most frequently in the U.S.

I recently spent a couple of hours poring over American Theatre's lists and came up with this meta-list of the 11 plays produced most often between 2000-01 and 2009-10. In descending order, they are:

1. "Proof," by David Auburn (54 productions).

2. "Doubt," by John Patrick Shanley (48 productions).

3. "Art," by Yasmina Reza (45 productions).

4. "The Drawer Boy," by Michael Healey (36 productions).

5. "Rabbit Hole," by David Lindsay-Abaire (33 productions).

6. "Wit," by Margaret Edson (29 productions).

7. "I Am My Own Wife," by Doug Wright (26 productions).

8. "Crowns," by Regina Taylor (26 productions).

9. "Intimate Apparel," by Lynn Nottage (25 productions).

10. (tie). "The Glass Menagerie," by Tennessee Williams, and "The Laramie Project," by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project (23 productions each).

What does this list tell us? To begin with, six of the 11 plays—"Doubt," "I Am My Own Wife," "Intimate Apparel," "The Glass Menagerie," "Proof" and "Wit"—are all distinguished pieces of writing, while the rest are at least respectable. Only one, "The Laramie Project," is an explicitly political play—and none is a musical. ("Crowns" is a play with music, not a musical comedy.) This suggests that, Broadway producers notwithstanding, American theatergoers are not know-nothing neanderthals but intelligent people who are prepared to spend time and money grappling with straight plays that are artful, thoughtful and well written. On the other hand, it should be noted that all but three of these shows, "Crowns," "Wit" and "The Laramie Project," call for no more than four actors. The lesson is clear: If you want to write a smart, serious play that has a halfway decent chance of getting produced, keep the cast as small as possible.

Source: The Loop

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