New 'Best Plays' Book Includes Work by Bennett, Rapp, Etc.

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Continuing a tradition that dates back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual Best Plays Theater Yearbook, the Best Plays of 2005-2006 were announced today by editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins.

For the 87th edition, to be published by Limelight Editions early in 2007, the annual chronicle of United States theater honors 10 new plays. In addition to the Best Plays of 2005-2006, 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 2005-2006 were chosen from Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions of new plays that opened between June 1, 2005 and May 31, 2006. The choices were made by the editor after consultation with the Best Plays Theater Yearbook editorial board, which includes Robert Brustein, Tish Dace, Christine Dolen, Robert Hurwitt, John Istel, Chris Jones, Julius Novick, Michael Phillips, Christopher Rawson, Alisa Solomon, Jeffrey Sweet, Linda Winer and Charles Wright.

Jenkins, who will survey the Broadway and Off Broadway season, noted that "once again, plays from across the Atlantic are strongly represented in the list of Best Plays. This statistical peculiarity does not represent an agenda driven by the editor or the editorial board. It is simply a result of broad-based support for international works among the 10 we honor, which arose from 39 plays and musicals considered as finalists." For the 87th edition, editorial board member John Istel will continue to explore the Off Off Broadway scene in search of highlights for his annual OOB overview.

Each of the Best Plays of 2005-2006 will be celebrated in an essay to be published in The Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2005-2006. The Best Plays of 2005-2006 (in alphabetical order) are:

Grey Gardens by Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie (Essay by Michael Feingold)
The History Boys by Alan Bennett (Essay by Charles McNulty)
In the Continuum by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter (Essay by Anne Marie Welsh)
The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow by Rolin Jones (Essay by Charles Wright)
The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh (Essay by John Istel)
Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire (Essay by Michael Sommers)
Red Light Winter by Adam Rapp (Essay by Chris Jones)
Shining City by Conor McPherson (Essay by David Cote)
Stuff Happens by David Hare (Essay by Misha Berson)
Third by Wendy Wasserstein (Essay by Anne Cattaneo)

Visit www.bestplays.org for more information.

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