American Theatre Magazine Picks Most Produced Plays and Playwrights of 2017- 18 Season
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 2017-18 seasons reported by TCG's Member Theatres, these lists customarily omit holiday-themed shows (The Santaland Diaries and A Christmas Carol) as well as works by Shakespeare.
Though not works about Shakespeare, as Shakespeare in Love, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, will be the most-produced play, with 15 total productions. And Lauren Gunderson (I and You, The Book of Will) will be the most-produced playwright, with 27 total productions, including 8 co-writing credits.
These lists appear online at AmericanTheatre.org, as well as in the October 2017 Season Preview issue of American Theatre magazine.
For the first time ever, American Theatre will celebrate the launch of the lists through a live-streamed event at the Drama Book Shop, 250 West 40th Street, New York City, on September 21 from 6 to 7:30 pm. At this free event, American Theatre editors will discuss the lists and their significance for the state of the field with Ken Cerniglia, dramaturg and literary manager for Disney Theatrical Group, which co-produced the world premiere of Shakespeare in Love, and Lauren Gunderson, who will talk about her prolific career (this is her third consecutive year on the Top 20 Playwrights list). The event will be live-streamed on Facebook, and the audio will become an episode of American Theatre's Offscript podcast.
"These lists from American Theatre reveal a field in spirited conversation with other art forms and our broader culture," said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. "From adaptations of films and novels to new plays engaging with our shift from an industrial to information age, our field is delighting, inspiring, and sometimes challenging the communities they serve. As we work toward greater gender parity, we also celebrate Lauren Gunderson's third year on our Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights List, and her first in the top slot."
"I am amazed and thrilled that my adaptation has topped this year's list," said Lee Hall, who in addition to Shakespeare in Love adapted Billy Elliot for the stage. "The play is really a love letter to theatre. And it's a testimony to its power that one can reach so far and touch so many. We need theatre now more than ever, so I salute all my American theatrical colleagues."
American Theatre's Top 10 Most-Produced Plays of 2017-18:
Shakespeare in Love, adapted for the stage by Lee Hall, based on the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard: 15
Fun Home, adapted by Lisa Kron, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, lyrics by Kron, and music by Jeanine Tesori: 12
Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau: 11
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted by Simon Stephens from the novel by Mark Haddon: 9
Marjorie Prime by Jordan Harrison: 9
The Humans by Stephen Karam: 8
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry: 8
Heisenberg by Simon Stephens: 8
Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon: 8
Sense and Sensibility (all adaptations): 8
adapted by Kate Hamill from Jane Austen: 7
adapted by Emma Whipday and Brian McMahon: 1
American Theatre's Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights of 2017-18:
1. Lauren Gunderson: 27 (including 8 co-writing credits)
2. Simon Stephens : 19
3. Lee Hall: 15
4. Lisa Kron: 15 (including 13 co-writing credits)
5. Dominique Morisseau: 15
6. Arthur Miller: 14
7. Ayad Akhtar: 13
8. Quiara Alegría Hudes: 10 (including 5 co-writing credits)
9.. Jordan Harrison: 10
10. Ken Ludwig: 9
11. Tennessee Williams: 9
12. August Wilson: 9 (not including UniSon by the UNIVERSES, which uses Wilson's poetry)
13. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins: 9
14. Kate Hamill: 9
15. Lucas Hnath: 9
16. Aaron Posner: 8
17. Eugene O'Neill: 8
18. Lorraine Hansberry: 8
19. Mark St. Germain: 8
20. Oscar Wilde: 8
"This is a breathtaking landmark for me, because it is a testament to long-standing friendships and creative partnerships throughout our diverse and inspiring national theatre community," said Lauren Gunderson. "I hope this is another encouraging and motivating moment for women in theatre as well. Stories by and about women can and must be produced across the country to complete the deep generational narrative that our art form so uniquely puts forth. Stories by and about women aren't just for women but for all of us."
For more information about the American Theatre Top 10 Most-Produced Plays and Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights lists, visit www.americantheatre.org.
American Theatre magazine is published 10 times a year by Theatre Communications Group. As the nation's essential magazine for professional not-for-profit theatre, American Theatre has been providing theatre professionals, students, advocates, and audiences a comprehensive journal for more than 30 years. American Theatre is available online, at selected newsstands nationwide or through an Individual Membership in TCG by visiting www.tcg.org/about/membership/individual.cfm or contacting email@example.com. Unlimited exclusive content on AmericanTheatre.org is only available through TCG membership.
For over 50 years, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for U.S. theatre, has existed to strengthen, nurture, and promote the professional not-for-profit theatre. TCG's constituency has grown from a handful of groundbreaking theatres to over 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. TCG offers its members networking and knowledge-building opportunities through conferences, events, research, and communications; awards grants, approximately $2 million per year, to theatre companies and individual artists; advocates on the federal level; and through the Global Theater Initiative, TCG's partnership with the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, serves as the U.S. Center of the International Theatre Institute. TCG is North America's largest independent publisher of dramatic literature, with 15 Pulitzer Prizes for Best Play on the TCG booklist. It also publishes the award-winning American Theatre magazine and ARTSEARCH®, the essential source for a career in the arts. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its Member Theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field, and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre. Visit www.tcg.org for more.