Clockwise from prime left: Nedra Snipes and Reza Salazar in “Clyde’s” on the Goodman Theatre; Janai Lashon, Lynneisha A. Ray, and Jonathan Jones in “Fairview” at Detroit Repertory Theatre; Colin Waters, Raymond Cronley, and Ok’nique Eichelberger in “The Play That Goes Flawed” at Charleston Stage Firm; Narea Kang in “The Chinese language Woman” at Denver Middle Theatre (picture by Adams VisCom), and Yvette Monique Clark and Antonio TJ Johnson in “Hassle In Thoughts” at Utah Shakespeare Pageant (picture by Karl Hugh)
Order up! American Theatre’s most-produced performs and playwrights lists are again after a COVID hiatus, and on the prime of each lists is Lynn Nottage, along with her model new sandwich-shop-as-purgatory comedy Clyde’s topping the Prime 10 Most-Produced Performs Checklist, and her Pulitzer winner Sweat not far behind. On the Prime 20 Most-Produced Playwrights record, she is tied with the prolific Lauren Gunderson with a whopping 24 productions every; whereas that is Nottage’s first time on the very prime of this record (on the energy of the above two titles in addition to productions of Mlima’s Story, By the Manner, Meet Vera Stark, and Intimate Attire), it’s Gunderson’s second time on the prime of the most-produced playwrights record, with so many performs that none of hers made the most-produced performs record.
There are another acquainted titles and names and caveats right here (together with the one about how we exclude sundry productions of A Christmas Carol from the performs record, and Shakespeare from the playwrights record), however earlier than I provide my reflections on what these stats may say in regards to the American theatre in 2022, let’s have a drum roll, please, for the lists:
Prime 10* Most-Produced Performs of 2022-23
- Clyde’s, by Lynn Nottage (11 productions)
- Rooster & Biscuits, by Douglas Lyons (8 productions)
- Clue, tailored by Sandy Rustin from the movie by Jonathan Lynn (7 productions)
- As soon as, by Enda Walsh, Glen Hansard, and Markéta Irglová (7 productions)
- Sweat, by Lynn Nottage (7 productions)
- The Chinese language Woman, by Lloyd Suh (6 productions)
- Fairview, by Jackie Sibblies Drury (6 productions)
- Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine (6 productions)
- The Lifespan of a Truth, by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell & Gordon Farrell (6 productions)
- Little Store of Horrors, by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (6 productions)
- Native Gardens, by Karen Zacarias (6 productions)
- The Play That Goes Flawed, by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer & Henry Shields (6 productions)
- Metal Magnolias, by Robert Harling (6 productions)
- Hassle in Thoughts, by Alice Childress (6 productions)
*Truly 14 as a result of ties. For an entire record of all of the productions that comprise this record, see beneath.
Prime 20* Most-Produced Playwrights of 2022-23
- Lynn Nottage (24)
- Lauren Gunderson (24, 9 of them co-writes)
- Matthew López (16, 1 of them a co-write)
- August Wilson (14)
- Dominique Morisseau (11)
- Ken Ludwig (10, 4 of them diversifications)
- Lucas Hnath (9, with 1 co-write)
- Jonathan Larson (9)
- Margot Melcon (9 co-writes)
- Karen Zacarías (9)
- Kate Hamill (8)
- James Lapine (8)
- Henry Lewis, Henry Shields & Jonathan Sayer (8)
- Douglas Lyons (8)
- Lloyd Suh (8)
- Enda Walsh (8)
- Alice Childress (7)
- Jackie Sibblies Drury (7)
- Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (7)
- Duncan Macmillan (7, with 5 co-writes)
- Sandy Rustin (7, adaptation)
- Lauren Yee (7)
*Truly 24 as a result of ties. For an entire record of every playwrights’ productions, see beneath.
A observe about our methodology makes pretty much as good an entry level as any to a consideration of what these lists may “imply”: We culled these numbers from the season listings submitted by our TCG member theatres, whose quantity at the moment stands at 551, in addition to from the present Broadway season. We outline the theatre season as operating from Aug. 1, 2022 to July 30, 2023—which, to be clear, shouldn’t be the best way a non-negligible portion of our member theatres schedule their work (many base their seasons across the summer time or run via the calendar 12 months), however this has been the time-honored season preview calendar since lengthy earlier than my time at American Theatre, and in the interim it’s going to persist in our now-online-only dispensation. Not solely don’t all these theatres program on the fall-to-spring mannequin, a sure quantity don’t program common seasons in any respect (whereas some, like Lengthy Wharf, are exploring new fashions of what a season may appear to be). And it must be added up entrance that some simply don’t handle to get their listings to us by deadline for no matter cause, and a sure variety of theatres (even a number of main ones) are usually not members of TCG in any respect.
The very first thing to notice is that, whereas this 12 months’s listings present a comparatively sturdy return of conventional season programming, the numbers are down noticeably from earlier ranges: Within the 2019-20 season, we clocked 2,229 entries that certified as full runs of reveals, and within the 2018-19 season, 2,280. This time round, whilst we allowed for audio and streamed reveals to depend for the primary time, the tally solely got here to 1,298. (Additionally this 12 months for the primary time, we additionally thought of Broadway credit, which reveals up on the lists above with one additional level every for Matthew López and August Wilson.) That’s a sobering however maybe not surprising degree of attrition, given COVID and different elements.
We would additionally (fastidiously) extrapolate some takeaways from what this programming says about what theatres assume audiences are on the lookout for. As I put it slightly crudely in a current column, the selection usually appears to be between “unapologetic escapism and…no-exit theatre, sweet and protein,” although maybe the true candy spot are performs like Clyde’s and Hassle in Thoughts: comedies, sure, however with one thing of a chunk. Actually, whereas earlier years have proven a mixture of difficult fare and theatrical consolation meals, the contrasts this trip appear extra hanging than ever. Think about, if you’ll, a theatre that will program each Fairview and Metal Magnolias, each The Chinese language Woman and Clue? Truly, come to think about it, a good variety of theatres are certainly serving up menus of an analogous eclecticism, if not this precise invoice of fare. Nonetheless, the aesthetic portrait of American theatre in 2022 may be very cut-and-paste.
The opposite distinction that jumps out is one we’ve seen in milder type earlier than: between buzzy, New York-minted titles and regional-bred workhorses, i.e., A Doll’s Home Half 2 vs. Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. This 12 months the highest play, Clyde’s, is so new—it premiered on Broadway simply final November—that I’ve to assume that Lynn Nottage’s reps should have had feelers out to theatres earlier than it had even began rehearsals in New York (and even when it was on the Guthrie and nonetheless referred to as Floyd’s). Like Clyde’s, Douglas Lyons’s Rooster & Biscuits was a part of final 12 months’s historic crop of Broadway reveals with Black authors, and although it didn’t have a long term, at the very least one theatre observer anticipated it to be a preferred regional hit. The Chinese language Woman, which had a protracted and eventful delivery throughout a number of theatres between 2020 and 2021 (and which we calculated was the most-produced present of final season), seems to be persevering with its triumphant nationwide journey. And whereas some regionals have sporadically championed Hassle in Thoughts, Alice Childress’s 1955 backstage comedy about racism within the theatre trade, it took Roundabout Theatre’s glorious belated Broadway premiere final season to lastly put it, and Alice Childress, on these lists. Higher late than by no means, I assume.
However noticeably, many different reveals on the Prime 10 record are buzzed-about titles of barely older classic: The topical three-hander Lifespan of a Truth had its debut in 2018, Fairview received its Pulitzer in 2019, Native Gardens had a flurry of regional productions in 2019, and the farcical The Play That Goes Flawed bowed on Broadway in 2017. Whereas all have had a number of productions since, their turning up on this 12 months’s record for the primary time appears to be the results of a sort of pandemic backlog—i.e., there’s each cause to imagine that with out COVID, our announcement of the misplaced 2020-21 season would have seen all or a few of these titles on the Prime 10 record, and there haven’t been a ton of equally buzzed-about new works to select from within the interim. As I mentioned: higher late than by no means. (Even Clue might be having one thing of a belated rise right here: A favourite of neighborhood and highschool theatres since 2018, it has solely begun to be programmed at TCG member theatres, together with some LORTs, on this previous 12 months.)
In the meantime, the persistence of barely older titles like As soon as and Sweat, and even Metal Magnolias, I might attribute to sheer endurance, pandemic or no. I feel the identical may be mentioned of the 2 different musicals on the Prime 10 record, although we are able to most likely chalk up a few of the renewed reputation of Little Store of Horrors to its present Off-Broadway revival, and that of Into the Woods to a surge of feeling for the late Stephen Sondheim—who, if we compiled an official record of most-produced composers, can be the clear winner, with 19 productions subsequent season.
Talking of Sondheim and musicals, you could discover his collaborator James Lapine on the Prime 20 Most-Produced Playwrights record (for productions of each ITW and Sunday within the Park With George), in addition to Jonathan Larson, who along with the perennial revivals of Lease is getting a bunch of Tick, Tick…Increase! stagings as nicely (thanks, Lin-Manuel), and who as these reveals’ e book author in addition to composer qualifies for the playwright record.
One other enjoyable truth: Nottage has two performs within the Prime 10, a uncommon feat for these lists; although Lauren Yee managed to attain it in our 2019-20 tally, earlier than that it hadn’t occurred since 1999, with two Martin McDonagh performs. We also needs to give particular honorable point out to Matthew López, whose two-play epic The Inheritance will get 5 full productions at TCG member theatres this coming season; we counted every play as a writing credit score for him, boosting him significantly within the playwright listings. And talking of performs like The Inheritance that you simply may need been on the lookout for on this record however which solely acquired 5 productions and therefore fell beneath the road, these almost-rans embody such titles as Lucas Hnath’s The Skinny Place, and Lauren Yee’s The Nice Leap.
Yet one more enjoyable truth (relying in your definition of enjoyable): Although we eradicate Shakespeare from the operating, we do tally his productions, and this 12 months they might quantity 52. However apparently, this 12 months we solely needed to disqualify him from the playwrights’ tally; no single considered one of his performs would have made the Prime 10 this 12 months, even had we allowed them. On this manner he’s very like Lauren Gunderson, who will get to her whopping 24 productions on the energy of 12 separate performs. Now that’s prolific (and he or she’s nonetheless writing!).
I’ll shut by noting an vital caveat to this complete train. I’m a well known non-fan of aggressive awards within the arts (don’t get me began on the Tonys), and I’m conscious that there’s a sure horserace/ who’s-in-who’s-out facet to those widespread lists. At greatest, I see them as a option to rejoice not solely these writers however the area basically, in addition to to offer a essentially selective however telling snapshot of the place the sphere’s priorities and tastes at the moment are, for higher and worse.
There’s additionally a way through which these lists elevate up already minted “hits,” performs and writers who’ve been produced a number of instances already (not solely in New York—see Lauren Gunderson’s profession—however considerably predominantly). However I might encourage you to at the very least look on the record of productions beneath (and you probably have a number of hours, try our member theatres’ full season programming) and let it sink in how far-flung and fantastically heterodox our nationwide theatre scene actually is (if you wish to know the place all these theatres are, right here’s our membership record). I might additionally encourage you to keep in mind that all the favored reveals above had their begin on a single U.S. stage someplace, and that just about each one of many theatres cited beneath, and a whole lot extra that aren’t listed, are this identical season producing new performs and musicals which will fill lists like this sooner or later—or they might merely be making the suitable reveals for the suitable audiences, proper now. That’s not simply sufficient; that’s actually the wonderful, ephemeral work of the theatre in all ages.
American Theatre isn’t merely round to cheerlead for the scene we cowl, as anybody who’s adopted our COVID-19 protection or our sequence of items about abuse and/or accountability at arts organizations may inform you, and as different items on this Season Preview package deal show. The U.S. theatre area has many more difficult days forward, and we shall be right here to put in writing about them. And there are absolutely extra methods to measure success within the nonprofit theatre than variety of productions; we may even be round to put in writing extra about these.
However this week we’re elevating a toast to the present occurring at a lot of our nation’s resilient theatres. We hope that by the sunshine we shine on these 14 reveals and these 23 writers (and the handfuls of theatres listed beneath), we are able to glimpse the arduous and irreplaceable work of the entire American theatre.
Prime 10 Most-Produced Performs record of productions:
Clyde’s will seem on the Huntington, PURE Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Pageant, Arden Theatre Firm, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Middle Theatre Group, Metropolis Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Studio Theatre, the Ensemble Theatre of Houston, and Unicorn Theatre
Rooster & Biscuits will seem at Entrance Porch Arts Collective, Crossroads Theatre, Portland Playhouse, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Farmers Alley, TheatreSquared, Virginia Repertory Theatre, and Asolo Repertory Theatre
Clue will seem at Bristol Riverside Theatre, Middle Repertory Firm, Dallas Theater Middle, Sierra Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and New Stage Theatre
As soon as will seem at Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, Coachella Valley Repertory, Writers Theatre, Actors Theatre of Charlotte, Centre Stage, San Luis Obispo Repertory, and Laguna Playhouse
Sweat will seem at Boise Up to date Theatre, Middle Repertory Firm, Detroit Repertory Theatre, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Highway Much less Traveled Productions, Rogue Theatre, and the Gamm Theatre
The Chinese language Woman will seem at BlueBarn, Capital Stage, Central Sq. Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse within the Park, Denver Middle for the Performing Arts, and Indiana Repertory Theatre
Fairview will seem on the 4th Wall Theatre Firm, Bishop Arts Theatre Middle and Undermain Theatre (a co-production), KC Melting Pot Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage Firm, and Trustus Theatre
Into the Woods will seem on the Arvada Middle for the Arts and Humanities, the Guthrie Theater, Open Stage, Pasadena Playhouse, Brief North Stage, and the fifth Avenue Theatre
The Lifespan of a Truth will seem at Cape Could Stage, Maryland Ensemble Theatre, North Carolina Stage, the Invisible Theatre, and Lantern Theatre Firm
Little Store of Horrors will seem at sixth Avenue Playhouse, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the Arts Middle of Coastal Carolina, Meadow Brook Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, and Trustus Theatre
Native Gardens will seem at Metropolis Theatre, Charleston Stage, L.A. Theatre Works, Montgomery Theatre, PCPA – Pacific Conservatory Theatre, and PlayMakers Repertory Firm
The Play That Goes Flawed will seem at A.D. Gamers, Charleston Stage, Nebraska Rep, WaterTower Theatre, Stage West, and 1812 Productions
Metal Magnolias will seem at Act II Playhouse, Emerald Coast Theatre Firm, Gulfshore Playhouse, Pittsburgh Public Theater, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, and Virginia Repertory Theatre
Hassle in Thoughts will seem at Cincinnati Shakespeare Theatre, Clarence Brown Theatre, Dallas Theater Middle, Hartford Stage, Predominant Avenue Theatre, and TimeLine Theatre Firm
Prime 20 Most-Produced Playwrights record of productions:
Lynn Nottage may have 11 productions of Clyde’s (famous above), 7 of Sweat (additionally famous above), in addition to 4 of Mlima’s Story (at 1st Stage, Burning Coal Theatre Firm, Ten Thousand Issues, and Zoetic Stage), 1 of By the Manner, Meet Vera Stark (at Naples Gamers), and considered one of Intimate Attire (at Theater J)
Lauren Gunderson may have 4 productions of The Revolutionists (at Lake Dillon Theatre, North Carolina Stage, Off Sq. Theatre Firm, and Park Sq. Theatre), 2 of The E-book of Will (at A Noise Inside and PCPA – Pacific Conservatory Theatre) and a couple of of Silent Sky (Burning Coal Theatre Firm and Asolo Repertory Theatre), and 1 every of Ada and the Engine (Central Sq. Theatre), Artemisia (Ahead Theater Firm), I and You (Peninsula Gamers Theatre), The Taming (Lean Ensemble Theatre), and her adaptation from J.M. Barrie of Peter Pan and Wendy; with songwriters Bree Lowdermilk and Kait Kerrigan, her present Justice will run at Marin Theatre Firm, and with co-writer Margot Melcon she may have the next productions: 5 productions of The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley (at Arizona Theatre Firm, Capital Stage, Oregon Up to date Theatre, Predominant Avenue Theater, and Taproot Theatre Firm), 2 productions every of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Maryland Ensemble Theatre and Virginia Repertory Theatre) and Georgiana & Kitty: Christmas Pemberley (Jungle Theatre and Northlight Theatre)
Matthew López may have 5 productions of each components of The Inheritance, which we’re counting as 10 credit (at Richmond Triangle Gamers, Triangle Productions, ZACH Theatre, Trinity Repertory Firm, and the Geffen Playhouse), 4 productions of The Legend of Georgia McBride (at Arizona Theatre Firm, Levels, the Warehouse Theatre, and PlayMakers Repertory Firm), 1 of Someplace (at Geva Theatre Middle), and 1 of Some Like It Scorching on Broadway
August Wilson may have 4 productions of Fences (Circle Theatre, Nashville Repertory Theatre, New Stage Theatre, the Basic Theatre of San Antonion), 3 productions of Radio Golf (A Noise Inside, Arden Theatre Firm, and Spherical Home Theatre), 2 productions of The Piano Lesson (KC Melting Pot Theatre and Broadway), and 1 every of Gem of the Ocean (Detroit Repertory Theatre), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Huntington), King Hedley II (Theatreworks Colorado Springs), Seven Guitars (Cincinnati Playhouse within the Park), Two Trains Working (Marin Theatre Firm), and How I Realized What I Realized, co-conceived by Todd Kreidler (Portland Stage)
Dominique Morisseau may have 3 productions of Paradise Blue (Aurora Theatre Firm, Gloucester Stage Firm, the Ensemble Theatre of Houston), 2 every of Confederates (Oregon Shakespeare Pageant and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis) and Mud Row (Detroit Public Theatre and Gulfshore Playhouse), and 1 every of Pipeline (the Warehouse Theatre), Detroit ’67 (TheatreSquared), Sundown Child (Actor’s Categorical), and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Occasions of the Temptations (Middle Theatre Group)
Ken Ludwig may have 4 productions of his adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Homicide on the Orient Categorical (Cincinnati Playhouse within the Park, Clarence Brown Theatre, the Guthrie Theater, and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), 1 manufacturing every of his Sherlock Holmes performs Baskerville (at freeFall Thaetre), Moriarty: A New Sherlock Holmes Journey (Cleveland Play Home), and The Recreation’s Afoot (the Naples Gamers), in addition to 1 every of Lend Me a Tenor (Worldwide Metropolis Theatre) and Pricey Jack, Pricey Louise (Pink Barn Theatre)
Lucas Hnath may have 5 productions of The Skinny Place (4th Wall Theatre Firm, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, Dobama Theatre, Gloucester Stage Firm, and Highway Much less Traveled Productions), 2 productions of A Doll’s Home, Half 2 (Jewel Theatre and San Luis Obispo Rep), and 1 of The Christians (Boise Up to date Theatre), and he’ll additionally premiere The Simalucrum, co-created with Steve Cuiffo, at Atlantic Theater Firm
Jonathan Larson may have 5 productions of Lease (Brief North Stage, Connecticut Repertory, Farmers Alley, Nashville Repertory Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Pageant) and 4 productions of Tick, Tick…Increase! (Brief North Stage, New Conservatory Theatre Middle, Portland Middle Stage, and Worldwide Metropolis Theatre)
Margot Melcon may have 9 productions (famous above in Lauren Gunderson’s tally)
Karen Zacarías may have 6 productions of Native Gardens (famous above), in addition to 2 productions of her new adaptation of Shane (on the Guthrie Theater and Cincinnati Playhouse within the Park) and 1 of The E-book Membership Play (Arvada Middle for the Arts and Humanities)
Kate Hamill may have 3 productions of her adaptation of Little Girls (at Theatreworks Colorado Springs, Cincinnati Shakespeare Firm, and Perseverance Theatre), 2 productions of Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson (at Butterfly Impact Theatre Firm and Portland Middle Stage), in addition to 1 manufacturing every of Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Play (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and her diversifications of Emma (PlayMakers Repertory Firm) and Satisfaction and Prejudice (sixth Avenue Playhouse)
Henry Lewis, Henry Shields & Jonathan Sayer may have 6 productions of The Play That Goes Flawed (famous above) in addition to 2 productions of The One-Act Play That Goes Flawed (at Austin Playhouse and Triangle Productions)
James Lapine may have 6 productions of Into the Woods (famous above) in addition to 2 of Sunday within the Park With George (at Pasadena Playhouse and Sierra Repertory Theatre)
Douglas Lyons may have 8 productions (famous above)
Lloyd Suh may have 6 productions of The Chinese language Woman (famous above) in addition to 1 manufacturing every of Franklinland (Curious Theatre Firm) and The Far Nation (Atlantic Theater Firm)
Enda Walsh may have 7 productions of As soon as (famous above) and 1 of Sing Avenue (on the Huntington)
Alice Childress may have 6 productions of Hassle in Thoughts (famous above) in addition to 1 of Wine within the Wilderness at Two River Theatre
Jackie Sibblies Drury may have 6 productions of Fairview (famous above) in addition to 1 of Marys Seacole at Unicorn Theatre
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins may have 4 productions of Everyone (at Cleveland Play Home, Alliance Theatre, Antaeus Theatre Firm, and the NOLA Venture), and 1 manufacturing every of Applicable (South Coast Repertory), Gloria (Capital Stage), and Grass (Signature Theatre)
Duncan Macmillan may have 5 productions of Each Good Factor, which he co-wrote with Johnny Donahoe (at A.D. Gamers, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Arden Theatre Firm, New Stage Theatre, and Metropolis Lights Theatre Firm), in addition to 1 manufacturing every of Lungs (Unicorn Theatre) and Folks, Locations, Issues (Studio Theatre)
Sandy Rustin may have 7 productions of her adaptation of Clue (famous above)
Lauren Yee may have 5 productions of The Nice Leap (at Cleveland Play Home, Farmers Alley, OKC Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage, and Perseverance Theatre) and a couple of of Younger People (at Pittsburgh Public Theater and Portland Middle Stage)
Rob Weinert-Kendt (he/him) is the editor-in-chief of American Theatre. email@example.com
As a result of some TCG member theatres had not submitted their season information by our deadline, the unique model of this submit failed to incorporate Rooster & Biscuits on the Prime 10 Most-Produced Performs record (as a substitute noting it as a five-production “also-ran”), or its playwright, Douglas Lyons, on the Prime 20 Most-Produced Playwrights record.
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