The Best Plays Theater Yearbook

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Welcome to the official website of The Best Plays Theater Yearbook, the annual chronicle of United States theater founded by Burns Mantle in 1920. The 2007–2008 edition of the Best Plays series is now available in bookstores and at online merchants such as Click on a cover above to order yours now. Read the Introduction (in PDF format) for free now. We are currently behind schedule on the release of the Best Plays series, but we have books for the 2008–2009, 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 seasons in the editing and production pipeline.


If you are a theater lover, librarian, practitioner, critic or historian, the annual Best Plays book is the most comprehensive tool available to help track United States theater—in New York and around the country. The editors encourage queries regarding subscription to the series, which is now in its 89th consecutive year of publication. The series is published by Limelight Editions, an imprint of Hal Leonard Publishing.


Support generously provided by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust


Headlines from The Best Plays Theater Yearbook

July 8, 2010: The Best Plays of 2009–2010!


November 3, 2009: Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2007–2008 Book Release


August 11, 2009: The Best Plays of 2008-2009!


September 3, 2008: Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2006–2007 Book Release


August 11, 2008: The Best Plays of 2007-2008!


August 30, 2007: Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2005–2006 Book Release


June 29, 2007: The Best Plays of 2006–2007!


October 26, 2006: Editorial Board Changes

August 15, 2006: The Best Plays of 2005–2006!

July 19, 2006: Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2004–2005 Book Release

July 21, 2005: The Best Plays of 2004–2005!

June 8, 2005: Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2003–2004 Book Release

June 24, 2004: The Best Plays of 2003–2004! (PDF version)

May 5, 2004: Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2002–2003 Book Release (PDF version)

August 21, 2003: The Best Plays of 2002–2003!

June 23, 2003: The Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2001–2002 Book Release (PDF version)

January 20, 2003: Al Hirschfeld Dies at 99

June 19, 2002: Announcing The Best Plays of 2001–2002

May 7, 2002: Stritch and Lahr awarded 2001–2002 Best Plays Special Citation

April 30, 2002: The Best Plays of 2000–2001 Publication Announcement

Former editors include such eminent theater critics as our founder, Burns Mantle, John Chapman, Louis Kronenberger and Henry Hewes. Our most recent and longest-serving editor was the distinguished former critic and arts editor of the New York Herald Tribune, Otis L. Guernsey Jr. Mr. Guernsey served as editor of Best Plays from 1964 to 2000, overseeing 36 volumes of the book and making an unparalleled contribution to the body of knowledge on theater in the United States. For his outstanding work on behalf of United States theater, Mr. Guernsey was inducted to the Theater Hall of Fame on January 29, 2001. He died suddenly on May 2, 2001.

Some Best Plays pages are in PDF format, which may be viewed with Acrobat Reader. Click here to download a FREE copy of Acrobat Reader. It will help you enjoy this and other Web sites more easily.

To view other Best Plays pages, click below:

The Best Plays of 2001–2002

The Best Plays of 2000–2001

Jenkins Named Editor of Best Plays Series

From the Best Plays Photo Archives

Founding Editor Burns Mantle

Former Editor John Chapman

Former Editor Otis L. Guernsey Jr.

Editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins

The following link provides additional information of interest to Best Plays readers.

Essays by the Best Plays editor

Contact Best Plays Theater Yearbook:

Jeffrey Eric Jenkins
Best Plays Theater Yearbook
Phone: 718-789-9025