FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE EDITOR AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS
July 19, 2006 Contact: Caroline Howell (973-835-6375 x204)
Public, Private Conflicts Explored
Best Plays Released Today Honors Works by Veteran Writers
(New York, NY) -- Plays by Caryl Churchill, Michael Frayn, David Mamet, Donald Margulies, Paula Vogel, August Wilson and other playwrights of note are celebrated in the 86th edition of The Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2004-2005, which will be released today (Limelight Editions, $49.95, 548 pages). During the 2004-2005 season, the theater’s finest writers delved into the tension-filled intersections of public and private life in the world today to create stirring, thought-provoking drama.
Publication of the book continues a tradition dating back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual series on United States theater. Recent reviewers have written: “No theater enthusiast should be without it.” “Stylish commentary, which gives the reader a sense of the original production in addition to its literary merit.” “It remains the smartest, most comprehensive . . . survey of American theater.”
Under series editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, the current edition honors 10 New York-based dramatic works and three plays from the resident theater while providing a collection of viewpoints on the season under review. It also offers an extensive compendium of facts and figures about the theater season in New York and around the United States.
The Best Plays of 2004-2005 were chosen from Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions of new plays that opened between June 1, 2004 and May 31, 2005. The choices were made by Jenkins after consultation with the Best Plays editorial board, which included 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. The United States resident theater is represented in new-production statistics and in essays by Misha Berson and Michele Volansky on plays recognized by the American Theatre Critics Association in its Steinberg New Play Award and Citations competition.
The Best Plays of 2004-2005 (in alphabetical order): After Ashley by Gina Gionfriddo (essayist, Elizabeth Maupin); Brooklyn Boy by Donald Margulies (essayist, Michael Feingold); Democracy by Michael Frayn (essayist, Chris Jones); Doubt, a Parable by John Patrick Shanley (essayist, Jeremy McCarter); Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson (essayist, Christopher Rawson); Guantánamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom by Victoria Brittain & Gillian Slovo (essayist, Charles Wright); Hot ’n’ Throbbing by Paula Vogel (essayist, David Savran); A Number by Caryl Churchill (essayist, Robert Hurwitt); The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh (essayist, John Istel); Romance by David Mamet (essayist, Robert Vorlicky). Each of the Best Plays of 2004-2005 is illustrated by photographic highlights from the honored production.
The Best Plays Theater Yearbook is generously supported
by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust