NEW YORK (August 21, 2003) - Continuing a tradition that dates back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual Best Plays theater yearbook, the Best Plays of 2002–2003 were announced today by editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins.
For the 84th edition, the annual chronicle of United States theater honors 10 new plays. In addition to the Best Plays of 2002–2003, the series also honors three regional plays cited in the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Awards and Citations competition, and will provide a comprehensive collection of facts and figures about the year in United States theater.
The Best Plays of 2002–2003 were chosen from Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions of new plays that opened between June 1, 2002 and May 31, 2003. The choices were made by the editor after consultation with the Best Plays editorial board, which includes Robert Brustein, Tish Dace, Christine Dolen, Mel Gussow, Robert Hurwitt, John Istel, Chris Jones, Julius Novick, Michael Phillips, Christopher Rawson, Alisa Solomon, Jeffrey Sweet, Linda Winer and Charles Wright.
Each of the Best Plays of 2002–2003 will be celebrated in an essay to be published in the 2002-2003 edition of the book. The Best Plays of 2002–2003 (in alphabetical order):
Book of Days by Lanford Wilson (essayist, Tish Dace)
Dublin Carol by Conor McPherson (essayist, Charles Isherwood)
I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright (essayist, Julius Novick)
Imaginary Friends by Nora Ephron (essayist, Charles Wright)
The Mercy Seat by Neil LaBute (essayist, John Istel)
Our Lady of 121st Street by Stephen Adly Guirgis (essayist, Jennifer de Poyen)
Stone Cold Dead Serious by Adam Rapp (essayist, Jeffrey Eric Jenkins)
Take Me Out by Richard Greenberg (essayist, Christopher Rawson)
Talking Heads by Alan Bennett (essayist, Jeffrey Sweet)
Yellowman by Dael Orlandersmith (essayist, Michele Volansky)
Distribution of the Best Plays series is generously underwritten by
the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins
825 President Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215-1405