The Playgoer: Top 10 Produced Playwrights

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Top 10 Produced Playwrights

From TCG, here's a peek at their annual list of most produced plays & playwrights. 

The ten playwrights receiving the most productions in the US in the coming 2010-2011 season (excluding Shakespeare) are...

Patrick Barlow: 26 productions
Tracy Letts: 20
Sarah Ruhl: 19
Lynn Nottage: 17
August Wilson: 17
Annie Baker: 17
Tennessee Williams: 15
Steven Dietz: 15
Edward Albee: 15
George Bernard Shaw: 13 
Of course your first response will be...Who's Patrick Barlow?  Answer: 39 Steps.

(Real answer: four-actor reduction of popular Alfred Hitchcock movie.)

My second response is once again to tip my hat to Steven Dietz--once again America's least-known most-produced dramatist.

Other things we learn from the list: lots of productions of Ruined (Nottage); Americans still love Shaw; and that Annie Baker joins Letts and Ruhl with not just one but multiple popular titles in the ether now.

And, for further context, note that Shakespeare still blows all these royalty-earning artists away with 115 productions.


George Hunka said...

A few months ago I was at an NYU playground with Goldie and was speaking to another father (a rarity at any playground) and he told me about a new book he'd written. And -- well -- it's out:


Which I'll keep in mind for the next few weeks as the blogs hash these figures around.

Rob Weinert-Kendt said...

George (and Garrett):

That sounds like a cool book. Just for the record, TCG's most-produced lists do have a built-in shortcoming (they only reflect what TCG member theaters report to us by our annual October season preview deadline), and they certainly can be wielded irresponsibly or in bad faith. But by no means does TCG set out to use these lists to misinform, disinform, or otherwise play fast and loose with numbers. The lists are really just a byproduct of our collecting season data in the first place, and as such they offer a valuable snapshot; they certainly don't set out to, nor do they claim to, offer a definitive, comprehensive production record. Just so you know! Grains of salt and all that.

George Hunka said...

I didn't mean to impugn the veracity of TCG's figures in the least, Rob, nor to question its motives in offering them -- as you suggest, they are what they are! It's what others try to prove with them that will be interesting (or, perhaps, not particularly interesting) to see.

isaac butler said...

Yes, it really is insufferable when people try to use available information as a way of shaping their opinions.

For Parabasis' take (not by me), go here: