America’s Most Produced Plays

The Wall Street Journal recently reported America’s most produced plays during the 2000s (ignoring Shakespeare revivals and seasonal shows). It seems the classics are out and new plays by mostly American authors are in (though one may argue this trend is nothing new). Here’s the list:

1. “Proof,” by David Auburn (54 productions).

2. “Doubt,” by John Patrick Shanley (48 productions).

3. “Art,” by Yasmina Reza (45 productions).

4. “The Drawer Boy,” by Michael Healey (36 productions).

5. “Rabbit Hole,” by David Lindsay-Abaire (33 productions).

6. “Wit,” by Margaret Edson (29 productions).

7. “I Am My Own Wife,” by Doug Wright (26 productions).

8. “Crowns,” by Regina Taylor (26 productions).

9. “Intimate Apparel,” by Lynn Nottage (25 productions).

10. (tie). “The Glass Menagerie,” by Tennessee Williams, and “The Laramie Project,” by Moisés Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project (23 productions each).

The article also noted the absence of well-known heavyweight playwrights such as Beckett, Brecht, Ionesco, Miller, Chekhov, Ibsen, O’Neill, Shaw and Odets on the list. The answer why may be in part due to the trend of producing small-cast productions for economic reasons, something most new plays today offer as par for the course.

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