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THE BEST PLAYS OF 2009-2010 ANNOUNCED

The Best Plays Theater Yearbook
announces
THE BEST PLAYS OF 2009-2010
RUHL HONORED TWICE, NEW VOICES DOMINATE

SPECIAL CITATION FOR HORTON FOOTE

NEW YORK (July 8, 2010) — Continuing a tradition that dates back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual Best Plays Theater Yearbook, the Best Plays of 2009-2010 were announced today by editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins.

For the 91st edition, to be published by Limelight Editions in 2011, the annual chronicle of United States theater honors 10 new works. In addition to the Best Plays of 2009-2010, the volume also honors three regional plays cited in the Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Awards and Citations competition, which is administered by the American Theatre Critics Association. As always, the Best Plays Theater Yearbook will continue to build its ongoing theater history project with a comprehensive collection of facts and figures about the year in United States theater.

The Best Plays of 2009-2010 were chosen from Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions of new plays that opened between June 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010. The choices were made by the editor after consultation with the Best Plays Theater Yearbook editorial board, which includes Misha Berson, Christine Dolen, Sylviane Gold, Robert Hurwitt, John Istel, Chris Jones, Charles McNulty, Julius Novick, Christopher Rawson, Alisa Solomon, Jeffrey Sweet, Anne Marie Welsh, Linda Winer and Charles Wright. Robert Brustein is consulting editor to the series.

Jenkins, who will survey the Broadway and Off Broadway season, noted that “despite the naysayers who decry the end of theatrical civilization as each season draws to a close, Best Plays Theater Yearbook finds it increasingly difficult each year to whittle our list to a Top 10–we might even pick a Top 20, if that were our system. There are, as ever, a handful of works whose exclusion will surely confound the casual observer. Let the debates begin.”

In addition to the 10 New York premieres honored, the late playwright Horton Foote is honored with a Special Citation for The Orphan’s Home Cycle, a rethinking of the great writer’s epic work centered in Harrison, Texas. Veteran theater critic David Barbour will examine the ways in which Foote’s evocative character studies evolved over the course of the playwright’s life as he developed the gem-like cycle. For the 91st edition, George Jean Nathan Award winner Sylviane Gold will continue to explore the Off Off Broadway scene in search of highlights for the annual OOB overview.

Each of the Best Plays of 2009-2010 will be celebrated in an essay to be published in The Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2009-2010. The Best Plays of 2009-2010 (in alphabetical order):

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson by Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman (essayist, Adam Feldman)

The Brother/Sister Plays by Tarell Alvin McCraney (essayist, David Rooney)

Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker (essayist, Celia Wren)

Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris (essayist, John Istel)

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz (essayist, David Cote)

In the Next Room or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl (essayist, Michael Sommers)

Passion Play by Sarah Ruhl (essayist, Dan Bacalzo)

Red by John Logan (essayist, Chris Jones)

Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies (essayist, Charles Wright)

The Understudy by Theresa Rebeck (essayist, Jill Dolan)

SPECIAL CITATION

The Orphans’ Home Cycle by Horton Foote (essayist, David Barbour)

HAROLD AND MIMI STEINBERG NEW PLAY AWARD AND CITATIONS

(Administered by the American Theatre Critics Association)

New Play Award ($25,000): Equivocation by Bill Cain (essayist, Misha Berson)

Produced by Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon

Citation ($7,500): Legacy of Light by Karen Zacarías (essayist, Brad Hathaway)

Produced by Arena Stage in Washington, DC

Citation ($7,500): Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies (essayist, Charles Wright)

Produced by Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, California
(Also Honored as a 2009-2010 Best Play)

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