Oct 16, 2009

Most Produced (Updated)

You may be familiar with TCG's annual list of plays that will get the most productions in the coming season; this year Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's boom took top honors. But after going through season survey (in the October issue of American Theatre, I discovered that while Nachtrieb's play will certainly get the most productions of any single play, he's not the most produced playwright this coming season.

I decided to do my own calculations to find out which writers take the honors, and I found the results, while not entirely surprising, quite illuminating. I think they speak for themselves, but I should first note two caveats: These numbers are compiled from self-reporting TCG member theaters; there may be another Crucible out there somewhere that hasn't yet made its presence known. Oh, and in the case of the most-produced playwright, I added two productions off the top of my head (because they're Broadway productions and thus weren't tallied in the TCG list). Pop quiz: Which of the three (or is it four?) productions listed below are premieres? (You have to count co-productions that played first on the West Coast and are now coming to NY--otherwise the number of world premieres listed below is just two.*)

Without further ado, here they are: the most produced playwrights in America for the 2009-2010 season.

UPDATE: I've gone over the list again and added a few blind spots: some big ones (McNally, Simon, Coward) and a few less obvious ones (Sheinkin, Hatcher). Also, if my commenters are right, Steven Dietz might actually belong at the top of this list; to confirm, I've got to look to non-TCG sources. More anon. *I'd initially only said one; these addenda add precisely one world premiere to the tally.

David Mamet
19 productions: 5 of American Buffalo; 3 of Speed-the-Plow; 2 of November, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Oleanna; and one each of A Life in the Theatre, Two Unrelated Plays by David Mamet, Romance, Race, and The Voysey Inheritance (adaptation)

August Wilson
17 productions: 5 of Fences; 3 of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom; 2 of Jitney, Seven Guitars, and Radio Golf; and one each of The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, and Gem of the Ocean

Sarah Ruhl
17 productions: 8 of Dead Man's Cell Phone; 3 of Eurydice and The Clean House; and one each of Passion Play, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), and Late: A Cowboy Song

Steven Dietz
17 productions: 7 of Yankee Tavern; 4 of Becky's New Car; 2 of Shooting Star and Go Dog Go (adaptation); one each of Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure and Honus and Me (adaptation)

Neil Simon
14 productions: 4 of Lost in Yonkers; 3 of The Odd Couple; 2 of Broadway Bound; and one each of Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Barefoot in the Park, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Come Blow Your Horn

Terrence McNally
13 productions: 4 of Master Class and The Full Monty; 2 of Golden Age; and one each of Ragtime, A Perfect Ganesh, and The Lisbon Traviata

Arthur Miller
13 productions: 5 of All My Sons; 4 of The Price; and 2 each of The Crucible and Death of a Salesman

Tennessee Williams
13 productions: 7 of The Glass Menagerie; 4 of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; and 2 of A Streetcar Named Desire

Jeffrey Hatcher
12 productions: 4 of Ella; 3 or Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (adapt.); 2 of Tuesdays With Morrie (adapt. w/ Mitch Albom); and one each of Cousin Bette (adapt.), The Government Inspector (adapt.), Lucky Duck, and Mrs. Mannerly

Noel Coward
11 productions: 4 of Blithe Spirit; 3 of Private Lives; and one ach of Brief Encounter, Present Laughter, Design for Living, and Hay Fever

Donald Margulies
10 productions: 6 of Shipwrecked! An Entertainment; and one each of Dinner With Friends, Time Stands Still, Collected Stories, and Brooklyn Boy

Horton Foote
9 productions: 2 of Dividing the Estate and Trip to Bountiful, and one each of The Orphans Home Cycle (which is technically 9 one-acts over 3 programs, so special props to Horton), To Kill a Mockingbird, Valentine’s Day, The Carpetbaggers, and The Young Man From Atlanta

Conor McPherson
9 productions: 6 of The Seafarer, 2 of Shining City, and 1 of The Weir

Peter Sinn Nachtreib
9 productions of boom

Michael Hollinger
8 productions: 7 of Opus and one of An Empty Plate in the Cafe Du Grand Boeuf

Harold Pinter
8 productions: One each of No Man’s Land, Moonlight, Betrayal, The Collection, The Homecoming, and The Caretaker, and two anthology shows: Two by Pinter and Hearing Noise in Silence: A Six-Play Celebration

Rachel Sheinkin
8 productions: 7 of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and one of Little House on the Prairie (adapt.)


Esther said...

That's an interesting list. I just wrote about Steven Dietz, whose play Shooting Star is at Trinity Rep in Providence. I'd never heard of him before. He's someone who's well-known in regional theater, I guess, but he's rarely been produced in New York and never on Broadway. I wonder why?

99 said...

Nice work! And it definitely puts things in a different perspective.

99 said...

Oh, and, is RACE the only world premiere?

Rob Weinert-Kendt said...

Yep, far as I can tell, RACE stands alone.

Charles said...

Regarding Steven Dietz. You have that Becky's New Car will be produced 4 times in 09/10..actually it will appear in 7 regional theatres in the following cities: Saint Paul, Portland, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Austin and Vancouver BC. Charles Staadecker

Callan Stout said...

Sadly only one of those playwrights is female.

Rob Weinert-Kendt said...

I've updated the post to reflect one more world premiere; and I'm looking into the tally via non-TCG sources, Charles.

Carl Benson said...

And people wonder why audiences have been declining over the last 20 years or so ... we keep giving them the same freakin plays!

Mamet, Simon, Coward, Pinter, Williams, Miller et all.

I swear that theater is the only entertainment industry in which this is acceptable. I'm not saying that theater should not produce great work that's already been done, I'm just saying that there is a huge imbalance of old v. new work being produced at a high-end level.

Thanks very much for compiling this list, it's telling, to say the least.