We got to this a little late, but yesterday's American Theatre fan page question was, "For you, what was the most significant play or theatre event of the last decade?" The responses are worth reprinting here, from the axe-grinding (check out the High Fidelity one) to the sobering (the Moscow theatre hostage crisis).
Bethany Anne Lind Mendenhall: Metamorphoses
Doc Waller: The development of the "Free Night of Theatre" program was truly significant.
Chris Milner: Ditto. Metamorphoses!
Peter J. Smith: The Pillowman. And August:Osage County
Jodi Cramer: Rent.
Doc Waller: Yay, Rent closing was big.
Tascheena Kimberly Umanah: Spring Awakening
Ben Griessmeyer: Wicked
Aleia Ramsey: Vagina Monologues! Ooh and Elektra!
Rik Deskin: Live Theatre Week (Seattle) and Free Night of Theatre.
Alison McCormack: Billy Elliot in London.
Molly McDevitt: The Laramie Project and Epilogue
Abby Royle: Blackwatch.
Bill Yellowrobe: "Grandchildren of the Buffalo Soldiers," the fact Lou Bellamy and Oskar Eustis made it happen...
Scott Miller: Working on the brilliant "High Fidelity" in St. Louis and proving to the critics, the show's writers, and whoever else that it's a far better show than its badly misguided Broadway production suggested. Rave reviews (one critic named it the best show of the year), sold-out houses, and now many subsequent productions by other companies!
Susan Olmos Sabel: Ragtime!
Charlene V. Smith: RSC Histories cycle, no question.
Mark Kaplan: August Osage County
Kirk Wilson: 365 Days 365 Plays.
Barbara Hawkins-Scott: The Serynga Tree at Horizon Theatre or Skin at Dad's Garage Theater in Atlanta
Sarah Weissman: musical: Next to Normal
Trevor Biship: Productions that have stuck with me in the aughts, thus making them significant: "Avenue X" (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), "The War of the Worlds" (SITI Company), "Vienna Lusthaus (Revisited)" (Athaneum Theatre, Chicago), "Doubt" (Pasadena Playhouse), and "Caroline or Change" (Ahmanson Theatre). Craig Lucas' "Singing Forest" may have been the Best New Play I read in the 2000's.
Kerry Reid: The opening of "August: Osage County" at Steppenwolf, and seeing Jefferson Mays in "I Am My Own Wife" at the Goodman, and seeing "Urinetown" on Halloween night, 2001, about six weeks after the September 11 attacks -- great to see New Yorkers (for it was mostly a hometown audience at that point) out enjoying themselves at a homegrown show.
Kerry Reid: Oh, and seeing David Cromer's "Our Town" in the basement of the Chopin Theater in Chicago before it went off-Broadway.
Katy Stafford Moore: As an audience member, Spring Awakening on Broadway with the original cast. Those kids told that story brilliantly. As a cast member, The King and I. It's themes still resonate, even in the new millenium.
Michal Daniel: Passing Strange
Cathy D Thomas: Tantalus. The biggest risk the Denver Center took, which it met, save the disappointing script.
Caitlin Sheaffer: Syringa Tree at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis. The Kushner Festival at the Guthrie.
Paul Mackley: 2002 Moscow theater hostage siege. 129 hostages died, including 17 cast members.
Stephen John: Top three... Laramie Project... Sweeny Todd revival on Broadway New Years Eve..... and finally... Metamorphosis at Circle in the Square in NY....
Lisa Wolford Wylam: Room directed by Anne Bogart with Ellen Lauren as Virginia Woolf is definitely the most haunting and influential piece of theatre I've seen in the past decade.
Tonya Glanz: 'ruined'. then 'pillowman'. then 'secret in the wings' and 'the miser' by de la june lune.
Deborah Martin: for me...it was Fiona Shaw's performance as Medea on Broadway. She redefined how Medea can be played and its the first stage at which I literally jumped in my seat because a moment scared me. monumental performance!
Angela Sommerfeld: i was really blown away by coronado by dennis lehane. i don't know if it qualifies as the most significant event of the decade but it was the most thrilling, exciting piece of theatre i have ever seen.
Bridget Kathleen O'Leary: Blasted at Soho Rep was one of the best theatrical experiences of my life.
Cindy Marie Jenkins: 365 Days 365 Plays and A Free Night of Theater were hugely significant in bringing our disparate theater scenes together.
Bev Appleton: "Oedipus" at the National Theatre GB w/ Ralph Fiennes); "Ivanov" (w/Kenneth Branagh)at the Donmar Warehouse; The Coast of Utopia, National theatre GB
Nicole Boyer Cochran: Ariane Mnouchkine's LES EPHEMERES and LE DERNIER CARAVANSERAI, McDonagh's THE PILLOWMAN, Elizabeth Heffron's MITZI'S ABORTION, and ALL POWERS NECESSARY AND CONVENIENT by Mark Jenkins