The American theatre is kinky. With 22 productions across the country, David Ives’s sexually charged Venus in Fur—a threesome involving an actress, a director and the 19th-century S&M novella that brings them together—will be the most-produced play of the 2013–14 season at TCG member theatres nationwide (no doubt owing in large part to its Broadway reputation, and to the fact that it’s a two-hander).
Venus is followed, far behind, by Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (slated for 16 productions) and David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People (14 productions)—which were the two most-produced plays in 2012–13. They are followed on this year’s roster by a 13-production tie between two more repeats from last year’s list, Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz and The Mountaintop by Katori Hall.
Further down come new arrivals to TCG’s Top 10: 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog, Tribes by Nina Raine, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang and The Cat in the Hat, adapted by Katie Mitchell from Dr. Seuss.
And due to a five-way tie among Top 10 newcomers, Detroit by Lisa D’Amour and 2012 Pulitzer-winner Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes—plus Top 10 veterans God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza, Red by John Logan and The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez—the list this year technically closes out as a Top 14.
- Venus in Fur by David Ives: 22
- Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris: 16
- Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire: 14
- Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz: 13
- The Mountaintop by Katori Hall: 13
- 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog: 12
- Tribes by Nina Raine: 12
- Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang: 11
- The Cat in the Hat adapted by Katie Mitchell from Dr. Seuss: 8
- Detroit by Lisa D’Amour: 7
- God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza: 7
- Red by John Logan: 7
- The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez: 7
- Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes: 7
BONUS FACT #1: In a break from past years, all of these plays are young. The oldest work is God of Carnage, whose world premiere was in 2006 in Switzerland in its original French. The perennially popular Carnage has appeared on TCG’s Top 10 lists since 2010–11, though it skipped 2012–13. If we count source material, then The Cat in the Hat is the oldest work, as the book it’s based on was published in 1957. The theatrical adaptation premiered in 2009.
BONUS FACT #2: Not since the 2005–06 season have female playwrights made up half of our Top 10 List. There are 7 women on this season’s list; 9 seasons ago, there were 8. We hope it won’t take another 9 years for women to make up a large chunk of the list.
BONUS FACT #3: AT does not count perennial Christmas favorites in assembling the list, nor the ever-popular works of Shakespeare. But for those interested, Dickens’s A Christmas Carol rated 37 productions, and the most-produced Bard play at TCG member theatres is a tie between Hamlet and Romeo & Juliet, with 8 stagings each.
BONUS FACT #4: It seems artistic directors are reading AT’s complete playscripts. 4000 Miles and Detroit were both published in AT (in April ’12 and Feb. ’11, respectively). Furthermore, Gidion’s Knot by Johnna Adams, published in AT Dec. ’13, will receive 6 productions this season. We’re not claiming to be arbiters of taste, but excuse us while we pat ourselves on the back.
As always, this list reflects the seasons of the more than 500 member theatres of TCG, as reported to us by those theatres at press time. To search production schedules updated throughout the year, go to www.tcg.org/profiles, and click here for Top 10 lists from previous seasons.