Still the Most Produced Playwright in America: Shakespeare
September 23, 2016 § Leave a Comment
American Theatre Magazine has released its annual, informative listing of the most produced playwrights in America among the members of the Theatre Communications Group, which consists of virtually all of the USA’s regional theatres. It is a listing I always find fascinating and of great use to my students. Perpetually, however, you have to read to the bottom of the page and look at the small print to find the real answer to the question:
Their footnote on methodology says:
“NOTABLE OMISSIONS: Shakespeare continues his long reign as the most-produced playwright in America, with 91 productions this season (including adaptations). And Stephen Sondheim continues to be the most-produced musical theatre composer in America, with 15 productions this season. It’s not just children who are listening…”
The most produced playwright this year that they do count is August Wilson with 17 productions, followed closely by Bay Area playwright Lauren Gunderson with 16. Sondheim would place third on this list (tied with Arthur Miller) if composers were considered.
Still, those four playwrights combined have fewer productions than Shakespeare. You can throw in Ayad Akhtar and Tennessee Williams, the fourth place finishers at 14 each, and you still just tie Shakespeare’s number.