In its annual October Season Preview issue, American Theatre magazine has released its lists of the Top 10 Most-Produced Plays (11 this year due to a tie) . Ten of those plays have either already been performed in the DC area or are scheduled for production in the 2018-2019 season. Among those plays is local playwright Karen Zacharías’ comedy Native Gardens.
Below is a list of those plays including author, number of reported productions and appearance on our area stages.
- A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath: 27 [Round House Theatre will present in June 2019]
- Sweat by Lynn Nottage: 16 [Arena Stage Jan-Feb 2016] and coming to Everyman in October.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, adapted by Simon Stephens from the novel by Mark Haddon: 13 [Kennedy Center Oct 2016]
- Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon: 13 [Round House Theatre Nov-Dec 2016]
- The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe: 13 [Studio Theatre Jan-March 2018]
- Fun Home book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori, based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel: 12 [National Theatre April-May 2017]
- Indecent by Paula Vogel: in its annual October Season Preview issue [Arena Stage will present Nov-Dec 2018 and at Baltimore Center Stage in February, 2019]
- Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías: 12 [Arena Stage Sept-Oct 2017]
- Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau: 11 [Studio Theatre Sept-Oct 2017]
- Once, book by Enda Walsh and music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, based on the film by John Carney: in its annual October Season Preview issue [Kennedy Center July-Aug 2016]
- Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen: 9
DC audiences can look forward to the area premieres of Paula Vogel’s Indecent and Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 in the coming year. The only production not yet staged in the DC area is Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Given the critical and popular success of her adaption of Sense and Sensibility at Folger Theatre two years ago, however, it is likely this play will also receive an area production in the near future.
The broader story of the most-produced plays list is its record degree of diversity.
The 11 most-produced plays include works by 9 female playwrights (and 2 female composers) opposite 3 male playwrights. In addition, it includes 6 playwrights of color. Both are historic records for the list and a healthy indicator of theatre’s ability to draw from a broad range of voices.
The same issue also contained American Theatre’s list of the Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights of 2018-19:
- Lucas Hnath 33
- Lauren Gunderson 29 (including 14 co-writing credits)
- Dominique Morisseau 26 (including 1 co-writing credit)
- Lynn Nottage 20 (including 1 co-writing credit)
- Karen Zacarías 18 (including 3 co-writing credits)
- Kate Hamill 18
- Paula Vogel 18
- Lisa Kron 17 (including 13 co-writing credits)
- Simon Stephens 17
- August Wilson 16 (including 2 co-writing credits)
- Sarah DeLappe 13
- Ken Ludwig 12
- Branden Jacobs-Jenkins 11
- Jen Silverman 11
- Christina Ham 10
- Enda Walsh 10 (including 9 co-writing credits)
- Tennessee Williams 10 (including 1 co-writing credit)
- Bess Wohl 9
- Duncan Macmillan 9
- Sam Shepard 9
Local theatre fans will be pleased to see our own Karen Zacarías at number 5 on the list. Her play Native Gardens on the most produced plays list was a co-production between Arena Stage and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Some of her other notable plays include Destiny of Desire, Legacy of Light, The Book Club Play, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents.