FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            EDITOR AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS
June 23, 2003                                                                      Contact: Jeffrey Eric Jenkins (718-789-5553)


(Also Off, Off Off and in theaters and bookstores everywhere)



(New York, NY) — The publication of The Best Plays of 2001–2002 (Limelight Editions, $47.50, 521 pages) continues a tradition dating back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual series on United States theater. Recent reviewers have said that the book is: “A veritable treasure trove of theater,”* “Very well written and insightful”* and “Filled with keen observations.”*

    Under series editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, the current edition honors 10 New York-based dramatic works and three plays from the resident theater while providing a collection of viewpoints on the season under review. It also offers an extensive compendium of facts and figures about the theater season in New York and around the United States. This year’s edition is dedicated to the memory of the great Al Hirschfeld, whose inimitable illustrations graced the book’s pages for exactly 50 years. Hirschfeld once said of the series: “When other books have been forgot, our book will still be hot.”

    The Best Plays of 2001–2002 were chosen from Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions of new plays that opened between June 1, 2001 and May 31, 2002. The choices were made by Jenkins after consultation with the Best Plays editorial board, which includes Robert Brustein, Tish Dace, Christine Dolen, Mel Gussow, Robert Hurwitt, John Istel, Chris Jones, Julius Novick, Michael Phillips, Christopher Rawson, Alisa Solomon, Jeffrey Sweet, Linda Winer and Charles Wright. The United States resident theater is represented in new-play statistics and in essays by Richard Christiansen, Michael Grossberg and Michael Phillips on plays recognized by the American Theatre Critics Association in its Steinberg New Play Award and Citations competition.

    The Best Plays of 2001–2002 (in alphabetical order): Big Love by Charles L. Mee (essayist, John Istel); Breath, Boom by Kia Corthron (essayist, Michael Feingold); The Dazzle by Richard Greenberg (essayist, Donald Lyons); Franny’s Way by Richard Nelson (essayist, Charles Wright); The Glory of Living by Rebecca Gilman (essayist, Chris Jones); The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? by Edward Albee (essayist, Charles Isherwood); Homebody/Kabul by Tony Kushner (essayist, Jennifer de Poyen); Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman (essayist, Christopher Rawson); [sic] by Melissa James Gibson (essayist, Bruce Weber); Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks (essayist, Margaret B. Wilkerson); 2001–2002 Special Citation: Elaine Stritch at Liberty by Elaine Stritch and John Lahr (essayist, Michael Sommers). Each of the Best Plays of 2001–2002 is illustrated by photographic highlights from the honored production.

* Reviews are available in full at