June 8, 2005                                                       Contact: Jeffrey Eric Jenkins (718-789-5553)

Women Writers Celebrated!

Best Plays Released Today Honors Work by Nine Women

(New York, NY) -- Plays authored or co-authored by nine women are honored in the 85th edition of The Best Plays Theater Yearbook, 2003-2004 which will be released June 15 (Limelight Editions, $49.95, 526 pages). During the 2003-2004 season, female (and male) voices thrilled theater audiences with powerful tales about contemporary life and the world in which we live.

Publication of the book continues a tradition dating back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual series on United States theater. Recent reviewers have written: “No theater enthusiast should be without it.”* “Stylish commentary, which gives the reader a sense of the original production in addition to its literary merit.”* “It remains the smartest, most comprehensive . . . survey of American theater.”*

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.

The Best Plays of 2003-2004 were chosen from Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions of new plays that opened between June 1, 2003 and May 31, 2004. The choices were made by Jenkins after consultation with the Best Plays editorial board, which included 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-production statistics and in essays by Christopher Rawson and Rick Pender on plays recognized by the American Theatre Critics Association in its Steinberg New Play Award and Citations competition--one of which was also written by a woman, Carson Kreitzer.

The Best Plays of 2003-2004 (in alphabetical order): Anna in the Tropics by Nilo Cruz (essayist, Christine Dolen); Caroline, or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori (essayist, John Istel); Frozen by Bryony Lavery (essayist, Anne Marie Welsh); Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage (essayist, Lenora Inez Brown); Living Out by Lisa Loomer (essayist, Charles Wright); The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel (essayist, Tish Dace); Omnium Gatherum by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros (essayist, Chris Jones); Small Tragedy by Craig Lucas (essayist, Charles Isherwood); The Violet Hour by Richard Greenberg (essayist, Michael Feingold); Well by Lisa Kron (essayist, Michael Sommers). Each of the Best Plays of 2003-2004 is illustrated by photographic highlights from the honored production.

* Reviews are available in full at