NEW YORK (June 19, 2002) - Continuing a tradition that dates back to 1920, when Burns Mantle founded the annual Best Plays theater yearbook, the Best Plays of 2001–2002 were announced today by editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins.

For the next edition, the annual chronicle of United States theater honors 10 new plays. A Special Citation, announced in May, goes to Elaine Stritch and John Lahr for Elaine Stritch at Liberty. In addition to the Best Plays of 2001–2002, the book also honors three regional plays cited in the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Awards and Citations competition, and will provide a compendium of facts and figures about the year in theater. Continuing his six-decade relationship with Best Plays is the brilliant artist, Al Hirschfeld.

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 the editor 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.

Each of the Best Plays of 2001–2002 will be celebrated in an essay to be published in the 2001-2002 edition of the book. 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)

Best Plays uses the Web address of

Mailing address:
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins
Best Plays
825 President Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215-1405
Phone: 718-789-5553
Fax: 718-789-9025

More of Best Plays Online:

Best Plays Home Page

Jenkins Named Editor of Best Plays Series

 From the Best Plays Photo Archives

Founding Editor Burns Mantle

 Former Editor John Chapman