Class Warfare, Art History and Vibrators Dominate American Stages This Season

10/04/2011 11:29 AM |

Red (left) and God of Carnage (right) on Broadway.

  • Red (left) and God of Carnage (right) on Broadway.

Every year the Theatre Communications Group publishes a list full of plays that left Broadway long ago but have since made their way to every corner of the country. TCG’s compendium of the most produced plays in America offers an often surprising account of New York theater’s most successful imports, sometimes in sharp contrast to their reception here—David Mamet’s lukewarmly reviewed Race, for instance, will be produced seven times this season. The list’s leaders are less surprising.

As the Times reports, this year’s favorites for regional and touring theaters in America are 2010 and 2009 Best Play Tony Award-winners Red and God of Carnage, respectively, both of which will be produced 23 times. John Logan’s drama about Mark Rothko had a relatively short (though successful) run, while Yasmina Reza’s tag team couples fight did very well, thanks in part to successive star-studded casts. More surprising is the country’s third-most produced play, Sarah Ruhl’s Pulitzer-shortlisted In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, about 19th century hysteria treatments, which will open on 13 stages around the nation this season.

The rest of the Top Ten looks like this:
The 39 Steps (by Patrick Barlow): 11 productions
Time Stands Still (by Donald Margulies): 11 productions
Next Fall (by Geoffrey Nauffts): 11 productions
To Kill a Mockingbird (by Harper Lee, adapted by Christopher Sergel): 8 productions
Race (by David Mamet): 7 productions
August: Osage County (by Tracy Letts): 7 productions
Clybourne Park (by Bruce Norris): 7 productions
With the impending arrival of Reza’s screen adaptation, the Roman Polanski-directed Carnage, expect her play to remain near the top of this list next season too.