Just as theater lovers are tucking into The Best Plays of 2000-2001, that theater yearbook has rolled out its list of besties for 2001-2002. Along with a special citation for At Liberty lady Elaine Stritch and her co-author John Lahr, the annual will cite the following 10 works, in alphabetical order: Charles Mee's Big Love, Kia Corthron's Breath, Boom, Richard Greenberg's The Dazzle, Richard Nelson's Franny's Way, Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living, Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul, Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, Melissa James Gilbert's [sic], and Susan-Lori Parks's Topdog/Underdog.
Two playwrights are back for their second "best" in a row: Gilman's Boy Gets Girl showed up in the 2000-2001 edition, as did Albee's The Play About the Baby. Mee's Big Love will be celebrated for the second year in a row. In the 2000-2001 volume, it was applauded (in an essay by Michael Grossberg) in its production at the Actors Theater of Louisville; in December, the play showed up at BAM, where it was loved by critics and earned itself a place among the Best Plays of 2001-2002.
The "Best Plays" were chosen from among those that opened in New York between June 1, 2001 and May 31, 2002. The annual was founded in 1920; this is the second year at the helm for new editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, who was aided in his selections by an editorial board consisting of such luminaries as Alisa Solomon of the Village Voice, the Chicago Tribune's Chris Jones, and lauded critic and director Robert Brustein. These and other denizens of the critical community will contribute essays about the winning plays.