The plays were chosen by Jenkins with the help of the Best Plays editorial board. Eligible for consideration were new plays that opened on Broadway, Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway between June 1, 2003 and May 31, 2004. The 85th edition of the yearbook will also honor three regionally produced plays cited in the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Awards and Citations competition and will provide extensive information about the year in U.S. theater.
The Best Plays selections are listed below with the authors' names, each followed by the name of the contributor who will write an essay about the play:
- Anna in the Tropics, by Nilo Cruz (Christine Dolen)
- Caroline, or Change, by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori (John Istel)
- Frozen, by Bryony Lavery (Anne Marie Welsh)
- Intimate Apparel, by Lynn Nottage (Lenora Inez Brown)
- Living Out, by Lisa Loomer (Charles Wright)
- The Long Christmas Ride Home by Paula Vogel (Tish Dace)
- Omnium Gatherum, by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros (Chris Jones)
- Small Tragedy, by Craig Lucas (Charles Isherwood)
- The Violet Hour, by Richard Greenberg (Michael Feingold)
- Well by Lisa Kron (Michael Sommers)
For more information, visit www.bestplaysonline.com.