Top 10 Most-Produced Plays and Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights

Sep 21, 2016
American Theatre Magazine

American Theatre magazine, published by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), has released its annual October Season Preview issue, which includes lists of the Top 10 Most-Produced Plays and Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights for the coming season. Based on the 2016-17 seasons reported by TCG's Member Theatres, these lists customarily omit holiday-themed shows (The Santaland Diaries and A Christmas Carol) as well as works by Shakespeare. Robert Askins' Hand to God will be the most-produced play, with 13 total productions, and August Wilson will be the most-produced playwright, with 18 total productions.

"These lists from American Theatre not only spotlight the exciting new plays and resurgent classics on our stages, but also ignite critical conversations about the state of our field," said Teresa Eyring, executive director of TCG. "In particular, this year's Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights list gives us hope that our field's growing commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion is manifesting in theatres' season selections."

Askins said he was "totally shocked" about his play making the top of the most-produced list, saying, "I think that the puppet play, especially the aggressive, religious, sexual puppet play, is just not a genre we have in the American theatre. So to see people embrace it-I'm into it."

The 2016-17 American Theatre Top 10 Most-Produced Plays*:

Hand to God by Robert Askins: 13

Constellations by Nick Payne: 10

Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar: 10

Million Dollar Quartet by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott: 10

The Christians by Lucas Hnath: 8

Peter and the Starcatcher, adapted by Rick Elice from Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson: 8

The Legend of Georgia McBride by Matthew Lopez: 7

Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason: 7

Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage: 6

King Charles III by Mike Bartlett: 6

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry: 6

Sister Act, with book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Glenn Slater: 6

*Due to ties, there are 12 plays in the Top 10.

Lauren Gunderson, who will be most-produced living playwright of the coming season, said, "Usually the top of the list is a Pulitzer winner or someone as incredible and revered as August Wilson," who this year occupies the top spot. "It is a pretty exciting confirmation that you don't have to live in New York, or even have that much of a presence in New York, to have a career." Gunderson, who is based in San Francisco, appeared on the list as the eighth most-produced playwright last year.

The 2016-17 American Theatre Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights*:

August Wilson: 17

Lauren Gunderson: 16 (including 4 cowriting credit)

Arthur Miller: 15

Ayad Akhtar: 14

Tennessee Williams: 14

Robert Askins: 13

Annie Baker: 12

Quiara Alegri­a Hudes: 11 (including 6 cowriting credits)

Ken Ludwig: 11 (including 1 cowriting credit)

Tony Kushner: 10 (including 2 cowriting credits)

Suzan-Lori Parks: 10

Nick Payne: 10

Karen Zacarías: 10

Rick Elice: 9 (including 1 cowriting credit)

Lucas Hnath: 9

Matthew Lopez: 9

Lynn Nottage: 9 Mark St. Germain: 9 (including 1 cowriting credit)

Mike Bartlett: 8

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins: 8

Moliere: 8

*Due to ties, there are 21 playwrights in the Top 20.

For more information about the American Theatre Top 10 Most-Produced Plays and Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights lists, visit