Every generation brings with it a whole new group of promising young playwrights, and the trend of late has been the long awaited emergence of women as a force in dramatic theatre. Of the five candidates for future success in America’s regional theatres – and on Broadway – four are women. Can we have a little applause, please?
The gallery of up-and-comers was ompiled by Blouin ArtInfo (which I highly recommend reading on a regular basis.) They were looking at the top 25 emerging Broadway players, yet the writers have been having their greatest successes off Broadway, and in the smaller theatres. Katori Hall’s Whaddabloodclot! played the Williamstown Theatre Festival last month, and Steven Karam’s Speech and Debate and Sons of the Prophet have gotten their New England premieres at Boston’s Lyric Stage and Huntington Theatre respectively.
If there was one playwright they missed, it is Matthew Lopez whose Whipping Man continues to fascinate regional audiences.
Among the other 25 are the hard working Nina Arianda who won a Tony for Venus in Fur. Also in the spotlight are the wonderful Andrew Keenan Bolger and Jeremy Jordan, both currently in Newsies on Broadway.
Black Suits composer Joe Iconis also gets well deserved recognition. It recently completed its run at Barrington Stage Company, and though not open for review, it has to be the best musical ever produced in its Music Theatre Lab. And there have been many contenders over the years. He writes songs for the tv series, Smash, as well.
To see the entire slideshow of the Top 25, visit ARTINFO.
Annie Baker, Playwright
Little surprise that the 31-year-old Baker’s recent adaptation of “Uncle Vanya” was such a critical smash. The rhythms of her plays, including “Circle Mirror Transformation” and “Aliens, “ are Chekhovian in their subtlety, honesty, and great compassion for the wayward characters. She brings that scrupulous attention to detail and unhurried pace to “The Flick,” a Playwrights Horizons production this fall, which will be directed by her frequent collaborator Sam Gold. (Photo Courtesy Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
Katori Hall, Playwright
A self-described “post-Civil Rights baby,” 31-year-old Hall brought a clinical and irreverent perspective to her double-header last season — “The Mountaintop” and “Hurt Village.” The former, which won London’s prestigious Olivier Award, is a fantastical visit with Martin Luther King while the latter gives ferocious voice to a besieged mother in a rundown housing project. This fall, “Children of Killers,” a drama about the Rwanda genocide, plays the Castillo in New York. Photo Courtesy © Patrick McMullan
Amy Herzog, Playwright
In her semi-autobiographical works, such as “After the Revolution” and “4000 Miles,” 34-year-old Herzog astringently and expertly examined the family dynamic within the context of her forebears’ firebrand socialism. In her two new, highly anticipated plays, Herzog delves into psychological concerns. “The Great God Pan” at Playwrights Horizons this fall concerns a young man traumatized by a recovered memory; and, in “Belleville,” an expat couple tries to cope with life in a decaying Parisian suburb. Photo Courtesy Lincoln Center Theater.
Quiara Alegria Hudes, Playwright
In the face of stiff competition, Hudes’s “Water By the Spoonful” won the 2012 Pulitzer and will receive its New York premiere this winter at Second Stage. With a Jewish father and Puerto Rican mother, Hudes, 34, grew up amid multi-racial rhythms that make her work sing, including the libretto for “In the Heights.” It is her epic trilogy, inspired by her Iraq War vet cousin, that is her masterwork. What started with “Elliot, a Soldier’s Fugue” and continued with “Water,” concludes with “The Happiest Song Plays Last,” which premieres at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre next spring.. Photo Courtesy WME Entertainment.
Stephen Karam, Playwright
Few playwrights make as an auspicious debut as this 32-year-old Lebanese-American from Pennsylvania did with his funny and incisive off-Broadway comedy “Speech and Debate.” His relationship with the Roundabout Theatre paid even greater dividends when his “Sons of the Prophet,” a Pulitzer Prize finalist, played the Laura Pels Theatre last year to great acclaim. His choice of subject matter — Columbine, polygamy, mysticism, family dysfunction — combines with wit, wisdom, and compassion to make Karam one of the most promising new writers in years. Photo Courtesy Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images