New Playwrights: The Best Plays of 2006 share button
D. L. Lepidus
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)
Pages 393
Publisher Smith & Kraus, Inc.
Publication Date January 2007
ISBN 9781575255590
Book ISBN 10 1575255596
About Book
The latest in this prestigious series, this enticing anthology contains seven amazing new plays by new playwrights, including: Almost, Maine John Cariani. Suite of interrelated short comedies about the unforgettable denizens of a tiny town in Maine. A hit Off-Broadway at the Daryl Roth Theatre. War in Paramus Barbara Dana. Realistic drama about a troubled teenaged girl in a New Jersey family during the Vietnam era. Off-Broadway success directed by Austin Pendleton at Abingdon Theatre Co. Bulrusher Eisa Davis. Inventive and poetic drama about a mysterious California orphan. Produced Off-Broadway by Urban Stages. Indoor/Outdoor Kenny Finkle. Hilarious and poignant comedy about the travails of a house cat named Samantha. Originally produced by the Hangar Theatre. Subsequently an Off-Broadway success at the DR2 Theatre. Cowboy Versus Samurai Michael Golamco. Delightful comedy about the only two Asian-American guys in a small town in Wyoming and what happens when the first Asian-American woman arrives there to live. Produced Off-Broadway by National Asian American Theatre Co. In the Continuum Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter. Off-Broadway success about several American and African woman dealing with the reality of AIDS In their lives. Originally produced off-Broadway at Primary Stages, then transferred for a successful commercial run Off-Broadway and has toured all over the world. Six Years Sharr White. Compelling drama from the Humana Festival that follows the lives of a husband and wife from just after the Second World War up into the Vietnam era.

Library Journal

Reading a new play is not as exciting as seeing the first production, but there's still a frisson when the cover is turned-and the added benefit that frustration does not require leaving at intermission but just hurling the book aside. Alas, the latest collection of plays from the Humana Festival met the floor several times. Except for Eric Coble's Natural Selection, Adam Bock's Three Guys and a Brenda, and Sharr White's Six Years(also included in New Playwrights), the works are disappointing. Natural Selection, set at a time when the world outdoors is viewed with fear and suspicion, is funny and off balance-a sort of sequel to Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth. Three Guysbends gender like a damp willow branch (a theme also taken up with some subtlety by Jordan Harrison's Act a Lady). Six Yearstracks the integration, disintegration, and reintegration (maybe) of the marriage of Phil and Meredith. It's deeply disturbing, tragic, and moving and would make for a very satisfying night at the theater.

Lepidus brings forth the ninth volume of Smith & Kraus's "Best Plays" series, and it's mighty fine. The seven works are all full-length plays, and every one of them deserves production-from university theater to community theater to professional companies. The common theme among these works seems to be outsiders seeking love. Michael Golamco's Cowboy Versus Samurai, about three (and the only) Asians in a Wyoming town, speaks at operatic intensity to the "only" out there, wherever they are. And then there's John Cariani's Almost, Maine, a wonderful play made up of four actors, 19 roles, 11 interconnectedscenes, a rural setting, love in the air, and shooting stars. If your library has the run of the series to which these volumes belong, there's no reason not to get the latest issue. New Playwrightsis strongly recommended for academic and public libraries; Humana Festival 2006would be better appreciated by theater departments in an academic setting.
—Larry Schwartz