For over thirty years, we’ve been proud to partner with Theatre Communications Group, North America’s largest independent trade publisher of dramatic literature, to distribute their books throughout the UK and Europe.
To celebrate the arrival of another batch of fantastic American drama – all now available to order – we’re taking this opportunity to introduce you to the plays and the wonderful writers behind them.
Evening Plays by Richard Maxwell
Three new dramas written by award-winning playwright Richard Maxwell – described by the New York Times as ‘perhaps the greatest American experimental theater auteur of his generation’ – as a response to Dante’s Divine Comedy.
The Evening centers around three archetypal barflies who together form an elegy of universal loss. The loss of a loved one seeps poignantly into his illustration of the stark reality and emotional tumult of coping with death.
Samara is a mythic tale of redemption that follows a messenger through a bleak frontier in his quest to collect a debt, though the human cost of the journey may be more than he bargained for.
And Paradiso, which takes place in the not-too distant future, describes three great loves: family, country and God.
Exquisite Agony by Nilo Cruz
First seen at Repertorio Español in New York, this acclaimed drama by Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Nilo Cruz is a play about the heart—its passions, its failures, and its ability to connect.
After Millie’s husband, Lorenzo, dies in a car crash, his heart is used to save a young man’s life. Unable to let go of this final living piece of her husband, Millie reaches out to the transplant recipient, Amér, with the hope that some part of the heart still carries Lorenzo’s memories.
As Amér ponders the ways in which this new heart is transforming him, he becomes entangled in the lives of Millie and her family, trapped by longings and obsessions that are not his own.
We love this review from the New Yorker, which really sums up the play: ‘Cruz’s feminist view is one of the liberating aspects of his writing, as is a kind of magical realism that is not cloying but true to his characters, and to the fact of dispossession: sometimes we don’t know who we are because we don’t know where life has landed on our bodies, let alone in our hearts.’
Illyria by Richard Nelson
It is 1958. In the midst of a building boom in New York City, Joe Papp and his colleagues are facing pressure from the city’s elite as they continue their free Shakespeare in Central Park.
From Richard Nelson, the Tony and Olivier Award-winning playwright and creator of the most celebrated family plays of the last decade, comes a drama about a different kind of family—one held together by the belief that the theatre, and the city, belong to all New Yorkers. It premiered at the Public Theater, New York.
The Kilroys List: Volume Two – 67 Monologues and Scenes by Women and Nonbinary Playwrights
The Kilroys are a gang of playwrights and producers who came together in Los Angeles in 2013 to stop talking about gender parity in theatre and start taking action. In 2014, they released their first annual List: a vetted collection of plays written by women, trans, and nonbinary writers, nominated by hundreds of professional artistic directors, literary managers, professors, directors, and dramaturgs.
This collection includes a monologue or scene from each play from the 2016 and 2017 editions of The List.
‘When I look at the list of women and nonbinary writers included in this volume, many of whom I have mentored or taught, it is a beautiful reminder that we are a community to be reckoned with, and that there is an abundance of vital narratives awaiting a larger audience. While there remains a great deal of work to be done to reach racial and gender equity in the theater, the powerful and provocative writing presented here is part of the inciting incident that will no doubt shake up the status quo.’ Lynn Nottage, from her Foreword
The Language Archive and Other Plays by Julia Cho
A new collection of plays by one of the most versatile dramatists in contemporary American theatre.
In The Language Archive, a documenter of dying languages of far-flung cultures finds himself unable to recognise and respond to the words and feelings of those closest to him. (‘Very stimulating and haunting’ – Chicago Tribune)
Durango is a ‘finely wrought drama’ (Los Angeles Times) about families and the secrets that lie just beneath the surface. When two seemingly perfect young men embark on a road trip with their widowed father, it doesn’t take long for the carefully constructed facades of all three to crack, and old wounds to re-open.
In the poignant and lyrical Aubergine, snapshots of different lives and characters show how the making of a perfect meal can be an expression more precise than language, and the medium through which life gradually reveals itself. (‘A moving meditation on love, loss, and the emotional power of food’ – Hollywood Reporter)
The Piano Teacher is ‘a cozy, effective little chiller’ (New York Times) about an elderly widow in a small suburban town who finds herself compelled to call one of her old piano students – but is it out of loneliness or some other, darker need?
Finally, Office Hour is an ‘undeniably topical’ (Los Angeles Times) play about our public and private selves, and what we choose to project to the world. Teacher Gina instructs her eighteen-year-old problem student, Dennis, to attend her office hours – but soon discovers that her impression of him may be very wrong indeed.
Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris
This acclaimed, much-talked-about drama – described by the Chicago Tribune as ‘the most radical Broadway play in years’ – rips apart history to shed new light on the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality in twenty-first-century America.
The Old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation – in the breeze, in the cotton fields… and in the crack of the whip.
Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems.
Slave Play was premiered by New York Theatre Workshop, before transferring to Broadway. It was nominated for Best Play in the 2019 Lucille Lortel Awards.
The Sound Inside by Adam Rapp
Brimming with suspense, this riveting play by novelist, filmmaker and OBIE Award-winning writer and director Adam Rapp (‘the closest thing that the American theater currently has to a David Foster Wallace’ – Chicago Tribune) explores the limits of what one person can ask of another.
When Bella Baird, an isolated creative writing professor at Yale, begins to mentor a brilliant but enigmatic student, Christopher, the two form an unexpectedly intense bond. As their lives and the stories they tell about themselves become intertwined in unpredictable ways, Bella makes a surprising request of Christopher.
An ‘astonishing play’ (New York Times) that ‘will take your breath away’ (Variety), The Sound Inside was first seen at Williamstown Theater Festival, Williamstown, Massachusetts, before transferring to Broadway.
Straight White Men / Untitled Feminist Show: Two Plays by Young Jean Lee
Two plays by award-winning dramatist Young Jean Lee, the first female Asian-American playwright to be produced on Broadway.
In Straight White Men, it’s Christmas Eve, and Ed has gathered his three adult sons to celebrate with matching pajamas, trash-talking, and Chinese takeout. But when a question they can’t answer interrupts their holiday cheer, they are forced to confront their own identities.
In Untitled Feminist Show, six charismatic stars of the downtown theatre, dance, cabaret, and burlesque worlds come together to invite the audience on an exhilaratingly irreverent, nearly-wordless celebration of a fluid and limitless sense of identity.
‘Young Jean Lee is, hands down, the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation’ New York Times
Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov, translated from the Russian by Richard Nelson, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
After their father’s death, Olga, Masha, and Irina find life in their small Russian town stifling and hopeless. They long to return to Moscow, the bustling metropolis they left eleven years ago, but their brother Andrei’s gambling habits have trapped them in their small provincial lives.
As the seventh play in Theatre Communication Group’s Classic Russian Drama Series, playwright Richard Nelson and translators of Russian literature Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky continue their collaboration with a masterful new translation of Chekhov’s exploration of yearning and disillusionment.
‘Pevear and Volokhonsky are at once scrupulous translators and vivid stylists of English.’ – James Wood, New Yorker
We’re proud to distribute these and dozens of other titles by our American partners, Theatre Communications Group. See our full range of TCG publications here.