The Best American Short Plays 2003-2004
(Best American Short Plays). Applause is proud to continue to publish the series that for over 60 years has been the standard of excellence for one-act plays in America. From its inception, The Best American Short Plays has identified new, cutting edge playwrights who have gone on to establish award-winning careers, including Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee, Wendy Wasserstein, Terrence McNally, and David Mamet. This new volume includes John Guare's Woman at a Threshold, Beckoning ; John Ford Noonan's The Raunchy Dame in the Chinese Raincoat ; Tina Howe's Water Music ; and Joe Pintauro's Ten-Dollar Drinks . The subject matter of this 12-play collection, with half of the plays by women, is up to the minute: In Jules Tasca's The Death of Bliss a young Palestinian wife pleads with her husband not to become a suicide bomber. Melanie Marnich's The Right to Remain was commissioned by Mixed Blood Theatre for its Bill of (W)Rights project, designed to explore the state of the U.S. Constitution's Bill of Rights at the beginning of 2004. Peter Maloney's Leash is set in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. And for variety's sake, Deborah Brevoort's Blue Moon Over Memphis is a Noh Drama about Elvis Presley. Other plays rounding out the collection include Jordan Harrison's Fit for Feet ; Mary Gallagher's Perfect ; and Lavonne Mueller's The Wounded Do Not Cry , the latter inspired by the life of Frances Slanger, forgotten heroine of the Normandy invasion. Susan Miller's The Grand Design was staged in Los Angeles at the Canon Theatre in an evening of original one act plays benefiting Cure Autism Now, starring Lily Tomlin and Eric Stoltz, It was also performed by Marsha Mason and Scott Cohen at Town Hall in New York City for Brave New World, a marathon of plays commemorating 9/11. It was also a finalist for the Actor's Theatre of Louisville's Heideman Award.