Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

31 December 2009

Five Most Influential

My friend Michael Stablein Jr. asked me, for a lark, what I thought were the most influential forces in USAmerican theatre today. Michael's five were:
1. The Group
2. Eugene O'Neill
3. Richard Foreman
4. The Shubert Family
5. Robert Wilson
My list is a little more recent than Michael's, and I think a little less New-York-centric, but only because I didn't repeat any of Michael's in the interest of fun:
1. Tony Kushner
2. Jerzy Grotowski
3. Augusto Boal
4. Anna Deavere Smith
5. Theatre Communications Group
I sent the game to a couple of my friends and they came up with a few more fun names. Anne added:
1. Anne Bogart
2. Elizabeth LeCompte
3. The New York Times
Josh's five were:
1. BAM
2. Robert Wilson
3. Suzan-Lori Parks
4. Humana Festival
5. Stephen Sondheim
Liz liked all of our lists and had one additional name to throw into the pot:
1. Julie Taymor
And Mark rounded out the group with another four:
1. Adam Guettel
2. Sam Shepard
3. Music Theatre International
4. Little Theatre Movement
I think Adam Guettel is a bit of an exaggeration, personally, and it's a little ridiculous that no one has mentioned Paula Vogel. I am also not that big a fan of Parks and I think she is less influential than she appears to be, so I wouldn't have her on the list. What do YOU think, dear reader?


  1. I don't think contemporary theatremakers really understand that, in many many ways, they live in a world that Joe Papp built.