I almost never go to musicals, except for obligatory ones with relatives visiting from overseas, but I go to dozens of straight plays each year. Working playwrights should learn what's out there, and attending productions by these theater companies:
- Classic Stage Company introduced me to Harold Pinter and Tennessee Williams's lesser known works in the 1970s, so I'm glad to know it's still thriving.
- La MaMa is what brought Sam Shepard and Lanford Wilson to the world.
- Some of our most famous actors flock to Manhattan Theatre Club to act in this company's deep list of contemporary plays.
- New York Theatre Workshop is hip in a cool East Village location and seeks to be on the cutting edge of drama.
- Pearl Theatre Company stages several provocative dramatic works each year.
- The Public Theater, also known as Joseph Papp's Public Theater, has been a go-to company for actors like Robert DeNiro, John Malkovich, Al Pacino, and Meryl Streep.
- Primary Stages has produced numerous new plays by prize-winning playwrights.
- Playwrights Horizons has lived up to its name for decades by being a central source for new American plays.
- Roundabout Theatre Company is one of the most upscale companies, featuring both classical and modern drama.
- Signature Theatre, my favorite, is dedicated to the playwright and to selling reasonably priced tickets, which even students can afford.
- George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick stages new and revived shows from emerging and established playwrights.
- McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton offers everything from Edward Albee to August Wilson.
- Two River Theater in Red Bank houses a spacious, beautiful venue for recent theatrical works.
- Goodman Theatre, which has been the launching ground of many Broadway plays.
- I have attended two productions of the innovative Steppenwolf Theater Company in Chicago.
- Mark Taper Forum, which is where Hollywood folks try their hand at real performance.