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11 Tony Award-Winning Plays (from the Last Eleven Years) You Should Know

Written by Ashleigh Gardner

June 3, 2017

In honor of Tonys week, we present eleven Tony Award-winning plays from the past eleven years that have won the prestigious award for Best Play (formally titled the Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre). If you’re looking for a monologue from a stellar example of theatre, dig into these pieces. They’re sure not to disappoint.

The History Boys (2006) by Alan Bennett

An unruly bunch of sixth-form (senior) boys in a British boarding school are on the search for sex, sport, and acceptance at a respectable university. Leading them is a revolutionary English teacher who inspires them and a history teacher who questions the methods of the school’s traditional teaching techniques. Their relationship with their instructors helps shape the play into a memorable story of how teachers shape the lives of their students in unimaginable ways.

Find the script here.

The Coast of Utopia (2007) by Tom Stoppard

The Coast of Utopia gathers three sequential plays that tell the story of a group of friends who grow up during the reign of Tsar Nicholas I. The anarchist Michael Bakunin, the revolutionary author Ivan Turgenev, the brazen critic Vissarion Belinsky, and first proclaimed socialist in Russia Alexander Herzen find challenges and triumphs in their separate and combined struggles. The Coast of Utopia  examines how the young react to a government that they deem unfit to continue.

Find the play here.

August: Osage County (2008) by Tracy Letts

Three sisters with inconvenient secrets gather at their midwestern family home after the disappearance of their father. Their mother, Violet, the crazed, pill-popping matriarch, makes things even more difficult with her constant outbursts and continuous judgement. A terrifying, hysterical, and heart wrenching depiction of a dysfunctional midwestern family, August: Osage County is a play not to be left unread.

Find the play here.

God of Carnage (2009) by Yasmina Reza

After their eleven-year-old sons have a fight on the playground, two couples have dinner to resolve the dispute. At first, the discussion is cordial, but what begins as a pleasant evening devolves into a drunken verbal — and physical — sparring match between two set of parents whose liberal principles and self control are tested.

Find the play here.

Red (2010) by John Logan

Abstract artist Mark Rothko has just accepted the largest commission in the history of modern art and begins work feverishly with his young assistant, Ken. When Ken gets the gumption to challenge Rothko’s artistic decisions, Rothko must face the possibility that his largest painting could also become his biggest downfall.

Find the play here.

War Horse (2011) by Nick Stafford

After the start of World War I, Albert’s beloved horse, Joey, is shipped off to France for the cavalry. Over the course of the war, Joey escapes enemy fire, serves both sides, and finds himself alone in no man’s land…only to be rescued by Albert, who, not old enough to enlist, braves the war to find his horse.

Find the play here.

Clybourne Park (2012) by Bruce Norris

A comment on Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun, Clybourne Park takes places in two acts set fifty years apart. Act One takes place in 1959 as community leaders try to stop a black family from purchasing a home in a predominantly white neighborhood. Act Two takes place in the same house during present day as the neighborhood, now predominantly black, attempts to fight encroaching white gentrification.

Find the play here.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2013) by Christopher Durang

A hilarious, biting, and wacky comedy about Vanya, his adopted sister Sonia, their actress sister Masha, Masha’s young boy-toy Spike, and Nina, a star-struck superfan obsessed with Masha. A quiet country weekend turns unexpectedly into a raucous, hysterical rivalry that tests the foundations of what family means.

Find the play here.

All the Way (2014) by Robert Schenkkan

It’s November of 1963 and Lyndon Johnson is pushed into the presidency following JFK’s assassination. Johnson is hurled into dealing with the Civil Rights Act while he also tries to gain re-election and reap recognition for being a president elected by the people. A play about how one man teeters on the precipice of fame, glory, power, and responsibility for a nation that’s divided.

Find the play here.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2015) by Simon Stephens

15-year-old Christopher is intelligent beyond his years. But while he’s a genius at math, he’s unable to successfully handle everyday conversations and situations. When he finds his neighbor’s dead dog, speared with a garden fork, at seven minutes after midnight, Christopher becomes the primary suspect of the canine’s murder. In response, Christopher records every detail of the crime in an attempt to clear his name and bring answers to the murder of the dog, a journey of justice that ultimately turns his world upside down.

Find the play here.


Ashleigh Gardner received her AA in Theatre/Drama/Dramatic Arts from Valencia College and her Bachelors Degree in English Literature and Masters Degree in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies from the University of Central Florida. She is a playwright, an actor, and PerformerStuff.com’s Editor. 
Photo Credits:
Matt Martin.
Sara Krulwich.
Sara Krulwich.
Michael DeCristofaro.
Liz Lauren.
Simon Annand.
Walter Kerr Theatre.
Carol Rosegg.
Neil Simon Theatre.
National Theatre.
Sara Krulwich.