2023-2024 Theatre Season In Review: A Year of Diverse Voices and Captivating Stories

The 77th Tony Awards® are this Sunday! As we wrap up another great season of theatre, let’s reflect on this year’s remarkable shows. Rajiv Joseph’s King James and Candrice Jones’s Flex brought compelling sports narratives to the stage. Sandy Rustin’s hilarious play The Cottage explored intimacy and relationships with her signature wit. Revivals also made a significant impact, with Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s Appropriate delving into family tensions and John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, the Parable tackling themes of religion and sexuality. This season showcased a diverse array of stories and voices, both on and off-Broadway!

Broadway Licensing Global also wants to congratulate our authors on their runs this year:

  • Congratulations to Bekah Brunstetter on The Notebook. Check out her plays here.
  • Congratulations to Kristoffer Diaz and Tom Kitt on Hell’s Kitchen. Check out Diaz’s play here and Kitt’s musicals here.
  • Congratulations to Jackie Sibblies Drury on Illinoise. Check out her plays here.
  • Congratulations to PigPen Theatre Co. and Rick Elice on Water for Elephants. Check out PigPen’s musicals here and Elice’s musical here.
  • Congratulations to William Jackson Harper on Uncle Vanya. Check out his play here.
  • Congratulations to Amy Herzog on her two plays, An Enemy of the People and Mary Jane. Check out her plays here.
  • Congratulations to Craig Lucas on Days of Wine and Roses. Get the script that Days… was adapted from here, and check out his plays here.
  • Congratulations to Des McAnuff on The Who’s Tommy. Check out his musical here.
  • And finally, congrats to Paula Vogel on Mother Play. Check out her plays here.

King James by Rajiv Joseph

Opened May 16, 2023 at the Manhattan Theatre Club

“King” LeBron James’s years playing in Cleveland bring promise, prosperity, and renewal to a city in desperate need of all three. His tenure also unites Shawn and Matt in an unlikely bond forged by fandom. Over twelve years, from LeBron’s rookie season to an NBA Championship, the men navigate their turbulent friendship through their shared love of basketball—and the endless amiable arguments that erupt from that love. A clever comedy, King James is an intimate exploration of the place that sports occupy in our lives and relationships.

Flex by Candrice Jones

Opened July 20, 2023 at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater

The pressure is on for the 1998 Lady Train high school basketball team—on top of a battle to bring home the championship trophy, it is also college scouting season. But the team’s performance on the court is tested as it ruptures under the weight of its own infighting, and the once-tight players begin to focus on their individual futures. What does it mean to be a Black girl on the brink of freedom and womanhood in a small town in the South? Does honoring your own wants mean sacrificing your friends, family, and team? This funny and frank play about getting a full-court press from life will have audiences cheering.

The Cottage by Sandy Rustin

Opened July 24, 2023 at the Hayes Theater

Sylvia and Beau find themselves in an English countryside cottage for their yearly rendezvous, and Sylvia knows this time it will be the beginning of their new life together. But when Beau demurs on a shared future, and their spouses arrive at the cottage, she realizes that this home-away-from-home is a refuge for determining a new path forward. With a tip of the hat to Noël Coward and sex comedies of the past, The Cottage offers a perfect showcase for six actors with endless laughs, hilarious twists, daring physical comedy, and a happy ending for lovers everywhere.

The Shark Is Broken, written by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon

Opened August 10, 2023 at the John Golden Theatre

The first summer blockbuster movie is being filmed—but no one working on the film would know it. Dive deep into the tumultuous, murky waters of the making of a major motion picture with testy, feuding costars, unpredictable weather, and a shark prop whose constant breakdowns are looking like an omen for the future of the movie. In this comedy co-written by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon, the short tempers of Jaws stars Robert Shaw (father of co-writer Ian), Richard Dreyfuss, and Roy Scheider take center stage as they bond, argue, drink, gamble, and pray for an end to the shoot, not knowing it will change their lives forever.

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding by Jocelyn Bioh

2024 Tony Award® Nominee for Best Play

Opened October 3, 2023 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

Jaja’s African Hair Braiding in Harlem is a salon full of funny, whip-smart, talented women ready to make you look and feel nice-nice. On this particularly muggy summer day, Jaja’s rule-following daughter Marie is running the shop while her mother prepares for her courthouse, green-card wedding—to a man no one seems to particularly like. Just like her mother, Dreamer Marie is trying to secure her future; she’s just graduated high school and all she wants to do is go to college. While Marie deals with the customers’ and stylists’ laugh-out-loud drama, news pierces the hearts of the women of the salon, galvanizing their connections and strengthening the community they have longed to make in the United States.

Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

2024 Tony Award® Nominee for Best Revival of a Play
Winner of the 2015 Obie Award for Best New American Play

Opened December 18, 2023 at the Hayes Theater. Transferred to the Belasco Theatre March 25, 2024

Every estranged member of the Lafayette clan has descended upon the crumbling Arkansas homestead to settle the accounts of the newly-dead patriarch. As his three adult children sort through a lifetime of hoarded mementos and junk, they collide over clutter, debt, and a contentious family history. But after a disturbing discovery surfaces among their father’s possessions, the reunion takes a turn for the explosive, unleashing a series of crackling surprises and confrontations.

Doubt, A Parable by John Patrick Shanley

Winner of the 2005 Tony Award® for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Opened March 7 at the Todd Haimes Theatre

In this brilliant and powerful drama, Sister Aloysius, a Bronx school principal, takes matters into her own hands when she suspects the young Father Flynn of improper relations with one of the male students.


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