Best Playwrights of All Time | List of Greatest Playwrights

Best Playwrights

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It has been an arduous task collating a list of best playwrights. However, after careful deliberation, we believe that these playwrights deserve to be regarded as the best playwrights of all time. This list took into account craftsmanship, aesthetic value, originality, contribution to theatre and, of course, subjective favouritism by the StageMilk team (yes this is just our opinion).

We include playwrights from several countries and every period in history from Ancient Greece to modern marvels like Lucy Prebble. Each playwright has written a number great plays and has offered something truly original to the theatre. We are sure there will be plenty of contention about this list, but we would love to hear your thoughts.

At the end of the day this list has one purpose, to encourage actors to read more plays. You will be a better actor for reading the work of any of these great playwrights. If you are interested in reading plays by any of these playwrights click the link underneath each picture to see a more specific list of each playwrights strongest plays. Enjoy!

Best Playwrights of all Time

Other Great Playwrights

Sarah Ruhl
Suzan-lori Parks
Luigi Pirandello
Maxim Gorky
Georg Büchner
Sophie Treadwell
Kenneth Lonergan

Also check out our lists, Best American Playwrights and Best British Playwrights. We love to hear from our community of actors, so if you have a favourite playwright let us know in a comment below.

About the Author

StageMilk Team

is made up of professional actors, acting coaches and writers from around the world. This team includes Andrew, Alex, Emma, Jake, Jake, Indiana, Patrick and more. We all work together to contribute useful articles and resources for actors at all stages in their careers.

2 responses to “Best Playwrights”

  1. Avatar Kmchoop says:

    First, let me say I enjoy your site and find the games section easy to use and access. Thanks!

    As for the list of “best playwrights”: perhaps share the analytics that produced the list and consider broadening your research scope to include demographics other than white and male. I see Aphra Behn and Caryl Churchill on the runner’s up list, but why no females on the main list? What about trailblazers such as Lillian Hellman, Wakako Yamauchi, María Irene Fornés, Brenda Wong Akoi, Sarah Kane, and perhaps Hildegard von Bingen? And why so white a list? A 21st century list of great playwrights without influential 20th century authors such as Athol Fugard and August Wilson baffles me. And might your list include musical theatre playwrights, such as David Henry Hwang?

  2. Avatar Brian says:

    What about Dryden?
    Unfashionable – and yet …

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