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Shakespeare Plays Popularity Index

A ranking of William Shakespeare plays and poems according to how frequently they are produced in live theaters (updating in progress; last update April 30, 2024).*

1. A Midsummer Night's Dream (186 productions)
2. Romeo and Juliet (146)
    Hamlet (146)
4. Macbeth (140)
5. Twelfth Night (135)
6. Much Ado About Nothing (129)
7. As You Like It (1256
8. The Tempest (112)
9. The Comedy of Errors (100)
10. Julius Caesar (98)
11. The Taming of the Shrew (95)
12. King Lear (79)
13. Othello (78)
14. The Merry Wives of Windsor (77)
15. The Winter's Tale (74)
      Richard III (74)
17. Love's Labour's Lost (65)
18. Henry V (61)
19. Measure for Measure (59)
20. The Merchant of Venice (56)
21. The Two Gentlemen of Verona (53)
22. Antony and Cleopatra (45)
      Pericles, Prince of Tyre (45)
23. Henry IV, Part One (44)
25. Titus Andronicus (43)
26. Cymbeline (42)
27. All's Well That Ends Well (41)
28. Richard II (34)
      Coriolanus (34)
30. King John (26)
31. Henry IV, Part Two (20)
32. Troilus and Cressida (19)
      Timon of Athens (19)
34. Henry VI, Parts 1, 2 & 3 [conflation] (13)
35. The Two Noble Kinsmen (12)
      Henry VI, Part One (12)
      Henry VIII (12)
37. Henry VI, Part Two (11)
      Henry VI, Part Three (11)
40. Henry IV, Parts One & Two [conflation] (10)
       Edward III (10)
42. Rape of Lucrece (7)
      Arden of Faversham (7)
44. Venus and Adonis (5)
45. Cardenio (or Double Falsehood) (3)
46. The Spanish Tragedy (2)
      Sonnets (2)
      Famous Victories of Henry V (2)
49. Sir Thomas More (1)
      Henry IVs, V, VIs, Richard II and III [conflation] (1)
      A Yorkshire Tragedy (1)

* Source: Bard on the Boards "What's Playing Where." This sample represents the announced productions since 2012 at more than 200 theater companies in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the United States linked on Shakespeareances.com.

 

2023–2024 Rankings**

    1. Julius Caesar (6)
    2. Merry Wives of Windsor (4)
    3. The Comedy of Errors (3)
    4. A Midsummer Night's Dream (3)
    5. Much Ado About Nothing (3)
    6. Twelfth Night (3)
    7. Macbeth (3)
    8. Romeo and Juliet (2)
    9. Coriolanus (2)
    10. Pericles (1)
    11. Measure for Measure (1)
    12. Cymbeline (1)
    13. Venus & Adonis (1)
    14. Henry VIII (1)
    15. The Winter's Tale (1)
    16. The Taming of the Shrew (1)
    17. Timon of Athens (1)
    18. King Lear (1)
    19. Merchant of Venice (1)
    20. As You Like It (1)
    21. Henry V (1)

** Productions announced from September 1, 2023, to August 31, 2024.

2022-2023 Rankings
September 1, 2022–August 31, 2023***

    1. Much Ado About Nothing (3)
    2. As You Like It (3)
    3. A Midsummer Night's Dream (3)
    4. The Taming of the Shrew (3)
    5. Hamlet (3)
    6. Julius Caesar (1)
    7. The Comedy of Errors (1)
    8. Measure for Measure (1)
    9. Coriolanus (1)
    10. King Lear (1)
    11. Pericles (1)
    12. Romeo and Juliet (1)
    13. The Merry Wives of Windsor (1)

*** Scaled down due to Shakespeareances.com hiatus

2020-2022

Covid Pandemic disrupted live productions and Shakespeareances was on hiatus from operations during much of this time.

2019-2020 Rankings
September 1, 2019–August 31, 2020

1. A Midsummer Night's Dream (12)
2. The Tempest (9)
    Macbeth (9)
4. As You Like It (8)
    Hamlet (8)
    The Comedy of Errors (8)
    Twelfth Night (8)
8. Henry V (6)
    Much Ado About Nothing (6)
10. Julius Caesar (5)
      The Merry Wives of Windsor (5)
      Romeo and Juliet (5)
      King Lear (5)
14. Measure for Measure (4)
      Love's Labour's Lost (4)
      Richard II (4)
17. Henry IV, Part One (3)
      Two Gentlemen of Verona (3)
      Othello (3)
      Richard III (3)
21. Cymbeline (2)
      The Taming of the Shrew (2)
      All's Well That Ends Well (2)
      Antony and Cleopatra (2)
      Coriolanus (2)
26. Henry VI, Part One (1)
      Henry VI, Part Two and Three (1)
      The Winter's Tale (1)
      Titus Andronicus (1)
      Henry VI [conflation] (1)
      Edward III (1)
      Famous Victories of Henry V (1)
      Pericles (1)

Not produced:
     Arden of Favesham
     Cardenio
     Henry IV, Part Two
     Henry IV, Parts One and Two  
     Henry VIII
     King John
     Merchant of Venice
     Spanish Tragedy
     Timon of Athens
     Troilus and Cressida
     Two Noble Kinsmen
     Winter's Tale
     Sir Thomas More
     Yorkshire Tragedy
     Rape of Lucrece
     Venus and Adonis
     Sonnets
     Famous Victories of Henry V

2018-2019 Rankings
August 1, 2018–September 1, 2019


1. Hamlet (30)
2. As You Like It (29)
3. Macbeth (27)
4. Romeo and Juliet (26)
5. A Midsummer Night's Dream (24)
6. Much Ado About Nothing (21)
7. Twelfth Night (20)
8. The Comedy of Errors (18)
9. The Tempest (17)
10. Othello (16)
11. Henry V (15)
      The Winter's Tale (15)
13. The Merry Wives of Windsor (14)
14. Julius Caesar (13)
      Richard III (13)
16. The Taming of the Shrew (12)
      Henry IV, Part One (12)
      Measure for Measure (12)
19. The Merchant of Venice (10)
20. Antony and Cleopatra (9)
       King Lear (9)
22. Henry IV, Part Two (7)
      Cymbeline (7)
24. Two Gentlemen of Verona (6)
      Love's Labour's Lost (6)
      Pericles, Prince of Tyre (6)
      Titus Andronicus (6)
28. Coriolanus (5)
      All's Well That Ends Well (5)
30. Arden of Faversham (3)
      Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, & 3 [conflation] (3)
32. The Spanish Tragedy (2)
      Venus and Adonis (2)
      Rape of Lucrece (2)
      Henry VIII (2)
      King John (2)
      Richard II (2)
38. Henry IV, Parts One & Two [conflation] (1)
      Henry VI, Part One (1)
      Henry VI, Part Two (1)
      Henry VI, Part Three (1)
      Sonnets (1)
      Troilus and Cressida (1)
      Sir Thomas More (1)
      Timon of Athens (1)
      The Two Noble Kinsmen (1)
      Edward III (1)
      A Yorkshire Tragedy (1)
      Cardenio or Double Falsehood (1)

Not produced:
     Famous Victories of Henry V 

2017-2018 Rankings
August 1, 2017–July 31, 2018

1. Macbeth (33)
2. Romeo and Juliet (29)
3. A Midsummer Night's Dream (28)
4. Twelfth Night (24)
    Hamlet (24)
6. As You Like It (23)
7. Much Ado About Nothing (20)
9. The Comedy of Errors (19)
8. Othello (18)
10. Julius Caesar (15)
      The Tempest (15)
12. All's Well That Ends Well (14)
      Richard III (14)
      The Taming of the Shrew (14)
15. The Winter's Tale (13)
16. Henry IV, Part One (12)
      Love's Labour's Lost (12)
18. King Lear (11)
      The Merry Wives of Windsor (10)
20. Pericles, Prince of Tyre (8)
      Titus Andronicus (8)
      The Merchant of Venice (8)
      Richard II (8)
      Two Gentlemen of Verona (8)
25. King John (7)
      Coriolanus (7)
27.  Henry V (6)
28. Timon of Athens (4)
      Antony and Cleopatra (4)
      Measure for Measure (4)
      Henry IV, Part Two (4)
      Cymbeline (4)
33. Edward III (3)
      Arden of Faversham (3)
      Troilus and Cressida (3)
      Henry VI, Parts 1, 2, & 3 [conflation] (3)
37. Henry VI, Part Three (2)
      Henry VIII (2)
39. Henry VI, Part One (1)
      Henry VI, Part Two (1)
      Two Noble Kinsmen (1)
      Rape of Lucrece (1)
      Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2 [conflation] (1)
      Henry IVs, V, VIs, Richard II and III [conflation] (1)

Not produced:
     Sonnets
     Venus and Adonis
     Sir Thomas More
     Cardenio (or Double Falsehood)
     Famous Victories of Henry V      

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