The Best Plays Theater Yearbook






NEW YORK (October 26, 2006) -- Series editor Jeffrey Eric Jenkins announced changes to the masthead of The Best Plays Theater Yearbook with the appointment today of Robert Brustein to the position of Consulting Editor and the addition of Sylviane Gold, Charles McNulty and Anne Marie Welsh to the Editorial Board. Brustein has been a member of the Editorial Board since it was created by the editor in 2001. Brustein now assumes the role filled by Henry Hewes until his death July 18 at age 89.


“When working on a project such as Best Plays,” Jenkins said, “which has a long and illustrious history stretching across nine decades, it is important to have advisors such as Henry Hewes and Robert Brustein to help keep certain issues in perspective. Henry was invaluable to me over the past five years as we worked to make significant changes to the Best Plays series. While we were making these changes, Robert Brustein was always vocal in his support of the series in addition to being a passionate advocate for the best in new playwriting. We deeply miss our dear friend, Henry, but we also look forward to our continued collaboration with Bob.”


The new members of the Editorial Board, Sylviane Gold, Charles McNulty and Anne Marie Welsh, are, according to Jenkins, “three of the most talented and thoughtful arts writers working today.” Gold, the 1982 George Jean Nathan Award winner for her work at the Boston Phoenix, takes the seat vacated by Brustein. Gold has been a theater writer since 1970, beginning at The New York Post and serving as arts editor for the Boston Phoenix and Newsday. She was a theater critic for The Wall Street Journal in the 1980s and her work now appears frequently in The New York Times. She is also chair of Newsday’s George Oppenheimer Award committee, which is given annually to a promising playwright.


McNulty and Welsh, who work for daily papers in Southern California, replace Michael Phillips and the late Mel Gussow. Phillips, a former theater critic for The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, stepped down at the end of the 2005-2006 theater season after being named the Tribune’s film critic during the season. Gussow served on the board from its inception until his death in April 2005. The highly respected culture writer for The New York Times wrote nearly two dozen Off Off Broadway essays for the series beginning in the 1980s.


McNulty, chief theater critic of The Los Angeles Times, is a former theater editor of The Village Voice who served as a critic for that publication from 1992 to 2005. Educated in dramaturgy and criticism at the Yale School of Drama, McNulty is a former literary manager of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey, who also led the graduate program in dramaturgy and criticism at Brooklyn College.


Welsh is theater critic of the San Diego Union Tribune and has wide experience as an arts critic and literature scholar. She previously served as dance critic and backup theater critic for the Washington Star in D.C. and the San Diego Union. A PhD graduate in English and drama from the University of Rochester, Welsh also co-edited The Longman Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Drama and co-authored the anthology Shakespeare: Script, Stage, Screen.


Of the new appointments, Jenkins said, “we are delighted to be joined by such richly talented writers as Sylviane, Charles and Anne Marie. I have known and admired their work for years and I expect they will be strong advocates for the best in new playwriting as we seek to honor plays in New York and around the United States.”


The Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2005-2006 is scheduled for release in spring 2007.


Support for The Best Plays Theater Yearbook

is provided by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust