Jeffrey Eric Jenkins
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins is the sixth editor of the Best Plays Theater Yearbook, an annual collection of commissioned critical essays and historical reference on the year in theater. He is a faculty member in the Drama Department at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he has taught theater history, theory, and criticism since 1998. Jenkins’s 2004 book, Under the Copper Beech: Conversations With American Theater Critics, is an edited collection of interviews with 20th century theater critics from around the United States. Recent books include chapters in Interrogating America Through Theatre and Performance (Palgrave, 2006) and Angels in American Theater: Patrons, Patronage, and Philanthropy (Southern Illinois University Press, 2007).
Jenkins has also taught at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Washington, and SUNY—Stony Brook. From 1996 to 2006 he covered local, New York, and national theater events for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Jenkins has contributed to The New York Times, American Literary History, Theatre Journal, Slavic and East European Performance, The David Mamet Review, Back Stage, Variety, Stagebill, Theater Week, Periphery, Best Plays, and Continuum’s Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre. He was managing editor of Theatre Topics, a Johns Hopkins University Press journal, from 1995 to 2000. He is the former editor of ATHENews (1994-97), received the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Meritorious Service Award in Editing (1997), and served on ATHE’s Research and Publications Committee from its inception until 2000. He is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including several from the prestigious Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Jenkins received degrees in drama and theater arts from Carnegie Mellon University and San Francisco State University. He has directed more than two dozen productions in professional and educational theaters across the United States. He was a member of the management team for Peter Brook’s renowned productions of The Mahabharata and The Cherry Orchard at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and has produced new-play festivals in New York and New Jersey.
A member of Henry Hewes Design Awards Committee since 1997—honors that celebrate outstanding New York theater design on, Off and Off Off Broadway—he has chaired the awards since 2002. Jenkins serves on the boards of the American Theatre Wing and the Theater Hall of Fame. A member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Theatre Critics, he is President of the Foundation of the American Theatre Critics Association. (Photo by Oliver Cary)