Finally, LAT picks a theater critic

It's Charles McNulty. He's a senior editor at the Village Voice and teaches at Brooklyn College. He used to work at Variety. The previous theater critic, Michael Phillips, left for the Chicago Tribune more than three years ago. Today's LAT staff memo alludes to the long interval without a drama critic, saying they found their man "at long last." The memo follows:

To: The Staff
From: John Montorio, Deputy Managing Editor
Bret Israel, Sunday Calendar Editor

We are delighted to announce that Charles McNulty has been named Theater Critic of the Los Angeles Times. At long last, after an exhaustive search of theater critics across the country, we're confident we've found the best person for the job.

Charles' background in theater is extensive. A senior editor at the Village Voice, Charles oversees the theater, television and entertainment coverage as well as serving as the chairman of the Obie Awards, the off-Broadway theater equivalent to the Tonys. His theater reviews have appeared in the Village Voice, where he has worked since 1992, as well as Variety and other publications.

Los Angeles Times readers will be familiar with his lively feature stories, which bring home the human dimension of theater -- whether he's talking with stage diva Elaine Stritch or Jane Krakowski, examining the dark realism of playwright Tracy Letts, exploring the alternative universe of the wacky creators of "A Very Merry Unauthorized Scientology Pageant" or explaining the avant-garde multimedia stage production "Alladeen." His other theater writing has appeared in The New York Times, American Theater magazine, Theater Magazine and Variety.

He's also been on the other side of the curtain, working for six seasons as literary manager/dramaturge at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J., one of the nation's major nonprofit performing arts institutes. In addition, he worked at the Yale Repertory Theater and interned with the New York Shakespeare Festival.

On the academic side, Charles currently heads the MFA program in Dramaturgy and Theater Criticism at Brooklyn College. He's also taught theater courses at Yale, NYU and The New School.

Charles received a master's degree in dramatic writing and literature from NYU, where he also received a bachelor's degree from the Stern School of Business. He then went on to Yale University School of Drama, where he received master's and doctorate degrees in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism.

He will begin his new duties later this year.

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