"InTheater," the weekly theatre magazine, has yet to publish an issue since the one that hit the stands Dec. 10, further fueling rumors that the publication may be going the way of its predecessor, the defunct "Theater Week."
Signs of trouble have been surfacing for weeks. Editor Kathy Henderson resigned in mid-December. Writer Michael Portantiere, promoted into the editorship after Henderson left, resigned quickly thereafter. Sources report staff members and freelancers have not been paid for weeks. A former staffer told Playbill On Line (Dec. 22), "The staff dispersed in dribs and drabs... the magazine was apparently not being printed or shipped any longer."
Though reports of money trouble have dogged the publication throughout its two-year existence, publisher Michael A. Parker has yet to concede defeat and is reportedly seeking out other financial sources to help restore the publication to newstands and mailboxes.
"InTheater" rose out of the ashes of "Theater Week," which expired in late 1996 after a ten-year run. The new magazine retained many of the former's staff members and stuck close to "Theatre Week" format of glossy features, reviews, gossip and general Broadway boosterism. Yet, like "Theater Week," "InTheater" failed to find a sizable audience.
Print publications devoted exclusively to theatre have grown fewer and fewer over the years. Yet remaining are "American Theatre," a monthly devoted to non-profit theatre, and "Back Stage," a trade weekly read mainly for it casting notices. -- By Robert Simonson and David Lefkowitz