The New York Times' Friday theatre column, "On Stage and Off," will resume for the 2002-03 season on Sept. 20. Jesse McKinley will continue to fill the space, as he has for the past four seasons, but, in the words of a Times spokesperson, "that will be changing in the future."
Last spring, it was widely reported that McKinley, longtime writer of the weekly feature, would be leaving his post. In the months that have passed since then, the Times made no announcement regarding a successor.
Many theatre insiders still profess ignorance as to who will take up the column. The Times announced Sept. 13 that the column would return next week.
In the past, the Times has often filled the "On Stage and Off" position by promoting a reporter from within its ranks, often a journalist with little or no experience in theatre. Among the more famous past columnists are Bruce Weber, currently the Times' second string drama critic, and Alex Witchel, the acerbic feature writer and wife of Frank Rich.
—By Robert Simonson