The change came on Oct. 3, the vaunted launch date of the broadsheet's Sunday arts coverage overhaul. "The Weekend section on Fridays will now incorporate a selective, annotated listing of theatre offerings in all categories," a Times spokesman told Variety, which first reported the news. The weekly listings were manna for smaller productions and theatre companies who could not afford the Times' notoriously high theatre advertising rates. The daily "ABC" guide found in the arts section of the paper continues, but those classified-style notices are paid advertising, and usually lie beyond the budget of smaller stage enterprises.
Virginia Louloudes, executive director of the Alliance of Resident Theaters New York, an umbrella organization of hundreds of Off-Off-Broadway companies, told Variety, "My understanding is that only shows their reviewers like, mostly Broadway and Off-Broadway, will be included." She told the trade publication that she planned to discuss the issue later this month with Patti Cohen, the new Times theatre editor.
The listings disappeared just weeks after it was announced that the Times would no longer publish a weekly Friday theatre column. Theatre items are now included in the "Arts, Briefly" column, a daily clearinghouse of arts-related news items.