A 13-year veteran of the Tisch theatre studies faculty, Jenkins will remain editor of the Best Plays series and will be assisted by Jennifer Ashley Tepper, who has been named managing editor. Jenkins also appointed Julie York Coppens and David Cote as members of the editorial board.
"The expansion of my academic duties over the past several years," said Jenkins, "has meant that Best Plays, an annual book with unceasing deadlines, tens of thousands of data entries and indices that comprise nearly 20 percent of each volume, has been subject to production delays. With the appointment of my former theatre history student, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, I believe that we have taken an important step in the right direction. As Jennifer has worked on the last two volumes with me, it has become clear that her immersion in the theatre and her attention to detail will serve our future readers and, indeed, theatre history."
Tepper will be joined by an assistant editor, Margaret Turner White.
The new members of the editorial board, Julie York Coppens and David Cote, are, according to Jenkins, "two of the most significant young voices among arts writers working today." Coppens, a former staff critic with dailies such as the South Bend Tribune and The Charlotte Observer, now serves as associate editor of Dramatics magazine and Teaching Theatre, a journal. Cote is theatre editor of Time Out New York, the influential print and web publication, serves on numerous awards committees and teaches arts criticism at Brooklyn College.
Of the new board appointments, Jenkins said, "We are delighted to be joined by such rich talents as Julie and David. Both of them have written for Best Plays in the recent past and their knowledge of the art form will be an asset to the series going forward. I have known and admired their work for the past decade, and I expect they will be strong advocates for the best in new playwriting as we seek to honor plays in New York and around the United States." The Best Plays Theater Yearbook was founded in 1920 by drama critic Burns Mantle. The annual chronicle of United States theater is an ongoing theater history project that features critical essays on the best new works along with facts and figures about the year in American theatre. In addition to essays on the season on, Off- and Off-Off-Broadway, the series honors ten new works that have premiered in New York each season.
Best Plays also honors three regional plays cited in the Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Awards and Citations competition, which is administered by the American Theatre Critics Association. The Best Plays are chosen from Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions of new plays that open between June 1 and May 31.
Choices are made by the editor after consultation with the Best Plays Theater Yearbook editorial board: Misha Berson, Julie York Coppens, David Cote, Christine Dolen, Sylviane Gold, Robert Hurwitt, John Istel, Chris Jones, Charles McNulty, Julius Novick, Christopher Rawson, Alisa Solomon, Jeffrey Sweet, Anne Marie Welsh, Linda Winer and Charles Wright. Robert Brustein is consulting editor to the series.
The Best Plays Theater Yearbook 2008-2009 is scheduled for release in 2011.