Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jeffrey Eric Jenkins New Head of the Theatre Department at U of I?

Jeffrey Eric Jenkins
The University of Illinois Department of Theatre has had an "interim" head for some time, but now, according to BroadwayWorld.com, U of I will welcome Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, former president of the American Theatre Critics Association, editor of the Best Plays Theatre Yearbook (which used to be called the Burns-Mantle Yearbook) and currently the Director of Theatre Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, as a Professor of Theatre and Head of the Department of Theatre.

The Broadway World article quotes Robert Graves, Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts, as saying, "Illinois is thrilled that Jeffrey Eric Jenkins has agreed to become the leader of its distinguished theatre program. Jenkins has enjoyed fine careers in both the professional and academic theatre worlds, has directed and published widely, and is a proven and innovative administrator of academic theatre-training programs.”

In that article, Jenkins himself noted U of I's fine library system, sterling personnel and the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts as some of the reasons he's looking forward to making his way to Urbana.

I have met Jeffrey Eric Jenkins several times at American Theatre Critics Association functions, and long-time attendees at the Humana Festival may remember him from the many times he handed out the Steinberg Awards there. He was a national theater critic and arts journalist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer from 1996-2006, and I believe his expertise lies in theatre history, criticism and theory. He has long been a supporter of new work in the theater, and should be an excellent addition to the U of I theater program.

Please note that I haven't been able to confirm this with U of I. Broadway World seems to have a bit of a scoop here, but there has been no official press release from U of I yet. I'll update this if I hear more. 

I have found a press release from New York PR firm Boneau Bryan Brown that sounds pretty official and all.

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