President and Board

Board President: Charles Wright

Charles Wright has written about theater and books for a variety of magazines, newspapers, and online publications. He was a contributor to the TheaterMania Guide to Musical Theater Recordings (Back Stage Books, 2004); and his essays have appeared in 10 volumes of Best Plays Theater Yearbook, the annual record of American theater founded in 1920 and published most recently by Limelight Editions. Over the past 15 years, he has authored 85 program notes for presentations of Musicals in Mufti, the popular Off-Broadway series of the York Theatre Company in New York City.

David Barbour

David Barbour is editor-in-chief of Lighting & Sound America, which he co-founded in 2004. Before that, he spent 14 years as managing editor, editor, and editorial director of Entertainment Design (formerly known as Theatre Crafts) and Lighting Dimensions. He has contributed to Stagebill, Playbill, Theatermania.com, Broadway.com, Entertainment Weekly, American Theatre, and Broadway Direct. He recently edited A Theatre Project: A Backstage Adventure, by Richard Pilbrow, which won the Golden Pen Award in 2013 from United States Institute of Theatre Technology. He reviews theater for lightingandsoundamerica.com

 

Leslie (Hoban) Blake

Leslie (Hoban) Blake (Drama Desk VP), first joined the DD in the mid-90's. During a long and varied career as theater critic/journalist, she appeared on WFUV fm and wrote for a variety of publications both in print and online - most recently: TheaterMania.  She currently writes for City Arts, is the co-Host of Two on the Aisle (MNN) and has a new monthly online column at TWI-NY. 

Arlene Epstein

Arlene Epstein, a member of the Drama Desk since 1982, and former Secretary of the Board, has contributed her "Critic-at-Leisure" column to the South Shore Record for 40 years and for 12 years to Herald Community Newspapers. A member of the American Theatre Critics' Association and the Outer Critics Circle, she has worked variously as a publicist, copywriter, private and corporate art consultant, a lecturer and leader of continuing education courses on the arts, an entertainment and charity promotions director, and the anti-war voice for Mothers for Peace in Washington, D.C. 

Elysa Gardner

Elysa Gardner has covered music and theater as a reporter and critic for USA Today since 2000. In past lives she has been a Night Life columnist for The New Yorker, a senior critic at Rolling Stone, a stringer for the Los Angeles Times and a contributor to VH1. She lives in New York City.

Isa Goldberg

Isa Goldberg reviews theater for the Broadway Channel and theaterlife.com. Her interviews with playwrights have appeared on PBS’ “In The Life,” Financial Times, The Times of India, and New York Daily News.

John Istel

John Istel, managing editor of www.DramaDesk.org, has written about the theater for The Atlantic, Elle, The Village Voice, Newsday, New York, American Theatre, Mother Jones, and other publications. He has contributed essays and has been an editorial advisor to Contemporary Playwrights, The Reference Guide to American Literature, and since 2003, the annual Best Plays reference volumes. He's served as an editor-in-chief of Stagebill; a senior contributing editor at American Theatre magazine; and as an associate editor at Billboard/Back Stage Books.

Ed Karam

Edward Karam (Treasurer) has been a Drama Desk member since the mid-1990s. He has covered New York theater for The Times of London and The Guardian, and has contributed features or reviews to American Theatre, Time Out, the Daily News, Broadway.com, TheaterMania.com, Playbill, and Playbill.com. He currently reviews for Offoffonline.com.

David Kaufman

David Kaufman has been covering the theater in New York since 1981. A former theater critic for the New York Daily News, he is also a long-time contributor to the Nation, Vanity Fair, the Village Voice and the New York Times, among other publications. Author of the best-selling “Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door” and of the award-winning “Ridiculous: The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam,” David Kaufman is currently working on a biography of Mary Martin, scheduled to be published by St. Martin's Press in 2015.

Andy Lefkowitz

Andy’s career has spanned editorial roles in book and magazine publishing as well as Web media. He has edited and guided the publication of texts for Random House, Penguin, John Wiley & Sons, Macmillan, Sesame Workshop, and Reader’s Digest. He is the managing editor of TheaterMania.com, covering Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional theater across the U.S. with strategic print, photo, and video content.

Richard Ridge

Richard Ridge (Secretary) is the lead correspondent for Broadway World, one of the most successful theatre websites, where he hosts the popular “Backstage with Richard Ridge” series, chatting with the likes of Chita Rivera, Kristin Chenowith, Ellen Burstyn, Joan Rivers and Nick Jonas, among many others. Prior to that, he was the host of the groundbreaking weekly television series “Broadway Beat,” covering Broadway, Off-Broadway and cabaret for over 20 years. Richard and Broadway World have partnered with the Screen Actors Guild Foundation for an inaugural series of filmed interviews, “Conversations,” to celebrate the SAG actors who are part of the vibrant theatre community in New York City, including Judith Light ,Judy Greer and the cast of "Smash" among others.

William Wolf

William Wolf is a former Drama Desk President. He currently works as an Adjunct Professor at New York University and is a member of the National Society of Film Critics and New York Film Critics Online. His theater, film and cabaret reviews can be read on the internet site wolfentertainmentguide.com.

 

Lauren Yarger

Lauren Yarger, a playwright and producer, reviews Broadway and Off-Broadway theater as editor of Reflections in the Light, the only source for professional theater reviews/news with an added Christian perspective. She edits The Connecticut Arts Connection, an award-winning site covering the state's theater and arts, is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She is a  member of the League of Professional Women and the National Book Critics Circle. http://laurenyarger.wordpress.com/.

Past Presidents

  • Isa Goldberg (The Broadway Channel; theaterlife.com)

  • William Wolf (wolfentertainmentguide.com)

  • David Sheward (BackStage)

  • Peter Filichia (TheaterWeek)

  • David Barbour  (Theater Crafts)

  • Leida Snow (1010 WINS)

  • Christopher Sharp (Women's Wear Daily)

  • John Madden (Variety)

  • Alvin Klein (New York Times, WNYC)

  • Tom McMorrow (Daily News)

  • Sam Norkin (Daily News)

  • Henry Hewes (Saturday Review)

  • George Oppenheimer (Newsday)

  • Stuart Little (Herald Tribune)

  • Emory Lewis (Cue)

  • Thomas Dash (Women's Wear Daily)

  • John Beaufort (Christian Science Monitor)

  • Douglas Watt (Daily News)

  • Robert Sylvester (Daily News)

  • John Keating (Cue)

  • Vernon Rice (New York Post)

  • William Hawkins (World Telegram)

  • Sam Zolotow (New York Times)