Charles Isherwood, who has been the second-string critic of The New York Times since 2004, has left that post, according to American Theatre magazine.
No reason for the departure was announced. The Times reportedly plans to fill the position and not replace him with a freelancer. The Times has posted the job on its website.
Isherwood came to the Times from Variety where he had been chief theatre critic since 1998. Ben Brantley remains the Times’ first-string theatre critic.
Isherwood’s primary beat was Off-Broadway, but he sometimes reviewed Broadway and regional productions as well. His final published review may be the Long Wharf production of Samuel Beckett’s ironically titled Endgame, published Jan. 30.
During Isherwood’s tenure the power of newspaper critics in general, and the Times in particular, underwent a profound change, with social media taking a greater role. A Times rave, however, generally still appears first in advertisements and other promotions.
Isherwood replaced Margo Jefferson, who stepped down from her position after only six months in the post. At the time of his hiring, Jonathan Landman, then the New York Times' Arts & Culture Editor, said, “[Isherwood's] work is notable for clarity and directness, precision and gentle wit, and for evident knowledge of the field and the people in it.”