New York Times critic Ben Brantley to step down

Caitlin Huston

New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

Ben Brantley, co-chief theater critic at the New York Times, is stepping down from the post after 24 years, the Times confirmed Thursday.

Jesse Green, his co-chief critic, will remain in his role and the Times will look to fill Brantley’s position. Brantley’s last day will be Oct. 15.

He is the longest serving New York Times theater critic since Brooks Atkinson.

“This pandemic pause in the great, energizing party that is the theater seemed to me like a good moment to slip out the door,” Brantley said in a press release. “But when the theater returns, I hope to be there — as a writer, an audience member and, above all, the stark raving fan I have been since I was a child.”

Brantley joined the Times in 1993 and became chief theater critic in 1996. He received the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism in his first year as chief critic at the Times.

During his tenure, Brantley was known for his support of playwrights such as Suzan-Lori Parks, Kenneth Lonergan, Jackie Sibblies Drury and Clare Barron and musicals such as “Hamilton” and “Bring in da Noise, Bring in da Funk.” He contributed regular dispatches from London on up-and-coming performers and possible Broadway transfers.

In a note to staff, Culture Editor Gilbert Cruz and Theater Editor Scott Heller said they plan to take some time to select Brantley’s successor. However, they note that his work may continue to appear in the publication.