Theater Critic Michael Feingold Asked to Stay on as Village Voice Freelancer; Offers Thanks to Readers

BWW reported yesterday, May 17, that The Village Voice continued cuts in its staff this week, including longtime columnist Michael Musto and chief theater critic Michael Feingold. The upheaval, which also included food critic Robert Sietsema, last week caused editors Will Bourne and Jessica Lustig to resign.

Like Musto, Feingold wrote on Facebook today to thank his friends and colleagues and to discuss his future plans with The Village Voice:

"Dear astonishingly supportive friends and colleagues: I thought when it started that this would be the darkest day of my life, but thanks to you it has turned out to be the happiest and most exhilarating. I am literally exhausted from trying to keep up with all the messages of sympathy, love and support. The VV has terminated my contract as a staff writer as of Tuesday, but it has treated me gently. I am now in the process of crunching numbers on what they have said is a very generous severance offer, and I will have legal advice and Union support while working it out with them. In addition, they have proposed that, once the severance matter is settled, I should resume work for them as a freelancer and continue to run the Obies. I am pondering whether this would be feasible, and will discuss its terms with them once other matters are settled. In the meantime I feel free, I feel loved, and I feel that countless possibilities are now open to me. The world has ended but I'm still here and starting over again. And I owe this feeling in large part to the way all of you have reacted to my situation. I have never felt so embraced in my life, and I bless you all for it.

"To those who would wish me to stay where I am: I do not believe there is any possibility of reversing the VV's decision, which is economic and not personal, but those who desire to register a protest can write to VMG's Editorial Director, - She has shown great respect for me in her handling of this matter, and I do not wish to see her harassed or abused, but I see no harm in her knowing the full extent of readers' disagreement with VMG's decision."

Feingold was the Voice's chief theater critic, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, and a produced playwright and translator. He became OBIE Chairman in 2012 after chairing the OBIE awards from 2006 through 2011.

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