Paul W. Thompson Resigns as Editor of BroadwayWorld Chicago: Misha Davenport to Assume the Post January 15, 2016
BroadwayWorld.com, the largest theatre web site in the world, announces today that Paul W. Thompson, Editor of BroadwayWorld Chicago, has decided to step down from his post effective January 15, 2016. Misha Davenport, a Contributor to the Chicago regional site since 2011, will assume the reigns.
Paul W. Thompson began as a Contributor for BroadwayWorld Chicago in December of 2007, and was named regional Editor in 2009. From a staff of three, BroadwayWorld Chicago under Thompson's leadership has grown to include a staff of eight writers and a photographer, plus occasional articles from Contributors based in neighboring regions.
In 2010, Thompson and BroadwayWorld Editor-in-Chief Robert Diamond founded the BroadwayWorld Chicago Awards, the oldest and largest of the regional BroadwayWorld Awards in the United States.
Thompson is set to announce the 2015 slate of winners at the sixth annual Awards Celebration this Sunday night, January 10, at The Call nightclub (21+), beginning at 7:00 pm. The Call has also been the site of Tony Awards Viewing Parties and other BroadwayWorld Chicago events.
Thompson's popular weekly column, "The Showtune Mosh Pit", which he began in August of 2009, has run every week since then (well over 300 editions in six years and five months), and is enjoyed by students, fans and theater professionals alike. His reviews of local musical productions like Lyric Opera of Chicago's "The Sound Of Music" and pre-Broadway tryouts like Broadway in Chicago's "Amazing Grace" are eagerly anticipated by potential audiences and theater professionals alike.
"I have loved every minute of my work with BroadwayWorld," Thompson said. "The possibilities of work in Chicago as a theater journalist and theater professional seem endless, and capturing that activity, that excitement, has been a challenge and a joy for the last eight years. Going forward, I know that Misha Davenport is the perfect person to take on this responsibility and privilege."
Thompson holds two degrees in musical theater (a B.F.A. with Honors from Baylor University and an M.M. from the University of Miami, Florida), plus an M.B.A. with Distinction from DePaul University. He steps down from regular responsibilities with BroadwayWorld to pursue other facets of his career in theater and music in Chicago, as a teacher, performer, composer, administrator and musical director.
Last fall, he was hired as a part-time faculty member at Chicago's famed Second City Training Center. He also teaches musical theater voice at Paul W. Thompson Music in the Loop's historic Fine Arts Building, and piano and voice on Saturday mornings at the suburban Des Plaines School of Music.
He is an Equity actor, a veteran core member of the Grammy Award-winning Chicago Symphony Chorus, and a composer of theater and church music. He's also an experienced administrator, currently volunteering as treasurer for two non-profit organizations, St. James Cathedral (Episcopal) and the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (CC-NATS).
An ensemble member of The Improvised Sondheim Project, Thompson is music director for the upcoming run of "Ladies Who Lunch: 'Company' - Revisited!" at Chicago's Stage 773, Fridays from January 22-February 12, 2016. And just yesterday, he began rehearsals as musical director for "Bye Bye Birdie" at Montini Catholic High School in suburban Lombard.
Newly-named Editor Misha Davenport studied playwriting at Michigan State University under the late Arthur Athanason, worked for more than a decade as a feature reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times and has been a Contributor for BroadwayWorld since 2011.
"Paul has set the bar ridiculously high in terms of the breadth of Chicago theater coverage," Davenport said. "I am excited for the challenges and opportunities that this new role will present and look forward to continuing to steward the best theater coverage in Chicago."
PHOTO CREDIT: Brandon Dahlquist Photography