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Julius Novick

Professor Emeritus of Literature and Drama Studies

The noted theatre critic Julius Novick, professor emeritus of literature and drama studies, taught at Purchase College for three decades, from 1972 to 2002. He was the Doris and Carl Kempner Distinguished Professor in 1997–99, a title that accompanies a competitive, two-year senior faculty research award. He has also taught at Columbia, Harvard, Juilliard, and New York University.

Novick recently retired after four decades as a theatre critic, primarily for The Village Voice but also for The New York Times and The Nation, among others. He is the author of two books, Beyond Broadway: The Quest for Permanent Theatres and Beyond the Golden Door: Jewish American Drama and Jewish American Experience. 

— From Primary Stages interview #61:

Novick grew up stage-struck in Manhattan and spent much of his teenage years watching plays from the cheapest seats of Broadway and Off-Broadway theaters. At 18, he apprenticed with Joe Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival for the Festival’s first season in Central Park, building scenery by day and acting tiny parts at night. He has never lost his belief in nonprofit theatre wherever it appears: on, Off-, and Off-Off-Broadway, and throughout America.

Novick began writing for The Village Voice while majoring in English at Harvard University. He earned a doctorate at the Yale School of Drama, which gave him valuable experience of the theatrical process from the inside and enabled him to pursue a double career as a critic and teacher. 

2016 Julius Novick Interviews

Primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral History Project


  • Beyond Broadway: The Quest for Permanent Theatres (Hill & Wang, 1968)
  • Beyond the Golden Door: Jewish American Drama and Jewish American Experience (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)