The American Theatre Critics Association, Inc. is the only national association of professional theatre critics. Our members work for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and on-line services across the United States. Membership is open to all who review theatre professionally, regularly and with substance for print, electronic or digital media.

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Member Blogroll

Nancy Bishop reviews Chicago theater for and for her own blog.

 Gail Burns in Gail Sez writes about theatre in the Berkshires of western Mass and adjacent areas of Vermont and NY.

Lindsay Christians writes theatre reviews at 77 Square; also arts blog On the Aisle; The Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal, Madison.

Mike and Laura Clark edit covering all types of theatre in Washington DC, Baltimore, and St. Louis including reviews, interviews, as well as audition and performance calendars.

David Cote blogs, reports on theater and reviews Broadway, Off and Off-Off productions for Time Out New York and

Christine Dolen writes a theater critic’s notes in Drama Queen; and Miami Herald reviews and previews.

Karen D’Souza writes reviews, features and blog for the San Jose Mercury News.

Harry Duke covers theatre throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His essays and reviews can be found on the For All Events website and in the Sonoma County Gazette.

Randy Gener blogs on arts, culture and world theater in In the Theater of One World.

Michael Grossberg  writes on theater, comedy and the arts in Theater Talk, for the Columbus Dispatch.

Melissa Hall writes theatre reviews for the blog Stage Write. She mainly attends Indianapolis events, but also covers other Midwestern venues when possible.

Jay Handelman writes  News, reviews and opinion for the Sarasota Herald Tribune.


Pam Harbaugh’s blog, Brevard Culture, offers reviews, commentary and links in arts and culture primarily for residents of Brevard County and the Orlando area.  


Lou Harry  writes Lou Harry’s A&E: opinion, debate and discussion on arts and entertainment for the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Brad Hathaway’s “Theater Shelf: CDs, DVDs and Books for the Theater Lover” runs on multiple websites each week. You can find the latest column here: BradHathaway.Com

Bill Hirschman is editor, chief critic and reporter for Florida Theater On Stage.

Chris Jones writes reviews, interviews and commentary for Theater Loop at the Chicago Tribune.

Jack Lyons covers the theatre scene for the Desert Local News. Jack is based in Desert Hot Springs and covers the entire Coachella Valley and the rest of Southern California including select productions in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and San Diego.

Katherine Luck writes news and reviews of theatre in Seattle, Portland, and around the Puget Sound at Pacific NW Theatre.

Jonathan Mandell reviews Broadway, Off-Broadway and independent theater productions, and covers theater for a variety of publications, including Playbill and American Theatre Magazine.  He blogs at New York Theater and Tweets as @NewYorkTheater.

Andrew McGibbon writes Theatre Opinion, News and Information in TheAndyGram, based in NYC.

Kathryn Osenlund reviews Philadelphia theater productions and some New York theater festivals for She also writes for —independent coverage of Philadelphia and arts, and tweets as @theatrendorphin.

Rick Pender edits   The Sondheim Review, a quarterly dedicated to the musical theatre’s foremost composer and lyricist.

Christopher Rawson contributes to OnStage Journal and OnStage podcasts and reviews in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Wendy Rosenfield covers drama, onstage and off, in Drama Queen and the Philadelphia Inquirer

Michelle F. Solomon is a critic, reviewing professional theater and professional touring productions, for Florida Theater On Stage and

Martha Wade Steketee writes reviews, interviews, and commentary on Broadway, Off Broadway, regional theatre, and film for Urban Excavations in New York City.
Steve Treacy is the primary theatre critic for The Port Townsend Leader. Find his reviews of Pacific Northwest shows at

Tim Treanor  is the Senior Reviewer for DC Theatre Scene, Washington, D.C.

Lauren Yarger  reviews Broadway and OB for Reflections in the Light and reports on pro theatre and arts in Connecticut Arts Connection.


Click to Learn More & Register


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See ATCA International for news of the International Association of Theatre Critics from the ATCA members who represent us there. See also the IATC’s own site and its web journal, Critical Stages (Oct. 2014)



The Clyde Fitch Report 
interviews critics (mainly ATCA members): Misha BersonTerry Teachout; Peter MarksLauren Yarger; Wendy Rosenfield 

HowlRound criticism archive: NYT surveys response to critics, Jason Zinoman on the happy masochism of critics, etc.

Wendy Rosenfield, “Diversity Onstage: A Critical Issue” (Broad Street Review, Feb. 19, 2014)

ATCA’s 2016 annual conference is slated for Philadelphia, April 6-10, 2016. The host hotel is the Marriott Courtyard on Juniper Street, across from City Hall, at $149 a night. Five productions and maybe six! … and much more; details soon.


The 2014 Tony Award for Regional Theater went, on ATCA’s recommendation, to New York’s Signature Theatre — the first time the award has gone to a NYC theater. 

Elsewhere (off)site: for the website of the Drama section of the (British) Critics’ Circle, click here.


{For collected Pull Quotes going back to July, 2012, CLICK HERE.} 

As if he foresaw a future of blogging:
“No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” — Samuel Johnson, quoted in Boswell’s Life 

Why do it?
“Ultimately, our responsibility is not to the emotional well being of a specific artist.  Our responsibility is to the reader, the art form and our work. In so doing, I believe, we pay the artist respect. Our honesty and standards are an argument that the art they make matters.” — Jason Zinoman, at ATCA/CATF, 2013

* Previous Pull Quotes are ASSEMBLED HERE. 

ATCA members: Send us material for the Members’ Milestones page.

Past Conferences

2014 Weekend Conference
New York City

Humana Festival, Actors Theater of Louisville, April 2-6
; chair, Jonathan Abarbanel.

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE, CATF, Shepherdstown, WV, July 17-21 — Details here; Tim Treanor, Chair

Logo by Tim Menees after Honore Daumier

Indianapolis, Indiana
March 21-24, 2013
Lou Harry, Chair


Chicago, June 13-17, 2012
Jonathan Abarbanel, Chair
See ATCA BLOG for short takes


Milwaukee Add-On
Anne Siegel, Chair
June 17-20, 2012

Colorado New Play Summit
Denver Center Theatre Company, Feb 10-12, 2012

Ashland, Oregon July 6-10, 2011
Chris Rawson, Chair 

Logo by Tim Menees after Honore Daumier

Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, Waterford, Conn.
Chris Rawson, Chair 

Playwright and critic

Playwright and two critics

Check out: ATCA Blog — scroll back for accounts of ATCA/Ashland, ATCA/O’Neill, more on the Pulitzer controversy, also from Humana and Denver festivals



Past logos


Fun ‘n Games

Honest-to-Goodness Theater Geek Trivia Contest, Florida Theatre On Stage, Bill Hirschman, ed. (includes links to answers)

Round One.
Round Two


ATCA on the move: a comprehensive report

Coming out of productive meetings in New York and drawing on much work beforehand, excom chair Bill Hirschman has a lot to announce: proposals on ATCA’s membership and governance; sharing the NY conference via video; volunteers for international meetings; nominations  for the Steinberg/ATCA and Osborn Awards; Primus Prize finalists; “Philadelphia, here we come” (April 6-10); Elections supervisor?; membership directory; speaking out; Excom vacancies … . All this follows.

Click to read more ...


2015 Theater Hall of Fame induction

ATCA voted … and a few months later, a lovely time was had by all. Read an account of the Nov. 16 induction ceremony by clicking here.


Snapshots from NY 

(Go to our FB page for pictures of some panels.)

Three new ATCAns: Kathryn Kitt (Bedford, NY), Kitty Drexel (Somerville, Mass.), Naomi Orwin (Philadelphia) 

Five old ATCAns: Bill Gale (Providence), Jonathan Abarbanel (Chicago), Claudia Harris (Orem, Utah), Anne Siegel (Greenfield, Wisc.), Chris Rawson (Pittsburgh)

ATCAns greeted by Sheery Eaker, Ira Bilowitz (hidden) and excom chair Bill Hirschman.


ATCA meets today in NYC

Today (Thursday) the excom meets, and tomorrow the rest, with a full day of panels and discussions. (Schedule here; doubtless there have been changes.) The Sardi’s with the Stars luncheon follows on Saturday and there’s many a play to see… . If one of us has time amid the hurlyburly, we’ll post some updates.


ATCA condemns the selling of press comps

A Seattle critic for the Huffington Post recently advertised his extra press comps for sale to women willing to accompany him. (Howard Sherman has the basic facts.) That’s risible enough, and it may even have been a joke (he advertisedMystery miscreant them at half face value, and most press comps have zero face value), but amused contempt and thundering denunciation have been his lot. Now ATCA has issued a statement, beginning, in part:

“[ATCA] is incensed that a Seattle theater critic for The Huffington Post has offered for sale on Craigslist his second free ticket to events that he was covering.

“’To be very clear, the writer is not a member of our organization,’ said Wm. F. Hirschman, chairman of ATCA’s executive committee. ‘But, nonetheless, we want to stress that our code of conduct specifically forbids taking advantage of the generosity of theaters’ decades-old practice of providing a second ticket to reviewers.’ … 

“Chairman of ATCA’s Committee on Ethical Standards Victor Gluck wrote, ‘The ultimate problem with reviewers selling their complimentary tickets is that it casts an ethical pall over the entire critical community.’”

For the full ATCA statement, click here.


You can still register for NYC conference, Nov. 13-15

Use this link or the one in the right-hand column.


McNulty on why we do what we (should) do

Sometimes we post essays about criticism in the right-hand column. But this piece by Charles McNulty for the LA Times earrents the front page. 

Nowadays, he says, “criticism isn’t always readily distinguishable from the salesmanship and hype that haveCharles McNulty corrupted not just our politics but the arts, education and even healthcare.” … “Reviews written at an assembly-line rate aren’t going to have much room for contemplation. One symptom of the relentless pace is the lazy sprawl of plot summaries.” … “Verdicts must be delivered, but they shouldn’t be the ‘point’ of a review any more than an interpretive statement should be the point of a work of art.” … “[Report cards] make for dull reading… . Good prose ignores protocols… . Criticism is fundamentally — and defiantly — an act of writing.” … “Convincing an audience why [theater] should matter to them, and to a culture increasingly enthralled by its own superficiality, seems to me not a bad way of spending a working life.” He even quotes Northrop Frye!

Kerfuffles past: Similar issues were raised two years ago in the critical dust-up between McNulty and John Lahr, summarized here, with links.


"Major frolicking"--Ben Franklin

Or something like that (Ben knew how to have a good time). He was doubtless thinking of ATCA’s 2016 annual conference, slated for Philadelphia, April 6-10, 2016. The host hotel is the Marriott Courtyard on Juniper Street, across from City Hall, at $149 a night. Five productions and maybe six! … and much more; details soon.

But before that, we convene in New York for the annual weekend conference, Nov. 13-15 (detail in the right-hand column — or scroll down to the Daumier critic at Sardi’s).


Nine named to 2015 class of Theatre Hall of Fame 

The 2015 class of the Theatre Hall of Fame, chosen by ATCA members and current members of the Hall, includes composer-lyricist team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, lighting designer Ken Billington, publicist Merle Debuskey, director Robert Falls, actor Stacy Keach, playwright Tony Kushner, director-designer Julie Taymor and the late actor-director Roger Rees. Their induction will be celebrated Nov. 16 at the Gershwin Theatre, where names of Hall members are mounted in the upper lobbies in letters of gold. Producing the induction is Terry Hodge Taylor. For further information: Playbill; Hall of FamePittsburgh Post-Gazette; ATCA archive of Hall inductions.  


Just weeks to ATCA in NYC


Panelists: Sheryl Kaller, Arthur Kopit, David Lindsay-Abaire, Lisa McNulty, Marsha Norman, Susan H. Schulman, Caridad Svich, Doug Wright, and our Sardi’s luncheon celebrities.

Chairs Sherry Eaker and Ira Bilowit invite all ATCA members to a longstanding tradition, the NYC Fall weekend conference.

Friday, Nov. 13 through Sunday, Nov. 15

Early bird deadline is Oct. 15. Registration for members and their guests is $135 for the seminars and the Sardi’s luncheon; it will be $80 without the Sardi’s luncheon. Cost after Oct. 15 is $10 more. Note that guests are the same price as members this year.

Hotel and theatre ticket arrangements are on your own.

See the event page for details. 


Hall of Fame ballots in the mail

ATCA members’ ballots for the 2015 class of the Theatre Hall of Fame (located in Broad- way’s Gershwin Theatre) are in the mail and must be returned by Sept. 4. If you haven’t received yours by this Friday (Aug. 14), email Barry Gaines or Chris Rawson. It is an honor of ATCA membership to be part of this electorate — please participate! 


Outstanding new plays wanted

Lou Harry, new chair of the New Play committee, welcomes new committee members Kathy Allen, Evans Donnell, Marjorie Oberlander, Frank Rizzo, Martha Steketee and Daniel Sullivan – a pretty heavyweight group.Lou Harry

As we pass the year’s mid-point, Lou reminds all ATCA members to nominate outstanding new plays by American playwrights (“and I do mean outstanding — okay plays just add work for all of us”). Nominated plays must have had a professional premiere in the U.S. in 2015. 

Questions? Email Lou.


ATCA presents checks at Humana

Where does our money go? (Well, in this case it’s mainly the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust money.) We have videos of the checks changing hands at last spring’s Humana Festival, as the 2015 Steinberg/ATCA and Osborn Awards were presented by New Play Committee chair Bill Hirschman.

First, Hirschman introduces Jim Steinberg of the Steinberg Trust; then Rebecca Gilman receives the $25,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for Luna Gale; then Lucas Hnath and Nathan Alan Davis accept $7,500 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citations for The Christians and Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea, respectively; and finally Tom Coash accepts ATCA’s $1,000 Osborn Award for Veils. (Thanks to ATCA member Pam Harbaugh of Brevard


ATCA member update, July 17

In an email, excom chair Bill Hirschman gives a comprehensive report on actions taken and contemplated by the new excom elected at the New Orleans conference. Included are calls for recommendations for the Steinberg and Osborn awards, plus news on electronic voting, the Bitter Lemons controversy, printed directory, a call for volunteers, and plans for future conferences in Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco. The full report follows.

Click to read more ...


Bitter Lemons raises basic issues, and hackles, too

The website Bitter Lemons now allows theaters to pay to be reviewed. You can get an overview on the commentary in the LA Times and an account in opposition in the LA Weekly. 

Speaking for the ATCA excom, chair Bill Hirschman has said:

“The American Theatre Critics’ Association, the only national organization of professional theater critics, is concerned with the model started by Bitter Lemons. While it does not guarantee a favorable review or allow theater companies to choose the reviewer, this pay-for-play arrangement creates a clear appearance of a conflict of interest. That appearance, even if spurious, undermines the crucial credibility of not only Bitter Lemons’ critics, but all critics.
“Our profession has fought for decades to preserve the image of independence. When our work is put out for sale to those we cover, we are concerned not just for the criticism itself but for the bypassing of editorial judgment in deciding what and what not to cover.”

Follow the active responses @Theatre_Critics (orange section, left-hand column).