Conference History

Saturday
Apr052014

Recent ATCA conferences

For links to more material on recent conferences, click here.

Saturday
Apr052014

History of ATCA conferences

Each year ATCA holds both a weekend mini-meeting and a five or six day annual conference, with the ATCA members in the relevant cities playing lead roles in planning and organization. (In addition, there’s a tradition of occasional Critics’ Seminars.)

For many years the mini-meetings were regularly in New York in February, when many papers traditionally sent their critics to report on new Broadway openings — how the world has changed! Recently the mini-meetings have branched out, going to New York less regularly, and sometimes based there on a festival of new plays; in the other years, it has gone elsewhere or to other theater festivals, such as the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Harriet Lake Festival of New Plays (at the Orlando Shakespeare Festival) or Humana Festival.

The main annual conference (aka convention) continues to be held in a national theater center other than New York, allowing ATCA members over time to develop an acquaintance with American theater geography. Many of these conferences have also had add-ons at near-by cities or festivals.

Whether the ATCA meetings in the early years (1974-77), at the O’Neill Theatre Center, where ATCA was founded, should properly be called annual conferences, is the sort of question pedants can debate. But it is without question that in subsequent years the annual conferences were held as follows:

1978 - Minneapolis + St. Paul, MN
1979 - Chicago, IL
1980 - San Francisco, CA
1981 - Nashville, TN
1982 - Washington, DC
1983 - San Diego, CA
1984 - Providence, RI + New Haven, CT + Cambridge, MA
1985 - Ashland, OR | Oregon Shakespeare Festival
1986 - Los Angeles, CA
1987 - Stratford + Shaw Festivals, Canada
1988 - Houston, TX
1989 - Atlanta, GA
1990 - The Berkshires, MA
1991 - Chicago, IL - II
1992 - Cleveland, OH
1993 - Seattle, WA
1994 - Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, CT
1995 - Dallas + Ft. Worth, TX
1996 - Miami, FL
1997 - Salt Lake City, UT | Utah Shakespeare Festival
1998 - Denver, CO
1999 - Philadelphia, PA
2000 - Louisville, KY | Humana Festival
2001 - Ashland, OR | Oregon Shakespeare Festival - II
2002 - Chicago, IL - III
2003 - St. Paul + Minneapolis, MN - II
2004 - San Francisco, CA - II
2005 - Los Angeles, CA | National Critics Conference - II
2006 - Stratford + Shaw Festivals, Canada - II
2007 - Las Vegas, NV
2008 - Washington, DC | Arlington, VA - II
2009 - Sarasota, FL
2010 - Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, CT - II
2011 - Ashland, OR | Oregon Shakespeare Festival - III
2012 - Chicago, IL - IV
2013 - Contemporary American Theatre Festival, WV
2014 - Louisville, KY | Humana Festival - II
2015 - New Orleans, LA
2016 - Philadelphia, PA - II
2017 - San Francisco, CA - III