ATCA

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

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 ShowBizRadio.net 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 davidcote.com.

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.

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.

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

Pam Harbaugh’s blog Extreme Culture offers reviews, commentary and links, in the Gannett daily Florida Today.

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.

Damien Jaques writes about theatre for OnMilwaukee.com, Milwaukee.

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 www.curtainup.com. She also writes for www.Phindie.com —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.

Joe and Ann Pollack write  St. Lous Eats and Drinks with Joe and Ann Pollack: food, wine, shops, travel, reading, movies and theater in St. Louis.

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 miamiartzine.com.

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 ptleader.com.

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.

 

Happy 450th Birthday, William Shakespeare, a meal-ticket for theater critics for centuries.


Regional Theatre Tony to be announced soon.

ATCA/Humana: @ATCA2014 

The Clyde Fitch Report interviews critics (mainly ATCA members):
Terry Teachout
Peter Marks 
Lauren Yarger
Wendy Rosenfield 

HowlRound criticism archive: NYT surveys response to critics, Jason Zinoman on the happy masochism of critics, Wendy Rosenfield on criticism’s significance, etc.

SUSAN SMITH BLACKBURN PRIZE announces ten 2013-14 finalists — 3 U.S., 5 U.K., 2 Australia. Full info here.

ATCA’s Brad Hathawayaddresses the IATC Symposium in Kerala, India, Jan. 30, 2014.

SCROLL TO BOTTOM for regional critics’ awards.

 
2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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


     


Click here for video clips of last year’s $40,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Awards at the 37th Humana Festival, including Jim Steinberg, Bill Hirschman and winners Robert Schenkkan, Johnna Adams and Lucas Hnath. NOTE that Schenkkan’s winning play is now on Broadway.
NOTE that the 2014 Steinberg/ATCA winners will be announced April 5 at Humana. See six finalists here.

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

ATCA’s recommendation of Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company was accepted and it was awarded the 2013 Regional Theater Tony Award. For background on the award, click here. But this year, the field broadens to include New York City non-profits (click here). ATCA members will receive ballots soon.

 

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

More metaphors, please:
“…he falls on this succulent, puffed-up role as if it were a chocolate eclair… . This is not life imitating art. This is art going to bed with life and staying there for the rest of the afternoon. — Anthony Lane, New Yorker review of “The French Minister.”
“Now is the winter of our Discount Tents” — sign in the window of Richard III Camping Goods, somewhere in Leicester.”

“[C]riticism, which by now should have evolved from a one-sided conversation … to a full-fledged back-and-forth between audience and critic, still drags its knuckles. Over in the online sports section of my particular newspaper, the threads are lively, angry, and impassioned. In the political and local sections, they’re horrific cesspools of blatant racism and sexism that continue for pages. But here on the performing arts page, save for the occasional response from someone associated with a production that received a negative review, they’re empty.” — Wendy Rosenfield in HowlRound, Apr. 1, 2013.

Hooray for The Onion: “Continuing in its mission to support excellence across a range of artistic disciplines, the National Endowment for the Arts announced Friday a new initiative allocating $80 million to discourage no-talent hacks from engaging in creative endeavors.” Read it here.

* Previous Pull Quotes are ASSEMBLED HERE. 

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


2013 Critics’ Circle Awards 

 * N.Y. Drama Critics Circle, 78th awards.

* Outer Critics Circle (N.Y.) 63rd awards.

* Chicago, Jeff Awards.
* Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle, 44th Awards.
* Philadelphia: Barrymore Awards, 2013 Winners.
* San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, 2012 awards.

* Index to other regional theater awards, click here.

* FOUR DOZEN 2013 “BESTS,” city by city

  
REVIEW round-ups:

* Chicago (23 publications)
 

Past Conferences

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

Logo by Tim Menees after Honore Daumier

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

2012 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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

 

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

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

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

Logo by Tim Menees after Honore Daumier

2010 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
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

Saturday
Mar272010

CAIN WINS 2010 STEINBERG/ATCA AWARD — MARGULIES AND ZACARÍAS ALSO CITED

March 27, Louisville, KY — Bill Cain’s “Equivocation” is the winner Playwright Bill Cainof the $25,000 2010 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. The largest such prize in the country, the Steinberg/ATCA recognizes the best American scripts which premiered professionally in the award year (2009) outside New York City.

The Steinberg/ATCA and two additional citations were presented March 27 at Actors Theatre of Louisville during the Humana Festival of New American Plays. Cain received a commemorative plaque and a cash prize of $25,000. The two citations, including plaques and $7,500 each, went to “Time Stands Still,” by Donald Margulies, and “Legacy of Light,” by Karen Zacarías.

“The long-standing partnership between the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust and the American Theatre Critics Association has recognized some of today’s greatest writers, and helped identify the great playwrights of tomorrow,” said trustee Jim Steinberg. “We’re delighted to help support the unique telling of tales on the American stage.”

Steinberg and ATCA chair Chris Rawson together presented the plaques and checks. But first, Rawson presented ATCA’s M. Elizabeth Osborn Award (which had been announced several days earlier) to Jason Wells. In accepting, Wells preemptively apologized that his next play may have a theater critic as the antagonist. Then came the Steinberg/ATCA Award and Citations. Actors Theatre’s Marc Masterson accepted for Margulies and Arena Stage’s Molly Smith for Zacarías. Cain had flown in from San Francisco to accept in person.

His “Equivocation” is a highly-theatrical fantasy that mixes wry comedy and shattering drama. King James’ ruthless prime minister commissions Shakespeare’s company to write and perform the official (and highly suspect) government account of Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot. Shakespeare becomes increasingly skeptical, forced to weigh the relationship of art to government and artists’ personal responsibility to truth. It premiered April 18, 2009, at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, later played at Seattle Repertory Theatre and is just completing a 2010 New York run at the Manhattan Theater Club.

Critic Misha Berson of The Seattle Times called it, “compelling fiction in its rich marbling of literary lore and a timely, astute portrayal of religious bigotry, political exploitation of terrorism and other burning matters. An erudite historical drama demanding three hours of your time, and many of your brain cells, is a rare property in the American theater. And in this case, a welcome one.”

Zacarías’ “Legacy of Light” was described by one critic as “an intellectual joyride” examining two women, an 18th century scientist and a 21st century astrophysicist, balancing their yearning for professional fulfillment and the complications of impending motherhood. The work premiered May 8, 2009, at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

Margulies’ “Time Stands Still” portrays married journalists trying to recover from the emotionally and physical damage wreaked during their coverage of the war-torn Middle East. They must weigh their socially important role against the seemingly irreconcilable quest for a normal life back home. It premiered at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles on Feb. 11, 2009, and is also just completing a 2010 N.Y. run.

No play is eligible for the Steinberg/ATCA if it goes on in the same award year to a production in New York.

The winners were selected from plays nominated by ATCA members and evaluated by a committee of 13 theater critics. For the six finalists, click here. The jury was chaired by Wm. F. Hirschman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Other committee members were Misha Berson, Seattle Times; Bruce Burgun, Bloomington Herald Times and Back Stage; Michael Elkin, Jewish Exponent (Pa.); Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald-Tribune; Pam Harbaugh, Florida Today (Melbourne, FL); Leonard Jacobs, Editor, The Clyde Fitch Report; Elizabeth Keill, Independent Press (Morristown, N.J.); Elizabeth Maupin, Orlando Sentinel; Wendy Parker, The Village Mill (Midlothian, Va.); Michael Sander, Back Stage (Minn.); Herb Simpson, www.totaltheater.com (Rochester, N.Y.) and Tim Treanor, DC Theater Scene (Washington, D.C.)

“Once again, America’s regional theaters from Sarasota to Seattle proved themselves as important a source for vibrant and important new work as the five boroughs of New York City,” said Hirschman. “The nominated plays reflected an encouraging range of well-known names and newcomers, young voices and mature talents, the mainstream drama and the surreal. Themes of integrity and responsibility suggest that issues facing humanity one, two, even three centuries ago, still echo for the 21st Century with a deafening resonance.”

The New Play Awards began in 1977, when ATCA started to cite each year one new play produced outside New York City. In 2000, the award was renamed to recognize the Steinberg Foundation’s generous annual gift, which was raised to $40,000 in 2006. Honorees have included Lanford Wilson, Marsha Norman, August Wilson, Jane Martin, Arthur Miller, Mac Wellman, Adrienne Kennedy, Lynn Nottage, Horton Foote, Moises Kaufman and Craig Lucas. Last year’s honoree was E. M. Lewis for “Song of Extinction.” Each year’s winning plays are chronicled in The Best Plays Theater Yearbook, edited by Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, alongside the 10 best plays produced that year in New York City. Click here for a complete list of the 83 plays cited from 1977 through 2009.

The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust was created in 1986 by Harold Steinberg on behalf of himself and his late wife. Pursuing its primary mission to support the American theater, it has provided grants totaling many millions of dollars to support new productions of American plays and educational programs for those who may not ordinarily experience live theater.

ATCA was founded in 1974 and works to raise critical standards and public awareness of critics’ functions and responsibilities. The only national association of professional theater critics who work for print, broadcast and online media, ATCA is a national section of the International Association of Theatre Critics, a UNESCO-affiliated organization. For more information on ATCA, use the menu in the upper left of this page.

ATCA also presents the M. Elizabeth Osborn Award, honoring emerging playwrights, and the Francesca Primus Prize, funded by the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation and honoring female artists who have not yet achieved national prominence. Annually it makes a recommendation for the Regional Theater Tony Award presented by the American Theatre Wing/Broadway League and votes on inductions into the Theater Hall of Fame.

 

CONTACTS: Christopher Rawson, ATCA Chair, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 412-216-1944, cchr@pitt.edu; Wm. F. Hirschman, ATCA New Plays Chairman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 954-478-1123, muckrayk@aol.com.

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