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.

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 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.

 

 

See ATCA International for news of the International Association of Theatre Critics from the ATCA members who represent us there.


* “Jan Kott Our Contemporary” is the IATC’s Feb. 19, 2015, conference celebrating his seminal Shakespeare Our Contemporary (1961) and the 100th anniversary of his birth. (Proposals for papers due Dec. 5.)
* See also the IATC’s own site and its web journal, Critical Stages (Oct. 2014)
. 
 

Obituary: Jerry Tallmer, 93, inaugural Village Voice critic, creator of the Obies (N.Y.Times obit)

 

The Clyde Fitch Report interviews critics (mainly ATCA members): 
Misha Berson 
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.

SCROLL TO BOTTOM for regional critics’ awards.

2015 annual conference planned for New Orleans, March 25-29, Alan Smason, chair: stay tuned! 

2016 annual conference planned for Philadelphia (TBA), Howie Shapiro, chair.

 

     


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. 

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.

 

{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

2014 Weekend Conference
New York City
 

2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
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

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

Thursday
Jun142012

PLAYWRIGHT TAMMY RYAN WINS $10,000 FRANCESCA PRIMUS PRIZE FOR 2012; DOMINIQUE MORRISEAU ALSO HONORED

Chicago, June 14, 2012The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announced at its annual conference today that playwright Tammy Ryan has Playwright Tammy Ryan won the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize for her play Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods. She receives $10,000, a wall plaque and a chance to be celebrated at an upcoming ATCA conference.

Jointly sponsored by ATCA and the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, the Primus Prize is given annually to an emerging woman theater artist. Playwrights, artistic directors, and directors are eligible to apply.Oct. 27: Ryan receives check and plaque with husband, Larry Mercurio, and daughter Dallas

Ryan’s play poignantly and powerfully integrates a personal story with a current world issue. When single mother Christine meets Gabriel, one of the “lost boys” from Sudan, in the produce section of a Pittsburgh Whole Foods where he works, the two form a relationship that changes both their lives. The play avoids easy, feel-good answers in exploring the very different ways that Christine and Gabriel think he should deal with the challenges he faces. As Pittsburgh theater critic Christopher Rawson perceptively observes, “the person who is most truly lost amid middle-class comfort is…Christine… . [The play charts] the faltering, one-forward, one-back steps she takes to find her own usefulness and meaning.”Ryan (right) with Sheila McKenna, who directed “Lost Boy” at the Pittsburgh Playhouse of Point Park University

Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods was developed in 2009 at the New Harmony Project, won the Premiere Stages Play Festival, and was workshopped at the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and the Lark Play Development Center. Premiere Stages and Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey coproduced the play in September 2010, and the following fall, Playhouse Rep, the professional company at the Pittsburgh Playhouse of Point Park University, staged a production that garnered critical praise and sold out its entire run.

“The most gratifying aspect of the experience,” Ryan says, “was that the play was able to have a conversation with the community in which it was born,” a revealing response from a Queens-bred playwright who has been a vital presence in the Pittsburgh theater community for the past 20 years. This award celebrates not only her own successful career but her continual efforts to mentor young playwrights and extend her expertise through teaching and collaborative projects like We Are Antigone, developed with both high school and college students.

Ryan was selected from 22 contenders by a nationwide committee of critics, chaired by Barbara Bannon (Salt Lake City) and composed of Julie York Coppens (Cincinnati), Marianne Evett (Boston), Lynn Rosen (Bellingham, WA) and Herb Simpson (Geneseo, NY).

The committee announced an additional commendation to playwright Dominique Morisseau for Follow Me to Nellie’s, her portrait of how a Mississippi brothel and its outspoken madam become entwined in the civil rights struggle to register black voters in 1955. It was read at the 2010 National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill Theater Center, then staged at Premiere Stages in New Jersey in July 2011. Morriseau is currently developing a trilogy of plays on Detroit, her hometown, and working Sunset Baby, intended to be produced in London in the fall.

“The Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation was established to recognize and support emerging women artists who are making a difference in the theater community in which they work,” observed Barry Primus, the foundation administrator. Founded in 1997 in memory of actress, critic and ATCA member Francesca Primus, the Primus Prize was originally administered by the Denver Center Theatre Company. ATCA began overseeing the award in 2004.

Ryan had several premieres in 2011, including the one-act Lindsey’s Oyster, a cooperative production with Turkish playwright Zeynep Kaçar on what it means to be female in their vastly different societies, which debuted in both the United States and Turkey. Ryan’s other full-length plays include A Confluence of Dreaming, FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father’s Code, Dark Part of the Forest, Baby’s Blues, The Music Lesson, and Pig. Ryan is the Pittsburgh representative for the Dramatists Guild and also helps nurture local educational and collaborative theater projects. In January 2012, she created From the Ground Up, designed to connect artistic directors of small theaters with emerging playwrights. She has had a number of plays published and received multiple grants and fellowships.

ATCA is the nationwide organization of theater critics and an affiliate of the International Association of Theatre Critics. In addition to the Primus Prize, it administers the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the M. Elizabeth Osborn Award. ATCA members also recommend a regional theater for the annual Tony Award and vote on induction into the Theatre Hall of Fame. For more, go to www.americantheatrecritics.org.

Previous Winners of the Francesca Primus Prize

1997 Julia Jordan, playwright, Tatjana in Color

1998 Brooke Berman, playwright, Wonderland

1999 Melanie Marnich, playwright, Blur

2000 Brooke Berman, playwright, Playing House

2001 S.M. Shepard-Massat, playwright, Some Place Soft to Fall

2002 Alexandra Cunningham, playwright, Pavane

The Primus Prize was originally administered by the Denver Center Theatre Company. ATCA began overseeing the award in 2004.

2004 Lynn Nottage, playwright, Intimate Apparel

2005 Michelle Hensley, artistic director of Ten Thousand Things Theatre Company, Minneapolis

2006 Karen Zacarias, playwright and founder/artistic director of Young Playwrights’ Theater, Washington, D.C., Mariela in the Desert

2007 Victoria Stewart, playwright, Hardball

2008 EM Lewis, playwright, Heads

2009 Jamie Pachino, playwright, Splitting Infinity

2010 Michele Lowe, playwright, Inana

2011 Caridad Svich, playwright, The House of the Spirits