ATCA member update, July 17
Monday, June 22, 2015 at 1:53PM
Operations Manager

We have lots of projects in the works. If you are not involved, please volunteer. If you have and haven’t been contacted, let me know and we’ll offer you some options.

Conferences – Howie Shapiro and Wendy Rosenfield are working on hotels for the annual conference April 6-10, 2016. We know the Philly dates pose problems for some, but we have learned that there is no good weekend ever; this date will probably get us the best theater and hotel rates options. Sherry Eaker and Ira Bilowit are working on a mini-meeting in NYC for one of the first two weekends in November 2015, with some intriguing program ideas. Robert Sokol is scoping out San Francisco for 2017.

New Plays – Chairman Lou Harry has some new committee members and is talking to others for joining a year from now (see list). As always, please message him at lharry@ibj.com when you see a worthy play to recommend for the Steinberg and the Osborn. Please do it as soon after you see it; don’t wait for the end of the year. As always, it needs to be a fully-staged professionally-produced world premiere in calendar 2015 penned by an American playwright. And please remember, put the bar high; this is about excellence, not promise.

Bitter Lemons - The Executive Committee weighed in publically on national platforms last week on the Bitter Lemons pay-for-play controversy which has been getting a lot of attention in the Los Angeles Times, playbill.com, Howard Sherman’s blog, Stephen Leigh Morris’ blog and other venues. Some of the background information is on our site. We are trying to give critics a voice by having ATCA make more statements about pressing issues that affect our profession. It became clear through our effort this time that we need to figure out a simple way for our membership to discuss these matters among ourselves. We are working on the logistics, possibly employing our Facebook page (yes, we have one) as a place to bat issues around, letting the membership know through an eblast that such a discussion is underway.

Printed Directory – This project is moving apace as they say. You will get an email in the next few weeks asking for your updated contact information for inclusion in the printed booklet as well as our online directory. When you get the email, please take the 8.173 seconds required to answer it right away and send it back to Anne Siegel. In any case, there will be a deadline, so sing out, Louise, or have outdated information in the directory.

 Also in the works:

—-A process for members to engage in electronic voting for leaders and major issues is being evolved by a group headed by Jay Handelman.

—-The Professional Development Committee under Brad Hathaway is exploring projects including formally jumpstarting the critic-to-critic mentoring program we organized last season, plus looking at education for both continuing professionals and entering critics.

—-We will soon have a page on the website posting the minutes from ExCom meetings and general membership meetings.

—-A place in the Members’ Only section will soon have a page listing members’ recommendations for hotels in New York City. You will be asked for recommendations in the next few weeks. We will also be posting a list of all New York publicity agents to contact for press tickets. 

—-The Foundation ATCA board is discussing how to use the money in the Helbing Fund earmarked for an LGBT-related project or projects.

 Issues under discussion in committees and ExCom:  

—-Trying to bring to fruition for membership approval the ever-controversial code of ethics for critics and/or a code of conduct for ATCA members with work led by Victor Gluck’s ethics committee and the ExCom.

—-How to spend some of our reserves on professional development projects and other initiatives that will significantly aid our members. Your ideas are welcome.

—-Debating and developing new membership categories/criteria that will not water down or compromise our professional integrity.

—-A major effort this year to attract new members

If you want to be involved in any of these – or volunteered and have not been contacted — drop us an email.

And please renew your membership. 

Bill Hirschman, Chairman, Executive Committee
954-478-1123, muckrayk@aol.com

Article originally appeared on American Theatre Critics Association (http://americantheatrecritics.org/).
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