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 any writer who regularly publishes substantive pieces reviewing or otherwise critically covering theater.

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Join Us on Twitter: @theatre_critics and @atca_member
Member Blogroll
David Dow Bentley III is the, which can also be read at the Houston Chronicle and

Nancy Bishop is editor and publisher of Third Coast Review, a Chicago-centric arts and culture website. You can read her reviews there and her pop culture writing here.

Lindsay Christians is a full-time arts and food writer for The Capitol Times in Madison, Wisconsin. She has written theater reviews there since 2008.

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

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.

Sandi Durell is publisher, editor, and a critic at Theater Pizzazz which covers Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway theater, including openings, red carpets events, and interviews.

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, 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.

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.

Aaron Krause is the editor of, founded by Alan Smason (Steppin’ Out, WYES-TV), which offers original theatre reviews and republishes current critical print works online.

David Lefkowitz publishes the theater website, co-publishes the theater journal Performing Arts Insider, and reviews on his weekly radio show, Dave’s Gone By.

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 is the senior critic (part-time) for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and also appears regularly on KDKA-TV.

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

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




For the full text of each Milestone, click on the name; for all these and previous Milestones together, CLICK HERE. They are listed in the order (latest on top) they appeared in the weekly ATCA UPDATE.

CHRIS RAWSON, Pittsburgh, PA, is hustling around the country playing catch-up, presenting the August Wilson American Century Cycle Award to theaters that have qualified.

, Provo, UT, has just welcomed his second son into what he hopes will be a lifetime of loving theater.

ERICA MINER, Edmonds, WA, has just published Murder in the Pit, a murder mystery at the Santa Fe Opera.

KAREN TOPHAM, Chicago, is actively seeking theatre critics from around the country to become part of the expanded edition of her website, Contact her here.


For full text of these and previous Milestones, CLICK HERE.

Do you have a Milestone to share? Member Milestones are generally for Transitions (new jobs, retirements), Achievements (awards, honors), Publications (books, TV specials) and Memorials (obituaries). Write a paragraph and send it here. Include a Twitter address in the paragraph so we can give it wider notice. 



After more than 33 years and (by her count) 13,000 reviews, the long-standing Chicago theater and arts critic Hedy Weiss has been let go by the Chicago Sun-Times. Reporting in the competing Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones writes that the sometimes controversial critic “fit into the decades-long Chicago tradition of powerful, hard-working and famously independent women writing about the arts, without compromise or apology.” Read Jones here. Here, the Chicago Business Journal reports. Weiss delivered ATCA’s 2015 Perspectives in Criticism talk in New Orleans: click for an audio recording.

As others see us: Amanda Peet on being devastated by a NY Times review and going cold turkey on reviews thereafter, click here.  

Martha Steketee’s accumulating interviews of critics for The Clyde Fitch Report (click for index).



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 (just [2017] handsomely redesigned) and its web journal, Critical Stages, where the current issue deals at length with Contemporary African Drama and Theatre.





The 2017 Tony Award for Regional Theater went, on ATCA’s recommendation, to the Dallas Theater Center in Texas.
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.} 

I “believe in culture as a social justice and social change project, which requires not just looking at how ‘good’ a performance is, but at what it does in the world.” — Jill S. Dolan, critic for “The Feminist Spectator” (Princeton University, Dean of the College).

“The Internet allows an avalanche of opinion for infinite sources, many of them rubbish, mean-spirited and lazy. But there’s some terrific writing out there too, and best of all there are so many new ways of reviewing.” — Frank Rizzo, 33 years as Hartford Courant critic, now writes for Variety and many more.

* Previous Pull Quotes are ASSEMBLED HERE 

Past Conferences


New York Weekend Conference, November 3, 4 and 5, 2017. Details. 


San Francisco annual conference, 2017



NYC weekend conference, 2016 (for reports and details, scroll down central column)

2016 annual conference in Philadelphia, April 6-10.

Some coverage: day one, day two, day three-A, day three-B, day four, day five. Full schedule here

2015 NYC Weekend Conference
Sherry Eaker & Ira Bilowit, chairs


2015 New Orleans Conference 
Alan Smason, chair 


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 event logos



(above) Sarasota, 2009. 




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 legend Ira Bilowit dead at 90

Go to the N.Y. Times obit to sign the guestbook.

Scroll to the bottom of the extension of Bill Hirschman’s testimonial to find the separate “How Ira Bilowit Saved the Drama Desk from Oblivion!” by Glenn Loney.

ATCA chair Bill Hirschman writes:

Ira J. Bilowit, the esteemed arts journalist of New York City and good friend to most of ATCA and many more, passed Ira Bilowitaway July 22 at age 90.

An ATCA member since 1976, Ira was instantly recognizable at any gathering with a broad welcoming smile, bright eyes, feisty attitude, silver goatee and a willingness to share his encyclopedic knowledge with anyone who asked. He could be counted on to hold court in the hospitality suite until younger members faded away.

His indefatigable service to ATCA included working with Sherry Eaker to create the wonderful New York conferences, especially lining up luminaries for the Sardi’s luncheon. He had volunteered in Philadelphia last spring to help with the upcoming New York meeting. His career and many services to ATCA were honored in April 2014 when he was given an emeritus membership. 

Ira made no secret in the past year that he was in ill-health that included kidney issues; he was briefly in intensive care earlier this summer but then released to rehab.

Ira was also a former vice-president of the New York Drama Desk and a member of The Dramatists Guild and the International Association Of Theatre Critics. His lengthy career in arts journalism encompassed work as a theater critic, feature writer and editor. He served as reviewer and an editor of Show Businessi, 1953-1958 and managing editor, 1961-1963. He was a contributing editor to Back Stage, 1980-2006, and editor-publisher of New York Theatre Review, 1976-1980. His extensive freelance work was seen in American Way Magazine, Theatre Crafts and Other Stages. He was still working in recent years, such as contributing a Metropolitan Diary column to the New York Times in February 2015.

Over a half-century, he interviewed many of the leading performing arts practitioners in almost every medium, from Sir Derek Jacobi to Milton Berle. Most were published in newspapers, magazines and even his own three experiments with online blogging. His articles recounted interviews and roundtable discussions  taped with Tennessee Williams, Eugene Ionesco, David Mamet, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Estelle Parsons, Diana Rigg, Joan Plowright, Jonathan Pryce, Edward Asner, Alfred Drake and Rex Harrison. Some of the articles were couched as if the interviewee had written them, but in fact Ira was the author and credited “as told to.”

But he was deeply involved in the creation of theater as a playwright, director and producer for Off-Broadway productions, children’s theater and dance presentations – as well as general manager, production manager, stage manager and educator. He produced with Unicorn Productions his own musical adaptation of Of Mice and Men in 1958; wrote The Secret Concubine for Carnegie Hall Playhouse in 1960; and directed his own script, For Love of Candy, in 1971 at the Forestburgh Summer Theatre in Monticello.

Born in New York City, he attended City College of New York, 1947-1950, studying English and philology. He had written short stories, poetry and a novelette. But he had no deep interest in theater until a friend took him to a college rehearsal where he realized he might write plays. To do that, he had to volunteer to paint scenery, hang lights, do publicity and act, something he did not think he was cut out for.

 But that allowed him to produce and to write one-act plays, some of them experimental. The turning point occurred at a chance viewing of some random theater scenes based on the works of John Steinbeck.

He bought the rights for a six-month window to adapt and write lyrics for “Of Mice and Men,” along with a composer. With Steinbeck’s blessing, the show was mounted at the Provincetown Playhouse in November, 1958 with a cast including Jo Sullivan and Art Lund. It closed after six weeks because a newspaper strike delayed reviews. It was given a developmental reading in 2007 by the York Theatre Company.

Survivors include two sons, Michael and Bill, a Miami-based filmmaker, and his first wife, the acting teacher/coach Alice Spivak with whom he remained close. His second wife, Debbie Wasserman, who was a longtime ATCA member as well and worked for PBS’s Channel 13, preceded him in death.

To see a 2009 interview with him, click on

If ATCA members would like to share members, go to our forum inside our website at



Not only was Ira Bilowit a Tell-It-Like-It-Is Crusty-Critic, but he was also a Dedicated-Truth-Teller when it came to defending Causes & Groups that he believed in.

One of the most important of these was the Original Drama-Desk, almost destroyed by one of its most Arrogant & Self-Promoting Members, Leo Schull, Editor/Publisher of Show-Business, a Trade-Rag that listed Upcoming-Auditions, Performance-Possibilities, & Show-Biz-Gossip.Ira Bilowit

As Initially-Organized by Actual-Drama-Desk-Editors—way back when there were still a number of Daily & Weekly Newspapers in & around Manhattan—the Drama-Desk was conceived & created as a Weekly-Wednesday-Noon-Luncheon at Sardi’s, complete with a Sardi’s-Buffet at $2.50 a Plate!

But this Drama-Desk was not just a “Chowder & Marching Society.” Nor was it composed Only of Drama-News-&-Reviews-Editors: Publishers, PR- Reps, Producers, Theatre-News-Reporters, Theatre-Interviewers, & Drama-Critics were all warmly welcomed to join Our-Weekly-Gab-Fests.

In addition to Getting-Together to “Meet & Greet,” as well as to discuss what was currently happening on the Great-White-Way, Panels were presented, usually Moderated by Henry Hewes—Drama-Critic for The Saturday Review—featuring Leading-Playwrights, Outstanding-Directors, Actors-Equity-Spokesmen, Broadway-Stars, & even Peter Brook with his Marat/Sade Cast!

Unlike the Current Drama-Desk, there were No-Major-Awards given. Only the Vernon-Rice-Award, honoring a Long-Forgotten-Critic, brother of Sports-Writer Grantland Rice.

On occasion, Ira or I would relieve Henry Hewes, presenting Panels of Our-Own- Devising. My Most-Memorable-Moment was my Mary, Queen-of-Scots vs. Queen Elizabeth Panel-Discussion, featuring among others Beverly Sills, Nancy Marchand, Salome Jens, Claire Bloom, & Eileen Atkins.

Unfortuately, Leo Schull always had to “Have-His-Say” at every Drama-Desk-Wednesday. These were always Self-Promotional-Moments, embarrassing to All save Leo Schull. At one Awkward-Session, Leo sat our new X-Rated-Movie-Porn-Queen, Georgina Spelvin, next to a completely-unaware Julie Andrews, who chatted amiably with what she believed was a Fellow-Artist.

This Unsettling-Event precipitated a Mass-Resignation from The Drama-Desk, with Ira & I among the Prime-Movers. We abandoned Sardi’s for a Less-Good-Location & Not-So-Hot-Buffet, but Henry Hewes was now in the Drama-Desk-Doghouse, so a New-DD-Coalition renamed Our-Group as The-New-Drama-Forum.

Instead of Challenging-Panels organized by Henry, Ira, & Yours-Truly, we now had Often-Tedious-Sessions, designed by our New-Drama-Moral-Police: John Beaufort [The Christian-Science-Monitor], Edith Oliver [The New Yorker], & Marilyn Stasio [Variety].

Boring! Boring! Boring!

Ira soon “Jumped-Ship,” leaving Henry Hewes & me to “Keep-the-Faith” with what used to be…

But one day, Henry called me: “Did you know that Ira & Debbie Wasserstein have revived our Old Drama-Desk, but now over at Rossoff’s?” Together with his Feisty-Partner, Debbie, Ira had indeed brought back the Drama-Desk we had known & loved.

In the Mid-West-Forties, Rossoff’s-Upstairs was No-Sardi’s. Nor was the Buffet, but the Management was very glad to Host-Us!

Bless You Both, Ira & Debbie! You would not recognize what The Drama-Desk has now become: Awards-Galore!

                  —Glenn Loney, Remembering Ira Bilowit, my Longtime-Colleague & Friend!