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

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Join ATCA

  

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

Nancy Bishop reviews Chicago theater for gapersblock.com and for her own blog.

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

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

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 Theatrecriticism.com, 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 TotalTheater.com, 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 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.

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 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.

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

 

 

 ATCA’s 2018 annual conference will be held July 10-15, 2018 at American Players Theatre, a classical repertory company in Spring Green, west of Madison, Wisconsin. ATCA members and guests can register here. 

There will be a 2018 New York Weekend Conference, Nov. 2 - 4, 2018. Details to follow.


 

 

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.

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

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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, ChicagoOnStage.com. 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

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

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San Francisco annual conference, 2017

  

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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

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2015 NYC Weekend Conference
Sherry Eaker & Ira Bilowit, chairs

 

2015 New Orleans Conference 
Alan Smason, chair 

 

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

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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 event logos

 

 

(above) Sarasota, 2009. 

 

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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

Wednesday
Mar282012

Playwright Darren Canady wins 2012 Osborn Award

March 28: ATCA announced today that Darren M. Canady has won its Darren Canady2012 M.Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright, recognizing his Brothers of the Dust, which premiered in May 2011 at Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago, directed by Daniel Bryant. The award will be presented at ATCA’s June conference in Chicago.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar192012

Will YOU be in Chicago June 13-17?

 (and in Milwaukee June 17-20?)

Chicago is this year’s site of ATCA’s Annual Conference (Photo by Danny K. Au)

 Here’s what to do NOW!
  1. RENEW your membership 
  2. Choose a HOTEL
  3. REGISTER EARLY 

(Download PDF Registration packet. Mail form with check)

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar172012

Why settle for one chimney when you can visit Ten Chimneys

Registration is now available for the add-on trip to Milwaukee following our annual conference in Chicago. The dates are June 17-20. Anne Siegel is coordinating the trip. You can print out the attached registration form and mail it to the address on the forms with your registration fees, directly to Anne. The registration information also is heading your way via snail mail along with the Chicago registration materials. You can download the PDF registration materials and hotel information here

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar092012

Longtime critic and ATCA member Joe Pollack dies

Joe Pollack, ATCA Member for Over 30 YearsIt is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of longtime St. Louis critic and ATCA member Joe Pollack on March 9.

According to an obituary on stltoday.com, he suffered either a heart attack or stroke. He was 81.

Joe was a member of ATCA for more than 30 years, served as a member of the ATCA executive committee and was a mentor to many of the younger (and experienced) critics in our organization.  He remained active in the organization, generally attending our annual conferences, most recently in Ashland, with his wife, Ann.

Joe spent more than two decades with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he worked as a theater and restaurant critic, before retiring in 1995. Since then, he regularly produced reviews for the public radio station KWMU and contributed stories and reviews to St. Louis Magazine and other outlets.

On a personal note, Joe was the first person I met at my first ATCA conference in Atlanta in 1988. We wound up eating together in the food court below our hotel, recognizing each other only through our name tags. He was always encouraging, supportive and helpful, funny and insightful.
We send our condolences to his wife, and children.
— Jay Handelman

 

Wednesday
Feb292012

ATCA Names Six Finalists for Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award

ATCA has selected six finalists for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for the best scripts that premiered professionally outside New York City during 2011. The top award of $25,000 and two citations of $7,500 each, plus commemorative plaques, will be presented March 31 at Actors Theatre of Louisville during the Humana Festival of New American Plays. At $40,000, Steinberg/ATCA is the largest national new play award of its kind.

The six finalists are: “Annapurna,” by Sharr White (Magic Theatre, San Francisco); “Edith Can Shoot Things And Hit Them,” by A. Rey Pamatmat (Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville); “On The Spectrum,” by Ken LaZebnik (Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis); “Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World,” by Yussef El Guindi (ACT Repertory in Seattle); “A Twist of Water,” by Caitlin Montanye Parrish (Route 66 Theatre in Chicago); “Water By The Spoonful,” by Quiara Alegria Hudes (Hartford Stage).

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb132012

ATCA gathers in Denver for Colorado New Play Summit

By Jay Handelman, ATCA Chair

About two dozen ATCA members and their guests gathered Feb. 10-12 at the Denver Center Theatre Company for the seventh annual Colorado New Play Summit, a weekend collection of staged readings and two world premieres. Playwrights and industry professionals mixed with critics and eager patrons who filled the various theater venues for the readings of plays that touched on everything from homeless youths (Lisa Loomer’s “Homefree) to an imaginative play about future technology that will allow us to spend eternity with our favorite memories (Michael Mitnick’s “Ed, Downloaded”).

Among those at the festival, were: front row: Barry Gaines, Barbara Bannon, Sylvie Drake, Herb Simpson, Jay Handelman, David Lefkowitz, Juliet Wittman and Bill Hirschman, and back row, Jonathan Abarbanel, Brad Hathaway, Lynn Rosen, John Angell Grant, Wendy Rosenfield, Ed Rubin, Jim Volz and Marjorie Oberlander

Richard Dresser looked at how far our realities have been warped by television in “The Hand of God”: Lauren Feldman’s “Grace, or the Art of Climbing” uses rock climbing as a metaphor for human and emotional connections.  the theater also put a lot of resources into an elaborately staged reading of Jeffrey haddow and Neal Hampton’s new “Sense & Sensibility: The Musical,” which got standing ovations from audiences and a lot of buzz at the festival.

As usual, the Denver Center staff made our members feel welcome, setting up interviews and providing plenty of sustenance for the three-show days. Sylvie Drake, a former ATCA ExCom member and Director of Publications at the center, extended Artistic Director Kent Thompson’s open invitation to ATCA for future gatherings at the summit.

The world premieres were Lisa Loomer’s controversial “Two Things You don’t Talk About at Dinner,” set at a Passover seder with an array of guests debate Middle East politics, and Samuel D. Hunter’s well-received “The Whale” about a morbidly obese man who is eating himself to death and the people in his life. Both plays had been featured as staged readings in the 2011 festival.

Philadelphia critic and Excom member Wendy Rosenfield, with her husband, Richard Weiner, kept members updated on the festival via Twitter and Facebook postings.

The weekend included a late-night Playwright Slam, with 10 authors reading brief scenes from new works in a cabaret kind of environment with popcorn and beer being served.

During the weekend, the ATCA Executive Committee met to discuss issues involving the budget and membership, which you’ll be hearing more about soon. Now we focus on plans for our annual conference in Chicago, June 13-17, with a follow-up side trip to Milwaukee. Details to be posted soon.

 

Saturday
Feb042012

Theater Hall of Fame inducts 8 with reminiscence, affection and laughter

Meryl Streep was a surprise last-minute addition, presenting her friend, costume designer Ann Roth. Ann RothShe joined the other presenters, Liza Minnelli, Brian Dennehy, Brian Murray, Jane Alexander, Donald Margulies and Phylicia Rashad, speaking respectively for inductees Ben Vereen, George White, Tyne Daly, Elliot Martin, Daniel Sullivan and Woodie King Jr.; the late Paul Sills was represented by his widow and colleague, Carol Sills. For a full report, follow this link.

Thursday
Feb022012

Francesca Primus Prize submissions due March 15

The Francesca Primus Prize is an annual $10,000 award honoring outstanding contributions to the American theater by an emerging female theater artist, one who has not yet achieved national prominence. Historically the award has been given to an outstanding female playwright, but the committee also considers other significant female theater artists, such as directors or artistic directors. For information, click here.

Friday
Jan272012

Theater Hall of Fame induction Jan. 30

As previously announced, this year’s class (chosen by an electorate dominated by ATCA members) is Tyne Daly, Ben Vereen, Woodie King Jr., Elliot Martin, Ann Roth, Daniel Sullivan, Paul Sills (posthumous) and George White. Those presenting them will include Liza Minnelli, Brian Dennehy, Brian Murray, Jane Alexander and Phylicia Rashad (all Hall members). Who will present whom? — we’ll know Monday. (Fuller info here.)

Monday
Jan232012

Historian and critic Mary Henderson dies

Mary C. Henderson, a theater historian and long-time friend of ATCA, especially in its relation to the history of the New York stage, died Jan. 3, age 83. See Bruce Weber’s NY Times obituary and Neil Simon’s funny riposte to her 1987 Times article about the place of the dining table in American drama.

Friday
Dec022011

Denver critic John Moore takes buyout offer

John Moore, who was recently rated one of the 12 most influential theater critics in the country by American Theater magazine, is taking a buyout and leaving the Denver Post after 18 years. He has been the theater critic since 2001.

In his Running Lines column, with the headline “You are all cordially invited to my third act,” he writes that in considering the newspaper’s buyout offer, “I came up with 463 reasons to stay and 463 reasons to go.” He says it offers him the “gift of time.”

“This buyout affords me the opportunity to put the brakes on the runaway train of my life for a few months, and to indulge in the kind of writing that I have never allowed my full attention. Creating art, not interpreting and evaluating it.”

You can read his full column here.

Thursday
Dec012011

2013-14 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

SUSAN SMITH BLACKBURN PRIZE
2013- 2014 FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

MAJOR AWARD FOR FEMALE PLAYWRIGHTS
CELEBRATES THIRTY- SIXTH YEAR

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec012011

Randy Gener as of Feb. 10, 2014

Contributions still welcome


Veteran ATCA member Randy Gener continues to improve as he recovers from severe head injuries suffered in a street attack Jan. 17 near his Manhattan home. He successfully has completed his second surgery, in which a synthetic plate was placed where a portion of his skull used to be. He’s scheduled to move to a neuro/cognitive rehab facility this week where doctors believe he will spend at least six months and possibly up to a year. He is eating well and all physical function has returned except for some hearing loss in his right ear which doctors hope will return with time. Randy’s husband, Steve Nisbet, says “He is alive and improving daily. Once Randy is comfortably ensconced in his rehab, doctors say he will be allowed visitors!”

To pay for the neuro rehab, family and friends are continuing to collect contributions www.youcaring/randygener.com. As of Feb. 10, over $65,000 had been raised towards a goal of $85,000. We are very proud that so many ATCA and IATC colleagues have contributed to date.

— Jonathan Abarbanel, ATCA chair

Thursday
Dec012011

David Hays inducted

Introduction of David Hays
Theater Hall of Fame, January 27, 2014 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec012011

More on Randy Gener attack

To send Randy cards or personal wishes:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov282011

Sondheim on critics and awards, waxing sensible and acerbic

The Guardian has done us the favor of quoting from Stephen Sondheim’s Look, I made a Hat. The master’s observations are sensible, largely familiar (to critics), predictably acerbic — and only part of the story, because in spite of what artists often think, reviews are not written for them, but for readers. (Otherwise, why do our publishers pay us the big bucks?) Artists may listen in, if they choose, but as Sondheim says, why? Here it is.

 

Tuesday
Nov012011

Jay Stanley, 1929-2014

Longtime American Theatre Critics Association member Jay Stanley, who loved theatre and ran his own Marquee Awards for 35 years - at first in Los Angeles and, later, New Orleans - died peacefully in his sleep on March 8, 2014. He was 84.

Stanley, who in his youth was known for a wavy head of thick black hair and a moustache to match, was a social trendsetter. He and his partner, Jim Chastant, threw lavish parties for celebrities like Carol Burnett, Billy Dee Williams, Diana Ross and Deborah Kerr during the holiday season.

At a time when two men could rarely live together in public, they also pushed the norms of society. The couple adopted an eight-year-old girl, Mara, who hailed from Ontario, Canada. “I met them, fell in love with them and was adopted by them. They were my two dads,” she recalled. “They were the best people in the world.”

The two partners traveled extensively throughout the globe and were often seen in the couple of Co-Co, a capuchin monkey they rescued, who lived with them for more three decades and had her own “passport” with records of her rabies and distemper shots. A menagerie of pets including dogs and several birds – blue macaws, gold-crested cockatoos and a Malaysian parrot – lived beneath their sunny California roof.

Born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1929, Stanley enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was stationed for a time in Japan. Discharged in 1954, he worked in theatre as a set and costume designer and was noted as a very talented sewer and tailor. He acted in several roles and helped to manage the Mayfair Theater in Santa Monica and was involved with the Colony Theater in Burbank.

Eventually, Stanley turned to writing as a critic for the Herald Examiner and, later, its subsidiary, the Herald Dispatch. He began writing his column “Jay Walking in Hollywood” in 1978. He attended most every significant premiere from the late 1970s through the 1990s.

Stanley created the Marquee Awards as a means to acknowledge local theatrical productions throughout Los Angeles and the adjacent valleys.

When Chastant retired from his import-export business, the two moved back to his hometown of New Orleans in the mid-1990s. He and Stanley maintained an opulent, three-story mansion in the Garden District for several years until Chastant’s health began to fail and he was unable to negotiate the stairs.

The two sold their home and moved to nearby Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where they purchased a ranch style, one-floor home. Stanley continued to commute to review theatre in New Orleans, even after his partner passed away in 2003. His “Jay Walking in New Orleans” column was published in the “Viva La Vie!” newspaper and several of his critical pieces were run by the Jewish Civic Press.

Following the destruction of his home and the loss of most of his possessions in the fearsome winds and storm surge from Hurricane Katrina, Stanley relocated back to New Orleans.

The Marquee Awards were given out for 15 out of the past 16 years (with the exception in 2006, following Katrina) to deserving New Orleans area theatre companies and individuals, even when Stanley’s health had deteriorated and he could only move with the assistance of a walker.

He was a longtime member of the Big Easy Theatre Awards Committee that also promotes the local theatre community.

A memorial service was held to remember Stanley’s life on Saturday, March 22.

— Alan Smason

Tuesday
Nov012011

ATCA honors playwright Topher Payne with 2014 Osborn Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 14, 2014    

The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announces that Topher Payne has won its 2014 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright. The award will be presented April 5 at the Humana Theater Festival at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville.Topher Payne

The Osborn Award recognizes Payne’s play, Perfect Arrangement, which premiered in June 2013 at The Source Festival in Washington D.C., directed by Linda Lombardi. The award is designed to recognize the work of an author who has not yet achieved national stature. Last year it went to Keri Healey for Torso. Previous winners have included Yussef El Guindi, Rebecca Gilman, Keith Glover
and Richard Kalinoski.

The Osborn Award was established in 1993 to honor the memory of Theatre Communications Group and American Theatre play editor M. Elizabeth Osborn. It carries a $1,000 prize, funded by the ATCA Foundation. Making the selection from plays nominated by ATCA members is its New Plays Committee, chaired by Wm. F. Hirschman. That committee also selects honorees for the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award.

While not well-known nationally, Payne has recently become a fixture in the greater Atlanta theater community as an actor and as a playwright of a dozen works, especially for smaller progressive companies. He is an artistic associate with Atlanta’s Process Theatre Company and the Flying Carpet Theatre and is the executive producer of the Atlanta 24-Hour Plays for Working Title Playwrights.

In Perfect Arrangement, which shares its LGBT theme with much of Payne’s work, two married couples live side by side in a Georgetown duplex in 1950. Their life is depicted as a television sit-com, down to comical visits from their boss and his wife, and the play’s cast list likens them to characters from I Love Lucy and The Donna Reed Show. But they work for the U.S. State Department developing criteria for identifying employees with Communist tendencies and they have just been asked to identify “sexual deviants.”

The kicker is that both the husbands and wives are gay, joined in sham marriages so they can live with their loved ones. But the laughs evaporate as the quartet wrestle with the hypocrisy of their lives. Part nostalgic comedy, part social drama, the plot tracks the couples considering whether to scrap their comfortable middle-class Eisenhower existence for a life defined by pride and integrity. Payne told The Washington Post, “It ends up being [about] how much you should disrupt your own existence for the sake of demanding something more. And that’s an argument we’re still having.”

Payne’s plays Swell Party and Angry Fags were both nominated for outstanding world premiere at the 2-13 Suzi Awards and the latter won the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award. The Georgia Ensemble Theatre premiered his comedy The Only Light in Reno last January. He wrote about his life with, in his words, “humiliating candor” from 2005 to 2009 in his David Magazine column, Necessary Luxuries, which was compiled into a book of the same name. From 2010-13, he chronicled suburban life in his Domestically Disturbed column in The GA Voice, winning the 2012 National Newspaper Association award for Best Humor Column.

The American Theatre Critics Association 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, it has several hundred members who work for newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations and websites across the United States. ATCA is a national section of the International Association of Theatre Critics, a UNESCO-affiliated organization that sponsors seminars and congresses worldwide.

ATCA also presents the Francesca Primus Prize, honoring outstanding contributions to the American theater by female artists who have not yet achieved national prominence. Annually it makes a recommendation for the Regional Theater Tony Award and votes on inductions into the Theater Hall of Fame.

For more information on ATCA, visit www.americantheatrecritics.org.

CONTACTS:
Wm. F. Hirschman, ATCA New Plays Chairman, Florida Theater On Stage, (954) 478-1123, muckrayk@aol.com.
Jonathan Abarbanel, ATCA Executive Committee Chair, jonnyatca@earthlink.net

 


Monday
Oct102011

Dueling opinions from critics over when to say 'enough' - UPDATE

New York Times critic Charles Isherwood published a column on Oct. 7 saying, in effect that he didn’t want to be in a position to review anymore works by playwright Adam Rapp.

“Adam Rapp won’t have me to kick around anymore,” Isherwood began. “Oops. I think I got that backwards. I mean I won’t have Adam Rapp to kick around anymore.”

You can read his column here.

Michael Billington of The Guardian took note and offered his own opposing view.

“I think it’s a mistake for a critic ever to bring the shutters down,” he write. “In so doing, one denies oneself the possibility of a change of heart.”

You can read his full response here.

As president of the Dramatists Guild, composer Stephen Schwartz (“Godspell,” “Pippin,” “Wicked”) also had a response, supporting Isherwood’s suggstion, according to a report from Broadwayworld

Isherwood’s column has prompted a lot of response on various websites and a report from the Poynter Institute’s Jim Romanesko, which you can read here.

Until we can develop our comments section, if any of you write about the subject, we can add links and have a discussion in that way. Please send your links to criticjay@gmail.com

Friday
Oct072011

ATCA heads to Denver New Play Summit in February

The winter gathering of the American Theatre Critics Association will be held in conjunction with the New Play Summit held at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Feb. 10-12, 2012.

It’s a return visit to the summit, where a small group met in 2010.

Details are still in the works, but the summit will be held Feb. 10-12. Those intending to join us should plan to arrive in Denver in time to register by 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10 and to see the first reading at 1 p.m. Events will end in time for you to catch a 3 p.m. flight out of Denver on Sunday, Feb. 12.

We’ll have registration costs and hotel information coming in a few weeks, but the center is helping us to keep costs down and will assist in finding affordable lodging for the weekend.

The weekend includes five play readings over the three days, plus the world premiere of Lisa Loomer’s “Two Things You Don’t Talk About at Dinner” on Friday night and the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s “The Whale” on Saturday night.

A panel also is a possibility, and there will be a Playwrights’ Slam after the Friday evening performance.

Registration also will include several meals.

We hope you will be able to make plans to join us. Details will be coming as soon as they are available. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact Jay Handelman at criticjay@gmail.com or administrator Barry Gaines at bjgaines@aol.com for more information.