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 reviews Chicago theater for 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

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 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

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.





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


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

ANGELICA JENSEN, Houston, lets us know the sad news that Bob Brown, her husband of thirty years, died last month, age 87.

WEI-HUAN CHEN, Houston, was just honored for coverage of Nixon in China in China.

CHARLES GIULIANO, North Adams, MA, just published Gloucester Poems: Nugents of Rockport.

RICK PENDER, Cincinnati, OH, wom first place for Best Arts/Entertainment Critique, SPJ-Greater Cincinnati.

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.


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. 

Critics in the news

New York Magazine names Sarah Holdren to the slot of theater critic vacated by Jesse Green. She’s been a freelance theater director and Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based theater company Tiltyard.

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).


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.

“You go wanting to fall in love with a production and that is so rare. I wanted to be smart and reasonable in my writing, to steer people towards the truth, and also had a lot of empathy for artists. I knew pretty soon formal criticism wasn’t for me.” — Eliza Bent, playwright and arts writer, American Theatre, TDF Stages, etc

* Previous Pull Quotes are ASSEMBLED HERE

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


Past Conferences


NYC weekend, 2016 (for reports and details, scroll down on 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 membership -- elite, or rank and file?

The debate about the criteria for ATCA membersip that flared (by design) at ATCA/O’Neill is now going forward on Wendy Rosenfield’s Drama Queen blog. It’s her July 21 entry — take a look and click on Comments. Leonard Jacobs also comments on his Clyde Fitch Report, although so far mainly (negatively) about our hotel. Let us know where else ATCA/O’Neill comment appears. If you were there, send us any links to your published comments or write comments to add to our ATCA Blog.


ATCA/O'Neill ends in glow of satisfaction

The conference ended July 18 with the satisfaction of much  The Conference Hat: To embarrass the conference chair (this year, Chris Rawson), on the final day he’s made to wear a hat laden with memorabilia from previous conferences, presented by the previous conference chair (Jay Handelman, right, who chaired Sarasota). The chief recompense is that Rawson will get to add something from the O’Neill and embarrass whomever chairs next year’s Ashland conference.accomplished. (The next day it poured in New London, but that’s another story.) As soon as we rejoin life in our home cities, we hope to get those accomplishments posted here — officers elected, actions taken, awards given, decisions made, insights achieved. Meanwhile, look back on the conference blog here — now 13 posts and still counting. And if you wish you’d been there or want to know what you missed, go to the conference page and find the full schedule.


Michael Phillips delivers 'Perspectives in Criticism' at ATCA Conference in July

Michael Phillips, film critic for the Chicago Tribune, most recently shared TV’s “On the Movies” with A.O. Scott as joint successors to Siskel & Ebert. Before that he had a record cross-country tour as theater critic, moving briskly from the Dallas Times-Herald to the San Diego Union-Tribune to the St. Paul Pioneer Press to the Los Angeles Times to the Tribune. (Click here for the history of the Perspectives in Criticism series and its distinguished speakers.)

ALSO ATTENDING: guests at the conference include playwright Jamie Pachino, winner of ATCA’s $10,000 Primus Prize (2009) for an emerging female theater artist.

NOTE: The seagull version (above) eventually outpolled the non-seagull version (here) of the conference’s O’Neill & Critic logo; both appear on the conference banners and also the conference necktie, for the critic who dares flaunt his Daumier. (Anyone intrested in an unusual present for the critic who has everything, maybe even a job, send an email query; we can offer the logo in a nectie as well as a scarf.)


O'Neill Theater Center Wins 2010 Regional Theater Tony

By recommendation of the American Theatre Critics Association, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford Conn., Tony Award given to Alliance Theater, 2007now in its 46th year, will be awarded the 2010 Tony Award for a regional theater at the ceremony on June 13. The announcement was made May 3 by the American Theatre Wing, proprietor of the Tony Awards, and its partner, the Broadway League.

ATCA made its recommendation after a lengthy process of debate and balloting. The regional theater Tony, which is limited to a theater outside New York City, is the only award based on a recommendation from a national, non-Broadway group. Presumably it is announced the day before the full slate of Tony nominations to give the winning theater a moment in the sun before the handicapping begins on the other Tony races.

For a complete list of winners of the regional theater Tony back to 1976, go to that page on this website.



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.”

Click to read more ...



The American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announces that Jason Wells has won its 2010 M. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award for an emerging playwright. The award will be presented March 27 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Ky.

The Osborn Award recognizes Well’s play, Perfect Mendacity, which premiered in May 2009 at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida, directed by Michael Donald Edwards. Originally commissioned by the Manhattan Theater Club, Perfect Mendacity was developed as part of Steppenwolf Theatre’s fourth annual First Look Workshop Series, where it was directed by David Cromer.

Click to read more ...



Cheers for Richard Christiansen. On March 1, Chicago’s Tony-winning Victory Gardens Theater named its new 109-seat studio theater after the retired chief critic for the Chicago Tribune, a key figure in the growth and recognition of Off-Loop Chicago professional theater and a longtime ATCA member. Read more under Milestones: Achievements, or enjoy this eye-witness tribute by Chris Jones and this one, on our ATCA Blog page, where Jonathan Abarbanel reports from the event.

Elizabeth Maupin, former ATCA chair and long-time critic for the Orlando Sentinel, retired Feb. 26 — see her announcement in the Transitions section of the Milestones page. You can also read her final Sentinel blog; in bidding farewell to 9,609 days at the Sentinel, she promises to continue writing about theater in other ways. Check out the wonderful reader comments attached.


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