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 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 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 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

Tuesday
Feb062018

Hotel deadline for ATCA-OH18

The hotel discount for those wanting weekend accommodations for the upcoming Cincinnati event will expire Feb. 9: $119 per night including breakfast buffet at SpringHill Suites Midtown Cincinnati, close to all activities. Click here for reservation and click here to register to ATCA-OH18.

Friday
Feb022018

Membership Committee Membership Set

As previously announced, the ATCA membership services and membership recruitment committees have been merged under the leadership of co-chairs Mark Lowry of Dallas and J.W. Arnold of Fort Lauderdale. This was done to streamline and improve the application vetting process and design a major recruitment campaign for later this year. The co-chairs have assembled a full committee of twelve (including themselves) to work on the projects. Serving with Arnold and Lowry will be Nancy Bishop of Chicago, Russell Florence of Dayton, Charles Giuliano of Adams, Massachusetts, Jessica Goldman of Houston, Pam Harbaugh of Melbourne, Florida, Cameron Kelsall of Haddon Township, New Jersey, Jack Lyons of Desert Hot Springs, California, Kerry Reid of Chicago, Ed Rubin of New York and Maren Scriven of Layton, Utah.

Friday
Jan262018

ATCA confers Emeritus honor on Dan Sullivan, critic, mentor, friend


The ATCA Executive Committee voted this week to confer lifetime Emeritus Membership – one of its highest honors – on Dan Sullivan, the veteran critic, educator, mentor and co-founder of ATCA.

Emeritus standing is awarded only to a small cadre of members and former members who have established outstanding careers, furthered the future of the profession and significantly contributed to the organization itself.Dan Sullivan (right) in a familiar scene: gently mentoring at the National Critics Institute

Sullivan, 82, of Minneapolis, served as general assignment reporter for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, theater critic for the Minneapolis Tribune (1961-64), the off-Broadway critic for The New York Times (1966-69), and high-profile critic for The Los Angeles Times from 1969-1991, where he was renowned for his insight and wit.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan112018

Regional Theater Tony Award

ATCA members should note the Jan. 31 deadline to propose a regional theater for ATCA’s recommendation to the Tony Administration Committee.

Remember that everything about this process must remain confidential, including the names of the theaters proposed.

For the proper procedure, check your Dec. 27 issue of ATCA UPDATE. 

Saturday
Dec302017

A new ATCA program: ATCA-OH18

We’re thrilled to invite ATCA members and their guests to a regional ATCA weekend in Cincinnati, March 10 (or 9-11).Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park It is designed to offer a more intimate and immersive experience than the national conferences, with a lesser cost, travel, and time commitment. It is ideal for those whose work schedules and budgets are tight but who want to engage with fellow ATCA members, expand their professional horizons, see some terrific theatre, and have fun in the process.

The program is open to twenty members and their guests.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec152017

Foundation ATCA launches annual appeal to help it do good 

In a recent email appeal, Foundation president Jay Handelman notes its many good works, including scholarships and travel funds for critics, support for new ATCA members, subsidies of mini-conferences, the Osborn Prize for emerging playwrights, etc. This is the time of year for a tax deductible contribution, especially in 2017, with deductions at the whim of a cut-and-paste tax bill. Click to read for Jay’s full letter and how to give.  

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec092017

Save this date: July 10-15 for ATCA 2018 in Wisconsin

ATCA’s 2018 annual conference will be held July 10-15, 2018 at American Players Theatre, a classical repertory company in the hills along the Wisconsin River, about 40 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin.

Early conference plans include four plays with a fifth optional at both the outdoor Hill amphitheater and indoor Touchstone space; preview the varied season here. We will have several educationalAPT, Hill Theatre (Saina Bashir, The Cap Times) opportunities, including panels. There will be options for tours at House on the Rock, an eclectic museum with architectural and historic appeal, and Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studios. We’ll have a welcoming reception at White Oak Savannah, a beautifully restored event space on a farm, and take a trip into MadisonMidsummer Night’s Dream, 2017 (Liz Lauren) to see the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country and Overture Center for the Arts. 

We plan to have an 80-person chartered bus for the conference. A block of 60 rooms is reserved at The House on the Rock Resort across from American Players Theatre. The resort has two pools, tennis courts, a spa and is adjacent to a 27-hole golf course.

Much more info to come! 

Tuesday
Nov212017

Ernie Schier inducted into Theater Hall of Fame

Ernie Schier (1918-99), ATCA co-founder, director of the National Critics Institute, “Schier of the Inquirer,” dramaturg and mentor, was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame on Nov. 13, along with an induction class of actors Audra McDonald, Marin Mazzie and Matthew Broderick, playwrights Tina Howe and Arthur Kopit and producers Oskar Eustis and Daryl Roth. Ernie’s induction speech was by George White of the O’Neill Theater Center. Click here for a comprehensive story on the event.

For a treat, click here for Tony Kushner’s speech inducting Eustis that wowed the audience. 

Saturday
Nov112017

A few pix from Nov. 2-3 in NYC

Paul Hyde (center) with two actors from the very funny “The Play That Goes Wrong”As the ATCA gathering in NY ended, everyoneSharon Wheatley from “Come from Away” headed home to tend to theater there. Columns, blogs and pictures, plus Facebook and Twitter, recorded the panels, interviews and shows in NYC. Here are a few pix (mainly from the Sardi’s gathering) to add to those previous posted (scroll down to see). 

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez talk about their stage version of “Frozen”

Originators of roles in Sondheim, moderated of course by Rick Pender of The Sondheim Review: left to right, Kurt Peterson, Harvey Evans, Teri Ralston, Pamela Myers and Len Cariou

Friday
Nov102017

NY conference leaves all exhausted, exhilarated

More pictures coming (though you can see some now on Twitter at #atcaNY17). But first, here’s Lauren Yee (left), receiving her plaque for the $10,000 Francesca Primus Prize from Primus Prize chair Barbara Bannon (center) and Patsy Kahn, representing Barry Primus and the Primus Foundation. The presentation was at Sardi’s, at the traditional lunch mixing critics and Broadway stars.

Saturday
Nov042017

N.Y. conference under way

Follow all the action on Twitter at #atcaNY17

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For one thing, there’s a tweet-post competition under way, so posts proliferate. And that’s where you’ll find pictures like the following explained.

Tony, Tony, who’s got the Tony (at the League of Broadway Theatre office)

 

 Panel, panel … .

Sunday
Oct222017

Just 10 days to go

Sunday
Oct222017

Critical debate du jour: The dynamics of a request not to review

A small Philadelphia theater asked critics not to review a short run of a new play that had been fully publicized. Wendy Rosenfield of the Broad Street Review responded; the responses to her increase the interest of all this to theater critics elsewhere.

Wednesday
Oct182017

'Regional Saturday Conference' to debut in Cincinnati, March 10, 2018

In its continuing effort to create vibrant programming beyond its outstanding national conferences, ATCA is happy to announce its first Regional Saturday Conference in Cincinnati on March 10, with optional bookend theatre opportunities on March 9 and 11, 2018.
 
The intimate, low-cost event will be limited to twenty attendees, with the first window of ticketing available to those in Ohio or within 200 miles of Cincinnati. Registration will begin in late October for those members and in mid-November for the general membership (if space is still available).
 
ATCA members Rick Pender and Lou Harry have put together a dynamic program that includes up to four theater productions, expert-packed panels, and an interactive presentation addressing ethics issues for both theaters and arts journalists. Attendees can come for the day or the weekend.

Thursday
Sep282017

What ATCA is and should be: ATCA chair summarizes the many advantages of membership

We are in the middle of our membership renewal drive, andBill Hirschman while this Harold Hill spiel is, indeed, aimed at enticing those who haven’t put renewals high on their “to do” list, this is really a contemplation of what ATCA is and what it should be.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep212017

ATCA-NY17 approaches, Nov. 3-5; registration still open

Click here or on “Details” under the ATCA Daumier Times Square statue in right column for updated list of activities, panels and participants.

Monday
Sep112017

2017 class of Theatre Hall of Fame led by Audra McDonald

NEW YORK (Sept 11) – The Theatre Hall of Fame announced today its 2017 class of eight inductees, led by Audra McDonald and including (in alphabetical order) Matthew Broderick, Oskar Eustis, Tina Howe, Arthur Kopit, Marin Mazzie, Daryl Roth and Ernie Schier.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug262017

Russian critics denounce treatment of director Serebrennikov

The Russian Theatre Critics Association, ATCA’s co-member in the International Association of Theatre Critics,Kirill Serebrennikov has denounced the arrest of controversial Russian stage/film/opera director Kirill Serebrennikov. Described as “always fresh, unconventional, and truly innovative,” he has been selected to receive the New Theatrical Reality prize this December by the Europe Theatre Prize. Read more on the ATCA International Committee page.

(Aug. 27) Further commentary by John Freedman, an Americam translator and theater critic in Moscow.

Wednesday
Aug162017

ATCA speaks on fair comment, theaters’ rights, diversity and cultural competency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 16, 2017

ATCA has closely followed the controversy sparked by a review of Pass Over by Chicago critic Hedy Weiss and referred members to articles about the controversy on our website. As the only nationwide organization of theater critics and journalists, we believe issues have been raised that go beyond this specific situation. The larger issues produced as intense an internal debate as many of us can recall, including:

1. Critics’ free speech and fair comment rights;
2. each group’s ultimate responsibilities to art, entertainment and the greater society;
3. increasing diversity among our ranks in ATCA and the profession at large;
4. and finally, questions about whether critics of any gender identification, age or ethnicity can fairly evaluate work produced by another group.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug162017

Honoring ATCA at the O'Neill

Foundation ATCA president Jay Handelman writes: The O’Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, where ATCA was founded in 1974 and many of us have attended the National Critics Institute, has started a fundraising drive for bricksThe copper beech at the O’Neill where ATCA was founded. that will be placed on the patio and walkway around Blue Gene’s Pub. We are asking ATCA members to make a contribution to help Foundation ATCA purchase as many bricks as possible to commemorate our founding and some of the key people who helped to get our organization started.

The bricks are $200 each, three for $500 and six for $1,000. No donation is too small or too large. We will purchase as many bricks as your contributions allow. There are two ways to contribute. You can donate online (see the small “pay” in the lower right) or send a check payable to Foundation ATCA (with a note for “O’Neill Bricks”) to: Tim Dodson, Administrator, Foundation ATCA, 1701 NE 115th Street - Suite 8A, Miami, FL  33181.

We would like to receive your contributions by the end of August, if possible. Thanks in advance for your support.