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 all who review theatre professionally, regularly and with substance for print, electronic or digital media.

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Member Blogroll

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

 Gail Burns in Gail Sez writes about theatre in the Berkshires of western Mass and adjacent areas of Vermont and NY.

Lindsay Christians writes theatre reviews at 77 Square; also arts blog On the Aisle; The Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal, Madison.

Mike and Laura Clark edit covering all types of theatre in Washington DC, Baltimore, and St. Louis including reviews, interviews, as well as audition and performance calendars.

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

Christine Dolen writes a theater critic’s notes in Drama Queen; and Miami Herald reviews and previews.

Karen D’Souza writes reviews, features and blog for the San Jose Mercury News.

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.

Randy Gener blogs on arts, culture and world theater in In the Theater of One World.

Michael Grossberg  writes on theater, comedy and the arts in Theater Talk, for the Columbus Dispatch.

Melissa Hall writes theatre reviews for the blog Stage Write. She mainly attends Indianapolis events, but also covers other Midwestern venues when possible.

Jay Handelman writes  News, reviews and opinion for the Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Pam Harbaugh’s blog Extreme Culture offers reviews, commentary and links, in the Gannett daily Florida Today.

Lou Harry  writes Lou Harry’s A&E: opinion, debate and discussion on arts and entertainment for the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Brad Hathaway’s “Theater Shelf: CDs, DVDs and Books for the Theater Lover” runs on multiple websites each week. You can find the latest column here: BradHathaway.Com

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.

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

Tim Treanor  is the Senior Reviewer for DC Theatre Scene, Washington, D.C.

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


Click to Learn More & Register

NYC Mini-Meeting Nov 13-15


The 15th International Symposium of Theatre Critics and Theatre Scholars: The Critic is Present, 
or, Towards an Embodied Criticism.” NOTE: ONE WEEK TO DEADLINE.
     Fuller info here.

Sterijino Pozorje, Novi Sad / International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC) / Bitef, Belgrade. At Novi Sad (Sept. 16-18) and Belgrade, Serbia (Sept. 18-20). 

     Does the critic have a body? Is he/she present? Is his activity an embodied (performing) practice? Is he/she just a voice coming from above and spreading “the truth”? Interested colleagues are invited to send a resume of up to 500 words (in English, French or Serbian) to and by 20th June, 2015

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 and its web journal, Critical Stages (Oct. 2014)



The Clyde Fitch Report 
interviews critics (mainly ATCA members): Misha BersonTerry Teachout; Peter MarksLauren Yarger; Wendy Rosenfield 

HowlRound criticism archive: NYT surveys response to critics, Jason Zinoman on the happy masochism of critics, etc.

Wendy Rosenfield, “Diversity Onstage: A Critical Issue” (Broad Street Review, Feb. 19, 2014)

Possible 2016 annual conference in Philadelphia (TBA), Howie Shapiro, chair.



The 2014 Tony Award for Regional Theater went, on ATCA’s recommendation, to New York’s Signature Theatre — the first time the award has gone to a NYC theater. 

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.} 

More metaphors, please:
“…he falls on this succulent, puffed-up role as if it were a chocolate eclair… . This is not life imitating art. This is art going to bed with life and staying there for the rest of the afternoon. — Anthony Lane, New Yorker review of “The French Minister.”
“Now is the winter of our Discount Tents” — sign in the window of Richard III Camping Goods, somewhere in Leicester.”

“[C]riticism, which by now should have evolved from a one-sided conversation … to a full-fledged back-and-forth between audience and critic, still drags its knuckles. Over in the online sports section of my particular newspaper, the threads are lively, angry, and impassioned. In the political and local sections, they’re horrific cesspools of blatant racism and sexism that continue for pages. But here on the performing arts page, save for the occasional response from someone associated with a production that received a negative review, they’re empty.” — Wendy Rosenfield in HowlRound, Apr. 1, 2013.

Hooray for The Onion: “Continuing in its mission to support excellence across a range of artistic disciplines, the National Endowment for the Arts announced Friday a new initiative allocating $80 million to discourage no-talent hacks from engaging in creative endeavors.” Read it here.

* Previous Pull Quotes are ASSEMBLED HERE. 

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

Past Conferences

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 logos


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


New curator for growing ATCA archives at Ohio State

The ATCA archives in the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute at The Ohio State University Thompson Library at OSU have a new curator, Dr. Beth Kattelman. She succeeds long-time curator Nena Couch who has stepped up to Director of Special Collections at OSU’s newly-renovated Thompson Library.

Click to read more ...


Gerald Weales, 1925-2013

Gerald Weales, a sagacious scholar of theater and a lively, judicious critic, passed away Aug. 30, age 88. He served with distinction in World War II, earned a Ph.D. at Columbia, taught for some 30 years at the University of Pennsylvania, was critic for 25 years for Commonweal and wrote the much admired annual “American Theater Watch” in the Georgia Review from 1978 to 2010. He won the George Jean Nathan Award in 1966 and was a founding (and loyal) member of ATCA. See the Georgia Review for a feeling In Memoriam.

For comments on Gerald by a few ATCA friends … 

Click to read more ...


Michael Feingold: 'Critic and Worker'

It’s a paradigm: Michael Feingold, one of the very finest American theater critics (George Jean Nathan Award, twice a Pulitzer finalist) loses his tenured (one would have thought) seat at the Village Voice and reappears with a twice-monthly column in TheatreMania — print to web, the way of the world. His pair of August columns address this very issue. Here is the first part of “The Critic, the Worker and the Business Model” (Aug. 16); here is part 2. (The announcement of Michael’s new role is here.)


2013 Hall of Fame ballot

The ballot will be in mail soon, and ATCA members make up the largest part of the electorate. Watch for it, and please give it your attention and vote. This is one of the responsibilities and pleasures of ATCA membership.


ATCA writes about CATF (1)

Charles Giuliano of the website Berkshire Arts wins the prize for most immediate (starting 7/22) and fullest (eight stories!) coverage of ATCA’s visit to the Contemporary American Theater Festival. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Sharon Eberson published two pieces (plus a TV report by Chris Rawson), and Dick Kerekes and Lesila Sansom have one on the EU Jacksonville site. We’re waiting to hear of others. Click for individual links:

Click to read more ...


Regional theater awards

One of the best established of regional theater awards is undergoing soul-searching. TheatreWashington, which hosts the Helen Hayes Awards, recently convened a community meeting (some 150 participants) to discuss the awards’ future. A summary of the conversation ticks off many topics and points of view that will be recognizable elsewhere.

Happy Birthday, Clara!

Clara Hieronymus turns 100 today

July 25, 2013 — A founder of the Clara, a few years agoAmerican Theatre Critics Association, Clara was one of the legendary crew who gathered in 1974 beneath a spreading Copper Beech tree at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center.

Click to read more ...


Critical controversy

Lily Janiak, a young critic on HowlRound, writes “Whose America? … Whose theater?,” a review/commentary on California Shakespeare Theatre, and starts a kerfuflle: read it here, with many combatants chiming in.


Panel on 'Monetizing Your Website'

To follow up the well-attended session at ATCA/CATF, Mark Lowry, Lorraine Treanor and Bill Hirschman (all here linked to their sites) put together a page on Mark’s site with tips for boosting your online presence.


Jason Zinoman, Perspectives in Criticism

Jason ZinomanYou had to be there, of course — which was one of his themes. This is all about live theater, after all, and in performance, Jason’s talk was animated and funny, full of impromptu sidebars. But for the basic speech, with its mix of autobiography and challenge …

Click to read more ...


Concluding, and the Convention Hat

Shepherdstown, WV, July 21 — Yesterday was packed. In Schwarzwald Haus, one part of the extensive Bavarian Inn, where most ATCAns stayed.addition to the Perspectives in Criticism talk by Jason Zinoman and the reorganization of the ATCA executive committee and the Foundation board, we saw two more plays, including what is conclusively CATF’s strongest, H20 by Jane Martin. At night there was a farewell party, including nice words from producing director Ed Herendeen and board Looking up German St. in the center of town.president Jenny Ewing Allen and the presentation to them of a signed copy of Under the Copper Beach: Conversations with American Theatre Critics (a history of ATCA and theater criticism). Finally, conference chair Tim Treanor was presented with a necktie emblazoned withRawson (right) and Abarbanel. the WV Mountaineer/Daumier logo. 

That completed Tim’s formal conference wear, because earlier in the day there was the passing of the Convention Hat. It’s a sturdy job festooned with memorabilia ofTreanor (left) and Abarbanel conferences going back into the mists of ATCA history – 20 years, at least. First Chris Rawson, chair of the 2011 conference at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, passed it to Jonathan Abarbanel, chair of the 2012 Chicago conference. Then after a few pictures, Jonathan presented it to Tim, with whom it will rest until next year’s conference at the Humana Festival.


ATCA elects new leadership

There were no barricades in the streets. With the sweetnessJonathan Abarbanel of demeanor for which theater critics are famed, the ATCA executive committee elected Jonathan Abarbanel (Chicago, its new chair. Then the overlapping board of Jay HandelmanFoundation ATCA elected Jay Handelman (Sarasota Herald-Tribune) its new president. More info on brief press release to come.  


More conference notes

Shepherdstown, WV, July 20 — It’s hard for even a conscientious note-taker to keep up as the conference barrels along. Thursday there was a workshop on “Monetizing your Website,” with Brad Hathaway, Bill Hirschman, Mark Lowry and Lorraine Treanor. Yesterday we had a morning panel on “The Effect of Criticism on Zinoman, Pressly, Boland, Handelman, Butler, McKowenTheater,” moderated by critic Jason Zinoman (N.Y. Times), with CATF’s Kathleen Butler and Peggy McKowen, critics Nelson Pressley (Washington Post) and Jay Handelman (Sarasota Herald-Tribune), and Maggie Boland (managing director, Signature Theatre).

Then today came what is in effect our keynote address, Jason Zinoman as the Perspectives in CriticismJason Zinoman talks: you had to be there, but the basic text is linked at left. speaker, the 32nd in a series of distinguished critics. It was a lively talk – autobiographical, smart, funny, challenging, optimistic – just what we envisioned when we invited Clive Barnes to start the series in 1992. (See list of speakers here.) But don’t take our word for it: read it here.

Aside from all this, there have been some interesting shows! But you can read about them best as our members write about them — for which, follow the twitter feeds on the top left of our home page.


Playwright Stephanie Zadravec receives $10,000 Francesca Primus Prize for 2013

Director Lear deBessonet also honored

Shepherdstown, WV, July 19, 2013—Today the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) announced at its annual Stefanie Zadravecconference, held at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, that playwright Stefanie Zadravec has been awarded the 2013 Francesca Primus Prize for her play The Electric Baby. Zadravec will receive the $10,000 award check immediately and be officially congratulated at an upcoming ATCA conference. 

Jointly sponsored by ATCA and the Francesca Ronnie Primus Foundation, the Primus Prize is given annually to an emerging woman theater artist. Playwrights, artistic directors, and directors are eligible to apply.

Click to read more ...


The Daumier goes to W.V.

By popular demand, here’s the unofficial logo of this year’s conference. The caricature on the left is of a mountaineer (like the WVU mascot); the one on the right is of Daumier’s caricature of a self-important critic (ATCA’s logo). Here, the two seem mutually unsure of each other, but ATCA and CATF are actually getting along very well: we are being taken care of well beyond our deserts.

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