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 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 gapersblock.com and for her own blog.

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

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.

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, 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.

Brad Hathaway reviews for “Theater Shelf” which runs on multiple websites and his features for multiple outlets can be found at 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.

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 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 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.

 

Join Us on Twitter: @theatre_critics and @atca_member

 

San Francisco Annual Conference, June 14-18, 2017: Robert Sokol, Susan Cohn and Brad Hathaway are in full planning mode. 

 

 

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)

 

 

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

 

 

The 2016 Tony Award for Regional Theater went, on ATCA’s recommendation, to New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse.
 
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.} 

“Some critics don’t concern themselves with diversity or context, sticking to the subject before them. This is its own form of injustice as well as an abandonment of the critic’s role; to see exclusionary practices and not comment on them is to perpetuate them, but also, to pretend a show exists in a cultural vacuum does a disservice to the role of art.” — Wendy Rosenfield, “Diversity Onstage: A Critical Issue,” 2014 (posted Jan., 2017). 
  

* Previous Pull Quotes are ASSEMBLED HERE

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


Past Conferences

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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

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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

Friday
Mar142014

Topher Payne wins 2014 Osborn Award

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

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.

For more about Payne and Perfect Arrangement, click here for full press release.

Saturday
Mar012014

Theater criticism on the web

“Alternative criticism”: blog, tweet, amateur and pro, dedicated web sites, critical avant-garde, the audience role – some of the subjects in the February issue of Critical Stages, the online web journal of the International Association of Theatre Critics, along with book reviews and more. Critics world-wide are joined by ATCA members Russell Warne, Randy Gener and Leonard Jacobs.  

Thursday
Feb272014

Six finalists announced for $40,000 Steinberg-ATCA Award for 2014

ATCA has selected six finalists for the 2014 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for the best scripts that premiered professionally outside New York City during 2013. No play is eligible if it has gone on to a New York production within the award year. 

Generously funded at $40,000 by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, this is the largest national new play award of its kind. The top award of $25,000 and two citations of $7,500 each, plus commemorative plaques, will be presented April 5 at Actors Theatre of Louisville, during the Humana Festival of New American Plays.

No play is eligible if it has gone on to a New York production within the award year. Last year’s winner, Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way, opens on Broadway this spring. This year’s finalists, alphabetically by playwright, with the theater where each premiered: 

Fear Up Harsh, by Christopher Demos-Brown (Zoetic Stage, Miami).
I and You, by Lauren Gunderson (Marin Theatre Company, California, as part of the National New Play Network’s rolling world premiere program). 
Smokefall, by Noah Haidle (co-production of South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, Calif., and the Goodman Theatre, Chicago). 
H20, by Jane Martin (Contemporary American Theater Festival, Shepherdstown, WV). 
Stupid F**king Bird, by Aaron Posner (Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Washington D.C.). 
Seven Spots on the Sun, by Martin Zimmerman (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park).  

Since the inception of ATCA’s New Play Award, honorees have included Lanford Wilson, Marsha Norman, August Wilson, Arthur Miller, Mac Wellman, Adrienne Kennedy, Donald Margulies, Lynn Nottage, Moises Kaufman and Craig Lucas. Last year’s honoree was Robert Schenkkan’s “All The Way.” For a full list of all winners and runners-up, go to www.americantheatrecritics.org and click on Steinberg-ATCA under Awards.

For more about the finalists, the award, ATCA and the Steinberg Trust, click here for the complete press release.

Monday
Feb102014

Scott Brown wins George Jean Nathan Award

The recipient of the 2012-23 prize, the most prestigious in our field (except for the Pulitzer, which only occasionally might go to a theaterScott Brown, Nathan Award critic), is Scott Brown, theater critic for New York Magazine from 2010-2013. He has been a columnist at Wired magazine and a senior writer for Entertainment Weekly. The co-author of the off-Broadway comedy “Gutenberg! The Musical!,” he is currently working on TV and theater projects. More info here; more about the Nathan award here.

Wednesday
Feb052014

Chris Jones to head NCI

The O’Neill Theater Center’s search for a new director of the National Critics Institute has selected Chris Jones. For 15Chris Jones, new NCI head years theater critic for the Chicago Tribune (and before that, Variety), Chris chairs ATCA’s committee on the regional theater Tony. He succeeds Dan Sullivan, previously critic at the Los Angeles Times, who in turn succeeded the late Ernie Schier, NCI founder and previously critic at the Philadelphia Bulletin; both were also founders of ATCA. To complete the circle, the O’Neill was the birthplace of ATCA, which underwrites an NCI scholarship each summer. Links:
O’Neill Center announcement.
About Chris Jones
This summer’s NCI (June 28-July 12) and how to apply. 

Wednesday
Jan292014

Theatre Hall of Fame inducts 8

The Theater Hall of Fame, for which ATCA members are theEllen Burstyn and Betty Buckley (Aubrey Reuben photos) bulk of the electorate, inducted its class of 2013 on Jan. 27 at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre: Ellen Burstyn (inducted by Betty Buckley), Lorraine Hansberry (posthumously, by Phylicia Rashad), David Hays (daughter Julia Hays), Cherry Jones (Zachary Quinto), Cameron Mackintosh (in absentia, by Robert Wankel), Lynne Meadow (Sarah Jessica Parker), George C. Wolfe Jr. (John Guare) and Jerry Zaks (Jack Viertel). Emcee Joel Grey started the evening with a customized version of “Welkommen” from Cabaret.

The fullest account of the evening (click here) is in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

For an extraordinary induction speech, given by Julia Hays about her father, David (whom ATCA members cannot have fully known when they voted for him), click here

Sunday
Jan262014

ATCA member Randy Gener assaulted

NEW COVERAGE:
Hopeful update from ATCA chair (Feb. 10) 
Police say not a hate crime (Jan. 30).
A
comprehensive update (Jan. 28).
Update about the arrest of a suspect (Jan 29).
Howard Sherman column, with pictures of the candlelight vigil (Jan. 28).
NYT report.
How to contact Randy.
Some ATCA responses. 

ORIGINAL POST, LINKS BELOW:
Long-time ATCA member Randy Gener, 2008 winner of theRandy Gener George Jean Nathan Award, was assaulted at midtown Manhattan on Jan. 17 and taken to a hospital where he had brain surgery. A LGBT activist, Randy may have been victim of a hate crime. A free-lancer, Randy had no health insurance: fund-raising is underway
There will be a candlelight vigil in Manhattan at 7th and 53rd this evening (Sunday, Jan. 26) at 6 pm. All ATCA grieves.

Some of Randy’s accomplishments.

Randy’s sister is posting current information on his Facebook page.

There will be a prayer rally for Randy at the Philippine Consulate this evening (Monday, Jan. 27) at 7 pm.

Friday
Jan242014

Couple of Critical Controversies

Sarasota’s Asolo Rep was slapped down by Brian Friel for making significant changes in “Philadelphia, Here I Come,” as reported by Jay Handelman (Sarasota Herald-Tribune). In “Who Thinks It’s OK to ‘Improve’ Playwrights’ Work?,” Howard Sherman points out the issues are legal as well as moral and aesthetic.

In the debate over “August: Osage County,” some movie critics have had opinions on a play they haven’t seen. Chris Jones (Chicago Tribune) clears some air with “Don’t pit ‘August’ the movie vs. play.”

Tuesday
Jan212014

Young Critics Seminar in Hungary, March 24-29

Any ATCA member 35 or younger is eligible, and there’s still time to join. Most expenses are paid.
Deadline to apply is Feb. 15.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan182014

ATCA/Humana, April 2-6

Registration now open for ATCA’s 40th anniversary conference!

If you’d like to be persuaded to attend, click below.
Otherwise, go right to these links:
Conference Registration and 
Galt House (Hotel) — or phone them at 800-626-1814

The bluegrass will be extra-blue, the bourbon will be extra-strong and every play will be exciting (we hope) when ATCA gathers in Louisville, April 2-6, for its 40th Anniversary Annual Conference… .

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jan132014

Four dozen top ten lists for 2013

Click below for an index to some (hardly all) “bests” or “top ten” theater lists for 2013, not from just NYC but also Albany, Atlanta, the Berkshires, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Connecticut, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, South Florida, Utah and Washington D.C. The lists vary: Note Don Aucoin’s (Boston), celebrating “most adroit scene-stealing” and “most likely to make you want to hit the bars afterward for a good stiff drink.”

(Send links to any additional lists to the editor; they’ll be added if they’re (1) by ATCA members, (2) by non-members from major outlets, or (3) the only list we can find for that city. NOTE: since being posted Jan. 13, the index has continued to grow.)

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan112014

Inducters for Theater Hall of Fame

In yesterday’s column, Liz Smith lists (most of) the inductersLiz Smith for the upcoming Theater Hall of Fame ceremony (Jan. 27): Sarah Jessica Parker, Zach Quinto, Phylicia Rashad, Robert Wankel, Jack Viertel, John Guare and Betty Buckley. They’ll present inductees George Wolfe, Ellen Burstyn, Cherry Jones, Lynne Meadow, Jerry Zaks, Cameron Mackintosh, Lorraine Hansberry and David Hays. (There’s one inducter  missing, and the others don’t match up in just that order. How do you think they’ll pair up? For more, scroll down or click here.)

Friday
Dec062013

ATCA members Bill Green and Barbara Gross pass away

Theater historian William Green, professor of English at Queens College-CUNY for 52 years, died Nov. 13, age 87. Bill was an active guest at ATCA conferences for many years before someone finally ruled that his writing about Broadway qualified him to join. His chief scholarly work was on Shakespeare, and he was an officer of the American Society of Theatre Research and the International Federation for Theatre Research. His impish, thoughtful participation in ATCA will be greatly missed.

Barbara Gross, an ATCA member for some 20 years, passed away Nov. 20, age 66. Unknown to most who enjoyed her quiet, perceptive presence at ATCA conferences, she had had a long battle with cancer. An alum of the critics boot camp at the O’Neill Theater Center, she was a free-lancer for Backstage, the Washington Post and Playbill. Her day job was as a writer with the National Institutes of Health, from which she retired in 2010.

ATCA chair Jonathan Abarbanel pays tribute here to both Barbara and Clara Hieronymus. 

Monday
Dec022013

Clara Hieronymus, ATCA founder and 40-year critic for Nashville Tennessean, dies at 100

The doyenne of American theater critics, Clara was one of ATCA’s founders, following Henry Hewes in the central role of executive secretary, 1984-2001. She died Saturday in Savannah, Tenn., according to her daughter-in-law Martha Hieronymus, who told Evans Donnell of ArtsNash, “She went peacefully at home around 9:05 p.m.” Evans first reported her passing; here’s The Tennessean’s full obituary. You should find some comments on the ATCA Facebook page.

ATCA chair Jonathan Abarbanel pays tribute below to both Clara and Barbara Gross (above).

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov042013

NCI seeks new director: apply now!

If ATCA has a home, it’s where it was born in 1974, under the copper beeches at the O’Neill Theater Center, home  of the annual National Critics Institute. NCI has had just two directors -– Ernie Schier and Dan Sullivan, both founding members of ATCA -– and Dan has just retired. NCI is seeking his successor, as O’Neill executive director Preston Whiteway explains in the following letter seeking applicants. The deadline to apply is Nov. 15. 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct232013

Spotlight on Broadway

“Spotlight on Broadway” is an ambitious, fact- and people-filled website devoted to the history, architecture and much more of the 40 Broadway theaters. Executives, producers, designers, architects, historians and lots and lots of actors provide video background and anecdotes. Former ATCA chair Jeffrey Eric Jenkins provided historical research on all the theaters and is featured talking about 27 of them. Take a look.

Friday
Oct042013

Theater Hall of Fame selects 8

The Theater Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2013, the eight who will be added to the 511 already inscribed inLorraine Hansberry raised gold letters on the walls of Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre. The induction is set for Jan. 27, 2014. As usual, it’s a diverse lot: two actors, two directors, two producers, a playwright and one hard to classify. In that order they are Cherry Jones, Ellen Burstyn, Cameron Mackintosh, Lynne Meadow, George C. Wolfe, Jerry Zaks, Lorraine Hansberry and David Hays. The electorate of about 300 is made up of Hall members, ATCA members and selected other theater figures. (See Playbill article.)

Tuesday
Sep242013

How few are there?

Russell Warne recently launched a Twitter-quest to find out what U.S. cities still have at least one full-time (paid) theater critic working for print media. He came up with 10: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Miami, San Jose, Sarasota. Surely there are many more? Send a note.

Monday
Sep162013

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 ...

Sunday
Sep082013

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 ...