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

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.

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.

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.

Damien Jaques writes about theatre for, Milwaukee.

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.

Joe and Ann Pollack write  St. Lous Eats and Drinks with Joe and Ann Pollack: food, wine, shops, travel, reading, movies and theater in St. Louis.

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.


ATCA/Humana: visit @ATCA2014

The Clyde Fitch Report interviews critics (mainly ATCA members):
Terry Teachout
Peter Marks 
Lauren Yarger
Wendy Rosenfield 

BALLOTS for Regional Tony recommendation must be returned to arrive by April 18.

HowlRound criticism archive: NYT surveys response to critics, Jason Zinoman on the happy masochism of critics, Wendy Rosenfield on criticism’s significance, etc.

SUSAN SMITH BLACKBURN PRIZE announces ten 2013-14 finalists — 3 U.S., 5 U.K., 2 Australia. Full info here.

ATCA’s Brad Hathawayaddresses the IATC Symposium in Kerala, India, Jan. 30, 2014.

SCROLL TO BOTTOM for regional critics’ awards.


Humana Festival, Actors Theater of Louisville, April 2-6
; chair, Jonathan Abarbanel.


Click here for video clips of last year’s $40,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Awards at the 37th Humana Festival, including Jim Steinberg, Bill Hirschman and winners Robert Schenkkan, Johnna Adams and Lucas Hnath. NOTE that Schenkkan’s winning play is now on Broadway.
NOTE that the 2014 Steinberg/ATCA winners will be announced April 5 at Humana. See six finalists here.

Elsewhere (off)site: for the website of the Drama section of the (British) Critics’ Circle, click here.

ATCA’s recommendation of Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company was accepted and it was awarded the 2013 Regional Theater Tony Award. For background on the award, click here. But this year, the field broadens to include New York City non-profits (click here). ATCA members will receive ballots soon.


{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.

2013 Critics’ Circle Awards 

 * N.Y. Drama Critics Circle, 78th awards.

* Outer Critics Circle (N.Y.) 63rd awards.

* Chicago, Jeff Awards.
* Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle, 44th Awards.
* Philadelphia: Barrymore Awards, 2013 Winners.
* San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, 2012 awards.

* Index to other regional theater awards, click here.

* FOUR DOZEN 2013 “BESTS,” city by city

REVIEW round-ups:

* Chicago (23 publications)

Past Conferences

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


Seeking member proposals for Steinberg/ATCA and Osborn

With just a month to go in 2012, the odds are you’ve already seen what you might propose for the playwriting awards ATCA adjudicates. (If you need a refresher, click to read about the $40,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award or $1,000 M. Elizabeth Osborn Award for an emerging playwright.) Submissions go to new play award chair Bill Hirschman at or 954-478-1123. For the criteria, limitations and process involved …  

Click to read more ...


Lahr steps down at New Yorker

After 20 years, John Lahr is stepping down as chief theater critic for the New Yorker, where he won the George Jean Nathan Award in 1994 (he had previously won it in 1969 for reviews in the Evergreen Review and Village Voice). Living mainly in London, he had been reviewing only about half the time; his colleague, Hilton Als (who himself won the Nathan Award for New Yorker reviews in 2003), will now have the job to himself. More.


March 21-24, 2013: ATCA weekend conference in Indianapolis

Conference organizer Lou Harry bids us welcome to Indianapolis, “the home of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing” and the place that gave the world Kurt Vonnegut and David Letterman. Conference offerings will include the Midwest premiere of Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons” at the Phoenix Theatre, a performance of Lou Harry is at the Indianapolis Business Journal ( Lopez’s “The Whipping Man” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, a trip to the new $118 million Center for the Performing Arts for a concert by Barbara Cook and Michael Feinstein and a visit to Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Archives, plus lots more… .

Click to read more ...


Frankenstorm pause . . .

The storm has played havoc with ATCA’s Twitter/Facebook juggernaut, but we expect to be back in the saddle shortly. (NOTE: We were, and are.)


Playwright Ryan celebrated for 2012 Primus Prize

Oct. 27 – Friends in the Pittsburgh theater community gathered Saturday to celebrate playwright Tammy Ryan for  winning the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize and witness her receipt of the $10,000 check from Foundation ATCA, funded by the Primus Foundation. (Although the prize is announced at the ATCA conference in June orATCA’s Chris Rawson makes presentation to Tammy Ryan or July, the check isn’t available until fall.) While the prize recognizes “an emerging female theater artist,” the cake everyone shared expressed the community’s feeling that Ryan long ago emerged as a force in Pittsburgh theater. (For more on the 2012 Primus Prize, click here.)


ATCA welcomes International Association of Theater Critics to Windy City

Chicago, Oct. 11 — And that’s the news: ATCA welcomes the executive committee of the IATC, meeting now in the Windy City at the same time (but separate from) ATCA’s own executive committee. IATC elected representatives attending are Mark Brown (UK), Jean-Pierre Han (France), Jeffrey Eric Jenkins (USA), Yun-Cheol Kim (Korea), Ivan Mendenica (Serbia), Don Rubin (English Canada), Margareta Sorenson (Sweden), Akiko Tachiki (Japan), Michel Vais (French Canada) and Xian Zhang (China).


Philadelphia Inquirer sheds theater critic Howie Shapiro

The Philadelphia Inquirer, the leading paper in the country’s fifth largest city, which has helped nurture a vibrant theater scene (some 50 professional companies) and maintained a long heritage of regular Broadway coverage, has decided to do without a full-time theater writer/critic. On Oct. 1, its critic ofHowie Shapiro 10 years, Howie Shapiro, was reassigned to the paper’s South Jersey bureau. Whatever he was going to cover there is now moot, because after 42 years with the paper as an arts and travel editor and theater critic, Shapiro has just decided to take a buyout.

(For comments Shapiro sent to a critic colleague, click below and scroll to the end of this story.)

More than Shapiro are involved in what the Inquirer represents as reallocation of resources but many see as major cost- and coverage-cutting.

Click to read more ...


Eight announced for Theater Hall of Fame, class of 2012

Andre Bishop, Betty Buckley, Christopher Durang, Michael Kahn, Trevor Nunn, Paula Vogel, Sam Waterston and the late Martin Pakledinaz form the 2012 class of the Theater Hall of Fame, announced yesterday by Hall producer, Terry Hodge Taylor. That’s a pair each of actors, directors and playwrights plus a producer and costume designer, chosen from a slate of 51 nominees by an electorate made up of the ATCA members and previously elected members of the Hall of Fame.

The 42nd annual induction ceremony will be held Jan. 28, 2013, at 7:30 PM in the North Rotunda of the Gershwin Theatre, where the names of Hall of Fame members are inscribed on the walls in raised gold letters. (For the fullest list of members, go to the Hall’s website,

Click to read more ...


Theater Hall of Fame deadline extended slightly

The balloting has gone slowly, and with a small electorate, every vote counts. The deadline for the ballots to arrive in New York has been extended to Monday, Sept. 17, 5 pm. If you mislaid your ballot, email Chris Rawson. This is one of the perks of membership. Vote now!


Hall of Fame Ballots due Sept. 15

Don’t miss your chance to vote. If you have questions or have misplaced your ballot, email Chris Rawson.


How (Not?) to Be a Critic

There’s been a spate of recent comments on criticism as chastisement and/or advertising (mainly of books, but we see the connections). For links to pieces by Richard Brody (, Jacob Silverman (, David Streitfield (, J. Robert Lennon ( and Dwight Garner (, click below. Here’s a teaser from Brody’s “How to Be a Critic”:

It’s as silly to deplore nasty criticism as it is to deplore snark or wit or sarcasm or just plain crankiness. It’s how we are—it’s how I am—and nastiness is as inseparable from criticism as it is from family life, from politics, from business, from the playground, and, for that matter, from art itself. One of the defining qualities of art is its implacability—its representation of violent and dangerous emotions, its ardor for and even embodiment of the negative, the destructive, the repugnant. Art is a place of maximal danger; it endangers the soul of the artist no less than the soul of the reader or viewer or listener. Exaltation comes at a price; sublimity, after all, involves a type of terror.

Click to read more ...


Bill Gale, back at the mic

Great news: former ATCA chair Bill Gale continues to recover from a two-week hospital stay which included a quadruple heart bypass operation and another to insert a pacemaker. For his take on it all (he calls it “Heartless”) … .

Click to read more ...


Jim Kilker, a friend to ATCA

James Anthony Kilker, husband of long-time ATCA member Marie Kilker, died Aug. 16, age 86, in Bradenton, FL. Jim was known to ATCA from the many conferences he attended and as co-host with Marie of ATCA members and guests at a tour of Paris for critics in November 1999.

Click to read more ...


Theatre Hall of Fame ballot is in your mail

Don’t miss this opportunity to vote — it’s a benefit of ATCA  membership. If you want to know more about the Hall of Fame, go to the Hall of Fame link under the Awards button on the ATCA website. If you have further questions, email one of the ATCA members on the Hall’s Executive Committee, Chris Rawson or Jeffrey Eric Jenkins. The deadline is Sept. 15. 


March 21-24, 2013 weekend conference set for home of theater, stock cars, satire and song

Organizer Lou Harry bids us welcome to Indianapolis: “Central Indiana is looking forward to welcoming you to the home of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and the place that gave the world Kurt Vonnegut and David Letterman. Conference offerings will include the Midwest premiere of Nicky Silver’s “The Lyons” at the Phoenix Theatre, a  Lou Harry is at the Indianapolis Business Journal ( performance of Matthew Lopez’s “The Whipping Man” at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, a trip to the new $118 million Center for the Performing Arts for a concert by Barbara Cook and Michael Feinstein and a visit to Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Archives, plus lots more… .

Click to read more ...