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

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 ShowBizRadio.net 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 davidcote.com.

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.

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.

Damien Jaques writes about theatre for OnMilwaukee.com, 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 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.

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 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.

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.

 

See ATCA International for news of the International Association of Theatre Critics from the ATCA members who represent us there.


* “Jan Kott Our Contemporary” is the IATC’s Feb. 19, 2015, conference celebrating his seminal Shakespeare Our Contemporary (1961) and the 100th anniversary of his birth. (Proposals for papers due by Dec. 5.)

 
* See also the IATC’s own site and its web journal, Critical Stages (Oct. 2014)

OBITUARIES 
Jerry Tallmer, 93, inaugural Village Voice critic, creator of the Obies (N.Y.Times obit)

Peter Vaughan, 77, Minneapolis StarTribune critic, 1977-97 (StarTrib obit)

 

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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)

SCROLL TO BOTTOM for regional critics’ awards.

2015 annual conference planned for New Orleans, March 25-29, Alan Smason, chair: stay tuned! 

2016 annual conference planned for 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. 

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.

 

{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

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

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 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

Saturday
Jul132013

ATCA packing its bags

ATCAns are preparing to gather next week at CATF, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, W.V. Watch for reports here.

Tuesday
Jul092013

ATCA's Daumier on new book

A new book on theater criticism, Refereeing the Muses by Bob Abelman and Creryl Kushner, has the good taste to use ATCA’s old friend on its cover. The 1865 caricature “Promenade of an Influential Critic” by Honore Daumier has served as ATCA’s official logo since 1974.

Appearances so dramatically notwithstanding, the book has no connection to ATCA. But some ATCAns have given it praise. It says it examines “the skill set associated with being a critic and arts journalist” and “explores the history, evolution, and future of the profession in the United States.” It may take a place on a critic’s (or teacher’s) bookshelf beside such standards as Irving Wardle’s 1992 Theatre Criticism.

Refereeing the Muses is published this month by Peter Lang Publishing.

Friday
Jul052013

New definition of Regional Theater Tony

After 38 years of recognizing outstanding regional theaters outside NYC with its Tony Award for a Regional Theater (see list), the Tony administration has changed the award going forward to include non-Broadway theaters within the city. According to its June 13, 2013 press release, “The Tony Awards Administration Committee has announced that starting with the 2013-2014 season, New York-based theatre companies can now be eligible to receive the Regional Theatre Award.”

The award belongs exclusively to the Tonys, of course. However, it was begun in 1976 at the instigation of ATCA members, from the start ATCA was given the responsibility of making a recommendation, and it has always gone to the theater recommended by ATCA after its confidential selection process. In recognition of this, there was some informal advance discussion of the change between Tony and ATCA leaders, who expressed conflicting points of view, but ATCA was never approached formally.

The press release continues: “ ‘The Regional Theatre Award honors artistic achievement contributing to the growth of theatre nationally,’ said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League & Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing.  ‘New York has some of the most prestigious and creative theatre groups in the country and we are thrilled to include the New York theatre community in this category.’ ”

There is a bit more information in the resulting New York Times article (take a look), but there is no mention there of how the awardee is chosen or of ATCA’s key function. A more comprehensive article appeared in Playbill, June 28. The ATCA executive committee expects discussion on this subject at the West Virginia conference, July 17-21, by which time there may be more instruction from the League and Wing on the new parameters for the award.

Saturday
Jun082013

Earlybird deadline June 8 for July conference

The registration page for the ATCA conference at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival now acknowledges the extended early bird registration rates of $180 for members and $200 for guests. The price goes up on Sunday to $200 (members) and $225 (guests). You can register online here or by sending a check to our administrator Barry Gaines at 12809 Northern Sky NE, Albuquerque NM 87111-8089.

(Scroll down for more details and handsome conference brochure.)

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jun082013

O'Neill NCI scholarships awarded

Paul Hyde of the Greenville (S.C.) News and Andrew McGibbon of TheAndyGram.com have been awarded the scholships ATCA funds at the National Critics Institute at the O’Neill Theater Center.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May222013

Anthony Del Valle, Las Vegas critic

Las Vegas Review-Journal critic Anthony Del Valle, 60, passed away May 21. He co-chaired ATCA’s very successful 2007 Las Vegas conference. “He seemed to be friends with everyone.” Obituaries: Review-Journal; CityLife.

Saturday
May042013

Registration open for ATCA/2013 conference at CATF, Shepherdstown, W.V.

Check out the new conference brochure (download pdf).

Five plays, panels, speakers, dinners, a host of historical sites and more, plus transport, etc.

THE AMERICAN THEATRE CRITICS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE, July 17-21 at the CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN THEATER FESTIVAL IN HISTORIC SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.V.
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

 The venue: The theaters of Shepherd University.

 The dates: Wednesday, July 17 to Saturday, July 21, 2013.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr222013

NCI/O'Neill invites applications to 2013 'critic's boot camp'

The National Critics Institute at the O’Neill Theater Center in Formerly the Instant Theatre, now named after Edith Oliver.Waterford, Conn-ecticut, seeks critic fellows for its 2013 program, June 29-July 15. (NOTE that critic fellows can be young or old, experienced or novice.) Director Dan Sullivan (long-time theater critic at L.A. Times and Minneapolis Tribune) and associate director Mark Charney invite applications. Read on. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr072013

Robert Schenkkan wins 2013 Steinberg/ATCA Award, nation's largest 

(added much later) — Video clips of $40,000 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Awards at the 37th Humana Festival: Jim Steinberg of the Steinberg Charitable Trust; presentations by Bill Hirschman to winner Robert Schenkkan (“All the Way”) and citation winners Johnna Adams (“Gideon’s Knot”) and Lucas Hnath (“Death Tax”)


April 6, 2013— At tonight’s Humana Festival of New Plays,Robert Schenkkan ATCA named Robert Schenkkan’s meditation on power and pragmatism, All The Way, the recipient of the 2013 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, recognizing a script that premiered outside New York City during 2012. Schenkkan’s play about Lyndon Johnson’s dogged campaign to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 received the top award of $25,000.

Two citations that carry $7,500 each were presented to Lucas Hnath for Death Tax and Johnna Adams for Gidion’s Knot. At a total of $40,000, Steinberg/ATCA is the largest national new play award focusing on regional theaters as the crucible for new plays in the United States.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr062013

HowlRound week on criticism

For HowlRound’s week on criticism, go here. Some of the contributions:
Wendy Rosenfield on really wanting to be a critic and what criticism’s for, here.
Jason Zinoman on the critic’s passion, here.
Rob Weinert-Kendt on the personal drive to criticism, here.
John Moore on the economics of reviewing as newspapers abandon the field, here.

Friday
Apr052013

Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and two Citations to be announced this Saturday at Humana Festival

On April 6 at Actors Theatre, during the 37th Humana Festival of New American Plays, the evening show in the Pamela Brown Auditorium will be preceded by the announcement of the 2013 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for the best scripts that premiered outside New York City during 2012 — the nation’s biggest such awards ($25,000, $7,500 and $7,500). The finalists are Johnna Adams, Ayad Akhtar, Lucas Hnath, Mia McCullough, Dan O’Neil and Robert Schenkkan. Stay tuned. (Click here for more details.)

Saturday
Mar232013

Tammy Ryan accepts Primus Prize

Friday night at the Columbia Club in Indianapolis, playwright Tammy Ryan accepted the 2012 Francesca Primus Prize and shared a few thoughts on the value of prizes and critics.

“One thing I’ve learned is that you can’t control what other people think. You only control what you do and if you’re a writer, what and how you write. But what people think often comes into play on whether or not someone gets to participate in the American Theater. Someone has to say yes to produce your play, give you a grant or a prize.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar202013

ATCA gathers in Indianapolis

ATCA’s annual mini-conference brings several dozen of us to the mid-west this weekend, March 21-24, just in time for spring. Reports of the festivities and art will follow.

Tuesday
Mar192013

Six finalists named for Steinberg/ATCA, nation's largest new play award

ATCA has selected six finalists for the 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 2012. 

The six are Johnna Adams, Ayad Akhtar, Lucas Hnath, Mia McCullough, Dan O’Neil and Robert Schenkkan (for the scripts specifically honored, see below). The top award of $25,000 and two citations of $7,500 each, plus commemorative plaques, will be presented April 6 at Actors Theatre of Louisville during the Humana Festival of New American Plays. At $40,000, Steinberg/ATCA is the largest national new play award of its kind.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar192013

Keri Healey wins 2013 Osborn Award

Keri Healey has won its 2013 Keri HealeyM. Elizabeth Osborn New Play Award, give by ATCA each year to recognize the work of an emerging playwright who has not yet achieved national stature. The award specifically recognizes Healey’s play, Torso, which premiered in March 2012 at Printer’s Devil Theater in Seattle, directed by David Bennett. The award will be presented in April at the Humana New Plays Festival at Actors’ Theatre of Louisville. Last year’s Osborn Award went to Darren Canady for Brothers of the Dust.

Click to read more ...