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, which can also be read at the Houston Chronicle and

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

Lindsay Christians is a full-time arts and food writer for The Capitol Times in Madison, Wis., where she has written theater reviews since 2008.

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

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, 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, 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 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 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

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

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




“Regional Saturday Conference” in Cincinnati, March 9, 2018, with add-ons March 9-11. Full info here.
ATCA’s 2018 annual conference will be held July 10-15, 2018 at American Players Theatre, a classical rep company west of Madison, Wisconsin. More here, and more to come. 


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.

KAREN TOPHAM, Chicago, is actively seeking theatre critics from around the country to become part of the expanded edition of her website, Contact her here.

ALAN SMASON, New Orleans, has launched a new website, seeks to post reviews from legitimate critics country-wide.

JOEL MARKOWITZ received a moving radio tribute Dec. 21.

RICK PENDER, Cincinnati, OH, has signed a contract to assemble The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia, a comprehensive reference anticipated to be completed in late 2019.

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.


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. 

Critics in the news

New York Magazine names Sarah Holdren to the slot of theater critic vacated by Jesse Green. She’s been a freelance theater director and Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based theater company Tiltyard.

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).


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.

“You go wanting to fall in love with a production and that is so rare. I wanted to be smart and reasonable in my writing, to steer people towards the truth, and also had a lot of empathy for artists. I knew pretty soon formal criticism wasn’t for me.” — Eliza Bent, playwright and arts writer, American Theatre, TDF Stages, etc

* Previous Pull Quotes are ASSEMBLED HERE

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


Past Conferences


New York Weekend Conference, November 3, 4 and 5, 2017. Details. 


San Francisco annual conference, 2017



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

2015 NYC Weekend Conference
Sherry Eaker & Ira Bilowit, chairs


2015 New Orleans Conference 
Alan Smason, chair 


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 event logos



(above) Sarasota, 2009. 




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


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 ...


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 ...


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.)


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. 


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 ...


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 ...


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.


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.)


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.


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.