Member Milestones

Do you have a Milestone to share? ATCA Member Milestones are generally for Transitions (new jobs, retirements), Achievements (awards, honors), Publications (books, TV specials) and Memorials (obituaries). Write a paragraph and send to communications@americantheatrecritics.org. Include a Twitter address in the paragraph so we can give it wider notice.

Thursday
May032018

CHRIS RAWSON | Pittsburgh, PA

Chris administers the August Wilson American Century Cycle Award. Originated by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August’s hometown paper, and co-sponsored by the August Wilson House, his childhood home, and in collaboration with the August Wilson Estate, the award honors those theaters that have completed the 10-play cycle. Approximately 15 theaters have done so to date, and as of next week five will have received their plaques, with more presentations scheduled as time and travel allow. See the award’s background here.

Monday
Apr232018

RUSSELL WARNE | Provo, UT

Dante Michael Warne was born on April 4 at 7:53 a.m. He weighted 6 pounds and 13.3 ounces and was 18.9 inches long. Everyone’s doing fine, though Russ notes “my oldest kid (my 3-year-old son) asked last week if we can return the baby to the hospital.” No such plans are afoot but, as a photo of young Master Warne wearing a “[two bees] OR NOT [two bees]” T-shirt suggests, the theatre immersion has begun. And note the date we posted this. “It’s never too early to get kids interested in Shakespeare.”

Tuesday
Apr172018

ERICA MINER | Edmonds, WA

Erica has just published Death by Opera. The press synopsis teases: “In this sequel to Murder in the Pit, young violinist Julia and her cohort NYPD detective Larry Somers head to Santa Fe for the opera season. Against the breathtaking backdrop of the mystical Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains and the dramatic setting of the elegant contemporary Santa Fe Opera, chaos ensues as murderous activities plague the performers on stage and off. [ Website ] 

Friday
Jan192018

KAREN TOPHAM | Chicago, IL

Karen Topham is actively seeking theatre critics from around the country to become part of the expanded edition of her website ChicagoOnStage.com. Longtime ATCA member Beverly Friend is already filing reviews from Florida, and Karen’s desire is eventually to expand her “NationOnStage” section to cover different regions as enough people join her and enough material comes in, possibly even moving it to a new site. There is no compensation now, but it is a place to archive your reviews and/or articles, as well as reaching a strong base of travelers from Chicago and your area locals once it becomes known that the site features local reviews. Contact Karen for more information. 

Friday
Jan122018

ALAN SMASON | New Orleans

Alan has launched a new website at theatrecriticism.com with active participation from fellow member Aaron Krause. “We are soliciting reviews from those ATCA members or legitimate reviewers who would like to see their work archived on a website that showcases reviews from other critics. We are actively looking for reviews from the Northeast, Midwest, Southwest and Pacific regions.” If you are interested in participating, please email Alan.

Thursday
Jan112018

A tribute to Joel Markowitz

The new editor-in-chief of DC Metro Theater Arts, the outlet founded by ATCA member Joel Markowitz, spoke movingly about Joel’s impact on the Washington theater community during a public radio show devoted to people the DC metro area lost in 2017. Markowitz died of ALS this fall. Nicole Hertvik, who saw Joel as a mentor and who has assumed leadership of Markowitz’s web-based outlet, appeared on WAMU-FM’s Kojo Nnambi Show on December 21. The program is available online through the show’s website. Hertvik’s comments are found starting at 35 minutes into the audio. See also this tribute.

Thursday
Jan112018

RICK PENDER | Cincinnati, OH

Rick Pender has signed a contract with the publisher Rowman & Littlefield to assemble The Stephen Sondheim Encyclopedia, a comprehensive reference volume about America’s foremost composer-lyricist. It will include biographical information, summaries of Sondheim’s many shows, details of original productions, profiles of collaborators, performers, and directors, and much more. It’s anticipated to be completed in late 2019. Rick edited The Sondheim Review from 2004 to 2015, and was the founder, editor and publisher of Everything Sondheim, a website and magazine from 2016 to 2017. 

Friday
Dec152017

RUSSELL WARNE | Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Theatre Bloggers Association (UTBA) held its first fundraiser as a non-profit organization on November 28 (Giving Tuesday). UTBA is the “home” of two ATCA members, Russell Warne and Maren Scriven, and posts over 150 reviews per year. We invite ATCA members to support theatre criticism in Utah by donating to UTBA. Also, any retweets or Facebook shares during our fundraising campaign would be greatly appreciated. We estimate that it will cost $4000 per year to publish 200 reviews. 

Monday
Nov132017

JOEL MARKOWITZ | Washington DC

Joel lost his battle with ALS on November 7 in the presence of his family. Joel was an enthusiastic proponent of theatre at each level — amateur and professional, big or small. He founded the website DC Metro Theater Arts which gave an outlet to dozens of writers covering theater along the mid-Atlantic coast from Virginia to New York. He only recently joined ATCA and was only able to attend one conference before the onset of ALS, also know as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Click here for an online tribute at DC Metro Theater Arts.

Friday
Oct062017

ANGELIKA JENSEN | San Antonio, TX

Member Angelica Jensen has let us know the sad news that her husband of thirty years died last month. The following is excerpted from his obituary: “Robert ‘Bob’ Brown was born in New York City on January 16, 1930. He passed away peacefully on September 9, 2017, surrounded by his closest family. He is survived by his loving wife of thirty years, Angelika Jensen, his first wife, Barbara Holsten, and his son Steven Brown and stepson Ingmar Jensen. A dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, he spent his formative years in the City where he attended high school and college. Throughout the years he created a reputation for financial acumen in the greater New York area. Bob’s lengthy corporate financial career included leading positions at Nikon, Books for Libraries, Seatrain, and the City of Valdez, Alaska. Bob and Angelica move to San Antonio in 1987 and he retired in 1998. For his service in the Korean War, he was awarded a Bronze Star.”
Thursday
Sep282017

WEI-HUAN CHEN | Houston, TX

Wei-Huan Chen of the Houston Chronicle was recently recognized for his work covering “Nixon in China.” According to the jury committee, “The HGO production employed the use of yellowface and stereotypical representations of Chinese people. Wei’s writing on the controversial aspects was a departure from traditional opera coverage in Houston, where this was suddenly “news” even though the production originated here. His review spurred a community discussion and symposium about the obligations of arts organizations when representing ethnic groups. So often we talk about the power of change through hard news reporting, but Wei courted change and action through critical writing. That’s not an easy feat.”

Thursday
Aug102017

CHARLES GIULIANO | North Adams, MA

Charles is the founder of Berkshire Fine Arts which covers all aspects of the arts in the Berkshires. Last week he published Gloucester Poems: Nugents of Rockport. Charles writes, “The project started in the 1980s during an annual commute from Palm Beach to Mom’s home in Gloucester. What emerged is a remarkable narrative of my mother, Dr. Josephine Flynn, her Nugent/Flynn clan, and an engaging tale of the Irish in America.”  [ Website | Amazon ]

Sunday
Aug062017

RICK PENDER | Cincinnati, OH

Rick received a first place award in the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists presentation of their 2017 Excellence in Journalism awards. The category was “Written Communication – Best Arts/Entertainment Critique.” It was in recognition of a collection of his “Curtain Call” columns for Cincinnati CityBeat. The awards were presented on June 22, 2017.

Sunday
Aug062017

JAY HANDELMAN | Sarasota, FL

The Society of Professional Journalists Florida Pro announced winners of the 23rd annual Sunshine State Awards to recognize quality journalism in the best tradition of our profession for the calendar year of 2016. ATCA member and Foundation President Jay Handelman earned first place in Beat Reporting – Arts for his work with the Sarasota Harold-Tribune. Congratulations, Jay!

Sunday
Aug062017

IRENE BACKALENICK | Bridgeport, CT

On the cusp of 96, member Irene Backalenick (nytheaterscene.com) writes: “I no longer get to theater as often as I once did, though I still occasionally review. I have, however, turned to a new genre - poetry - and have recently had my first two books of poems published. Also, my poems have appeared in various literary journals.” You can find Rueful Reflections - Books 1 & 2 on amazon.com (not to mention her 1988 book East Side Story: Ten Years With the Jewish Repertory Theatre).

Sunday
Aug062017

LYNN ROSEN | Bellingham, WA

Congrats to Lynn Rosen and her husband Steve Giordano for the release of the third edition of their book Camping Washington. The guide covers more than 300 public campgrounds in the Pacific Northwest state. Steve wrote and photographed the first two editions, and Lynn joined him in updating the third edition. It is a Falcon Press publication. [ Website | Amazon ]

Sunday
Aug062017

JOHN ANGELL GRANT | Palo Alto, CA

T.S. Eliot’s high-profile writing career lasted more than 60 years. In 1948, he won a Nobel Prize for poetry that many think the finest of the twentieth century. About half way through this prestigious literary career, however, the poet shifted his creative efforts to drama and wrote a series of plays that today are rarely produced. In his new book, Women and Religion in the Modern Drawing Room Plays of T.S. Eliot, ATCA member John Angell Grant argues that an understanding of these tropes, recurring throughout the four plays can be found in a biographical assessment of the playwright that looks at Eliot’s own troubled personal relationships with women, and his own, resulting retreat into austere religious practices. The book is published by Academica Press, and any ATCA member who can review the book or assign a review to someone else can email John for a copy. [ Website | Amazon ]