About ATCA

The American Theatre Critics Association is the only national association of professional theater critics in the United States. Our members work for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and on-line services across the country.

 

Membership is open to all any writer who regularly publishes substantive pieces reviewing or otherwise critically covering theater.

 

Since its founding in 1974, ATCA has provided opportunities for members to explore the remarkable artistic resources of our national theater and of theater around the globe.

ATCA works to foster greater communication among theater critics; provide training and networking opportunities and programs to foster emerging writers; advocate for freedom of expression; maintain ethical standards; respond to the continued evolution of the profession; and increase public awareness of theater criticism as an important national resource.

Our Mission

The American Theatre Critics Association, the only national organization of theater critics in the United States, works to: foster greater communication among theater critics; provide training and networking opportunities and programs for emerging writers; advocate for freedom of expression; maintain ethical standards; respond to the continued evolution of the profession; and increase public awareness of theater criticism as an important element of the art and the craft of theatrical entertainment.

ATCA Member
Code of Conduct

(Adopted July, 1997, Cedar City, Utah, updated June 2017) Our love of theater has brought us together from a variety of backgrounds, careers and levels of experience. It is important for us to remember that our actions reflect on the organization, its members and the profession. Membership in the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) is a privilege. The Association expects the members to adhere to the following in the performance of their professional duties:

1) Collegiality is expected within the Association. Members must treat their colleagues with professional and personal respect, courtesy and integrity. Ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated in Association meetings and activities, and is strongly discouraged in our profession as a whole. 

2) Members of the Association are expected to maintain high standards of journalistic practice with respect to the integrity and independence of their reporting and reviewing. Such standards include, but are not limited to, confirmation of news and information by reliable sources, acknowledgement of sources, accuracy of quotes and freedom from conflicts of interest (actual or perceived).

3) Complimentary tickets or merchandise are intended for use only by members and their guests (if any). Complimentary tickets/items not used by a member should be returned to the giver (typically the theater company or media representative). It is forbidden to re-gift them to third parties or to sell them. Asking for more — whether tickets, merchandise or anything else — is discouraged unless offered. 

4) A member must adhere to the policies of the individual theaters he/she attends with rxespect to the use of cell phones and other mobile devices, cameras or other recording/photographic devices, smoking and bringing food or drink into the playhouse. Members should be aware that the various performing unions (AEA, SDC among them) forbid the use of recording or image-taking devices during performances (including curtain calls) unless expressly authorized in advance.

5) In the course of performing their duties, members should be discreet in discussing productions or performances in public spaces before, after and during the performance. Members should respect the reticence of colleagues who prefer not to discuss their reactions. 

6) Members must be sensitive to issues of racism, sexism, homophobia, diversity and underrepresented populations.

7) Members should respect the reputation of the Association and not invoke ATCA’s name or their membership in it to intimidate, coerce or establish their bona fides.

8) Members recognize that their postings on social media — often done in an instant — can reflect upon their professional status and reputation and also on the status and reputation of the Association.

9) Members should recognize that failure to abide by this agreement may jeopardize ATCA’s relationship with media representatives, event hosts, the theater community and others who offer the organization services or hospitality. It also compromises our reputation, both individually and as the only national professional organization for theater critics.

Get in touch with us!

For general information, contact:

American Theatre Critics Association
217 West 18th Street - #68 New York, NY 10011
[email protected]