The American Theatre Critics Association is the only professional organization for theater journalists and critics in the United States. We believe that theater is one of our nation’s most valuable tools for connecting people. Our members lead exciting conversations about theater and performance through the production of intelligent and insightful articles and other media. We are committed to the continued education of practicing critics, the mentorship of emerging writers and we invest in the talents of artists who advance the art form.
There are five tiers of membership. You may join as an Active, Associate or Affiliate member (outlined below). Alumni and Emeritus members are existing ATCA members who are assigned these statuses through review by the membership and executive committees.
Special for the 2020-21 membership year (July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021): In recognition of the ongoing financial implications connected to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Committee voted unanimously to implement a pay-what-you-decide policy for new and renewing members. If you apply and are approved for membership or are renewing, at any level, your initial dues can be as low as $1, or as much as the full dues for your membership level.
Any person actively engaged in theater journalism on any publicly accessible platform is eligible for active status. Members accepted at this level are entitled to all rights and privileges of Association membership, including serving on the executive committee and voting on all ATCA issues.
Students and early-career professionals who have been engaged in theater journalism for public access for less than two years are eligible for associate membership. Applicants accepted must remain at this level for at least one year before applying for Active member status. Membership at this level is limited to two years after which the member must meet and apply for Active member status or leave the Association. Members accepted at this level cannot serve on the executive committee or vote.
Individuals who aid in the creation of theater-related content or who work in fields adjacent to theater journalism but are not theater journalists. This includes but is not limited to editors, videographers and other content creators, dramaturgs, and educators. This category is not open to marketing or media relations professionals, or to theater-makers who are not regularly engaged in theater journalism. Members accepted at this level cannot serve on the executive committee or vote.
ATCA offers valuable opportunities for educational and personal enrichment to both established and developing theater journalists. In a typical year, members gather for a multi-day annual conference in a major theater center outside of New York, as well as for a shorter meeting in New York City or elsewhere, perhaps a regional theater festival. At these events there are panels, workshops, seminars, guest speakers, discussions with regional and national theater practitioners, a sampling of regional theaters, and ample opportunity to talk shop and socialize with others in the profession.
* Applies only to conference occurring in the first year of new membership.
** Applies to some membership categories and not others.
Membership is open to anyone who regularly publishes substantive content reviewing, or who is otherwise critically covering theater, including writing for a print or online publication or blog, and video or audio platforms. The ATCA membership year runs from July 1 to June 30 but the membership committee reviews applications on a rolling basis.