Edward Medina Prize

The Edward Medina Prize for
Excellence in Cultural Criticism



Edward Medina at Sardi’s

The Edward Medina Prize for Excellence in Cultural Criticism is a new award for reviewers, critics, and journalists in the U.S. from under-represented groups (women, people of the global majority, trans, and non-binary) who write about theater and its role in highlighting people from various cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.


The purposes of the prize are to (1) cultivate relationships between ATCA and diverse critics, (2) encourage increased readership of cultural criticism composed by diverse writers, and (3) offer monetary support for critics from under-represented groups


The prize includes $500 for the recipient, one free year of ATCA membership, and travel costs for an upcoming ATCA conference.




Apply here. [2022 prize application, now closed]


The short application asks applicants to upload a short bio and up to three writing samples. Writing samples can be op-eds, long-form reviews, essays, or feature articles.


All applications are reviewed by a panel of judges who are professionals in theater, journalism, and/or communications. 2022 applications were open from July 25, 2022 at midnight ET to August 31, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET. All applicants were notified of their application status by October 15, 2022. The first Medina Prize will be presented in November 2022.


2022 Judges


Nicole Brewer, founder of Anti-Racist Theatre

Wei Huan Chen, journalist

Mirla Criste, performer and professor at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Russell G. Jones, actor and Ensemble Studio Theatre board member

Jiles King, editor of Urban Arts Magazine

Lynde Rosario, director of engagement for the National New Play Network

Yura Sapi, founder of Advancing Arts Forward

Jay Woods, director and associate artistic director of 5th Ave. Theater in Seattle



About Edward Medina


Edward Medina was a proud Nuyorican, whose rich background and multifaceted talents served to create a strong, well-established life within the arts and entertainment industry. Beginning as a young magician and performer, then throughout his storied career, Medina brought his flair for the theatrical and deep understanding of the value of the arts to his roles as a recognized and award-winning producer, director, author, and eventually critic.


Medina was especially honored, as a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, to have served on the Executive Committee as well as the Membership and Belonging, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committees, until his death in 2021. During his time with ATCA, Medina heavily emphasized needs for increasing diversity within theatrical production and criticism, as well as providing fresh opportunities and support for new critics finding their calling to this vital field of the arts.


To learn more about Edward Medina, please visit his website.


  • 2022 — October 27: Brittani Samuel announced inaugural Medina Prize winner
  • [holding column]