Engaging with ATCA
It’s hard to decide just which aspect of the ATCA conference was the highlight. Certainly being at the O’Neill Theatre Center was a revelation, with the energy and constantly changing vibes of new plays, actors and playwrights.
The panels were stimulating and informative. I was especially impressed with the Critics in the New Age, where mainly our own members, among them Jay Handelman, moderator, Wendy Rosenfield and Leonard Jacobs talked about their right to an unpopular opinion, among other gems. Another feature that worked for me was hearing insights that would come at the most unlikely moments. We were discussing a play-in-progress over breakfast that we had all seen the night before, when Lynn Rosen commented, “There was nothing at stake.”
It was all engaging, with spontaneous times to talk to other writers at the beach, or on the bus, or after hours at Blue Genes Pub. Michael Phillips in his Perspective on Criticism talk warned against “generalities and bullshit.” That brought me up short and hopefully I’ll bring more depth and perception to this whole process.
— Liz Keill, NJN Publishing/Independent Press