ATCA 2021 | From Where We Sit

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ATCA 2021 | From Where We Sit

November 13, 2021 @ 12:30 pm - November 14, 2021 @ 5:00 pm EST

$40.00 – $50.00

Photo by Kilyan Sockalingum via unsplash.

American Theatre Critics Association 2021 Conference:
From Where We Sit

Early Bird $40 through November 10 (midnight EST). Full Price $50 November 11, 2021 and after.

Members Only

The American Theatre Critics Association is proud to announce its 2021 conference, From Where We Sit. All sessions and meetings will be presented live on Zoom with closed captioning available. Registrants will receive one link per day for events on Saturday November 13 and Sunday November 14. And attendees who register by November 7, 2021 will be sent a separate link for an advance screening of the new film tick, tick…BOOM!

This year, we’re focusing on perspectives — ours, our readers’ and those of the people we write about. Sessions include a conversation with the creative team of Flying Over Sunset, opening on Broadway December 13, and a Perspectives in Criticism talk from former New York Magazine critic and director Sara Holdren. We’ll have panels about what’s coming to regional theaters across the country, how to write about disability onstage, Asian American activism in theater, and a one-on-one with intimacy director Kaja Dunn.

ATCA 2021: From Where We Sit opens at 12:45 p.m. EST/ 9:45 a.m. PST on Saturday, November 13. The conference is open to members only. All members, whether registered for the conference or not, are invited to attend the ATCA general meeting at 3 p.m. EST on Saturday. On Sunday, November 14, programming runs from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. EST.

Can’t make the whole conference? All of those who register will be given a video link to watch the Zoom at a later time. Select sessions will also be made available after the conference on the ATCA YouTube channel.

Stay tuned to this page and weekly ATCA newsletter for the latest developments.

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  • $40 Early Bird registration for the full conference
  • $50 Full Price after November 10

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[Subject to change based on availability of invited guests.]


All times are EST. Sessions will be recorded.


12:45 PM WELCOME: ATCA 2021
Welcome to the American Theatre Critics’ Association’s annual gathering from ATCA executive committee chair David John Chávez.

1:00 PM SESSION: A closer look at regional theater premieres in 2021-22. In a discussion moderated by ATCA’s David John Chávez, we hear from theater makers around the country about how they selected their seasons. We’ll talk about programming during a pandemic, addressing a national time of historical reflection and racial reckoning. How is American theater evolving?

Chanel Bragg, associate artistic director, Arizona Theatre Company
Eric Keen-Louie, executive producer, La Jolla Playhouse
Blake Robison, artistic director, Cincinnati Playhouse
Molly Smith, artistic director, Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.
Moderated by David John Chávez, Bay Area Plays

2:00 PM BREAK: Open chat

3:00 PM ATCA GENERAL MEETING, open to all members. Hear from ATCA committee chairs, get updates on the state of the organization and share your big ideas at ATCA’s annual meeting. Get involved in judging new plays, supporting belonging and diversity, recruiting and supporting new members and/or planning events. Connect with fellow professionals, and find new opportunities.

Karen Topham, chair, Belonging, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (BEID) committee
Lauren Van Hemert, chair, Communications
Russell Florence and Natalie Rine, co-chairs, Membership
Chris Byrne, chair, Helbing Mentorship
Misha Berson and Cameron Kelsall, co-chairs, New Play (Steinberg/ATCA & Osborn)
Kerry Reid, chair, Primus Prize
Jay Handelman, president, Foundation for ATCA
Jeffrey Eric Jenkins, president, International Association of Theatre Critics

4:30 PM BREAK: Open chat

5:30 PM Perspectives in Criticism. Sara Holdren is a director, teacher and writer-about-theater, originally from the Blue Ridge foothills outside of Charlottesville, Virginia. From 2017–2019 Holdren was the theater critic for New York Magazine and In 2016, Holdren co-founded the theater company Tiltyard in Brooklyn, and in 2019 and 2020 she served as the artistic director of Shakespeare Academy @ Stratford. Holdren is a Drama League Fellow, a graduate of the Acting Shakespeare Program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and the recipient of the 2016-2017 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. She holds a B.A. in theater from Yale University and an M.F.A. in directing from Yale School of Drama.

7 PM SCREENING: Estella Scrooge. As an end-of-the-busy-day treat, enjoy “Estella Scrooge,” an original direct-to-video production featuring Broadway favorites Betsy Wolfe (“Falsettos”), Clifton Duncan (“The Play That Goes Wrong”), and Lauren Patten (“Jagged Little Pill”) along with needs-no-introduction Patrick Page, Carolee Carmello, and Danny Burstein. Directed by John Caird (“Les Miserables”), “Estella Scrooge” features music by Paul Gordon (“Jane Eyre”) and lyrics by Caird and Gordon. Production provided courtesy of Broadway on Demand (

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11:00 AM SESSION: How this show got made featuring “Flying Over Sunset,” an original musical opening on Broadway in December. “A beautiful beach house overlooking the Pacific with Cary Grant, Clare Boothe Luce, and Aldous Huxley … and they are on an acid trip. Together.”

Harry Hadden-Paton, actor (“Flying Over Sunset,” “My Fair Lady”) in conversation with
James Lapine, director/writer (“Sunday in the Park with George,” “Into the Woods”)
Tom Kitt, composer (“Next to Normal”)
Michael Korie, lyricist (“Grey Gardens”)
Michelle Dorrance, choreographer

12:00 PM BREAK: Open chat

1:00 PM SESSION: Combating Ableism and Inspiration Porn in our Coverage of People Living with Disabilities, presented by the BEID committee. As theaters around the country aim to make truly inclusive art, it is important for people writing about the theater to be aware of the way in which they write about people with disabilities. In this session, we will discuss guidelines for writing about people living with disabilities, including why it matters and how to avoid language that is condescending or offensive.

Eric Woodall, producing artistic director, North Carolina Theatre
David Kurs, artistic director, Deaf West
Alie B. Gorrie, co-host and co-producer, “ABLE: A Series”
Lauren Appelbaum, vice president, communications, RespectAbility
Susan LoTempio, advisory board member, National Center on Disability and Journalism
Moderated by Talleri McRae, access contractor for JFK Center for the Performing Arts

2:30 PM SESSION: Asian American activism in theater. Following the stories and panels of this past spring, this panel of Asian American theater makers looks at what stories are being told, how representation is changing and the effects of activism on current work in the theater season.

Nandita Shenoy, actor/playwright, New York City (“Rage Play”)
Lily Tung Crystal, actor, director, and artistic director of Theater Mu, Twin Cities
Pun Bandhu, actor, New York City (“Wit” on Broadway, film “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Moderated by Eric Ting, artistic director, Cal Shakes, Orinda, California

4:00 PM SESSION: A conversation with intimacy director Kaja Dunn. ATCA excom member Amanda Finn Haggerty hosts this discussion with Kaja Dunn, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Department of Theatre and affiliate faculty for Theatrical Intimacy Education. Dunn is an actor, director and activist.


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8:30 PM SCREENING: tick, tick…BOOM! Conference attendees who have registered by Sunday, November 7 will receive a pass to an advance screening of the new film tick, tick…BOOM!, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda based on the Jonathan Larson stage musical. The film, to be released in select theaters and Netflix November 19, will be viewable using instructions sent to individuals who register by November 7.

tick, tick…BOOM! stars Academy Award nominee and Tony Award winner Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Tony Award nominee Robin de Jesús, Tony Award nominee Joshua Henry, MJ Rodriguez, Emmy Award winner Bradley Whitford, Tariq Trotter, Emmy and Tony Award winner Judith Light, and Vanessa Hudgens. The film is written by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen), and produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard for Imagine Entertainment, Julie Oh, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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November 13, 2021 @ 12:30 pm EST
November 14, 2021 @ 5:00 pm EST
$40.00 – $50.00
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