photo by Travel Costa Mesa 

Curious about where such Steinberg Award-winners as “I & You,” “Vietgone, and “Cambodian Rock Band” were germinated? 

Think South Coast Rep. Think Pacific Playwrights Festival.

Think about experiencing this year’s Festival in the company of your fellow ATCA members.

We’re thrilled that the 2020 Pacific Playwrights Festival will anchor the next ATCA conference, April 23-26, 2020(The ATCA board will meet April 22 just before the conference gets started, and the Foundation board will meet Friday, April 24 while the conference is underway.)

A vitally important institution for the development of new work, the Pacific Playwrights Festival has introduced more than 130 plays since 1998, including “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” “Intimate Apparel,” and multiple Steinberg Award winners.

Not only will you witness two world premiere productions (reviews are encouraged) and four full readings of new works in development, you’ll also be there for the presentation of the ATCA Steinberg and Osborn Awards. Additional performance opportunities will be announced soon.

But that’s not all!

During two full days of additional programming, you’ll hear from playwrights who double as screenwriters, sharpen your skills at educational workshops, meet California arts movers and shakers, expand your horizons with thought-provoking panels, and much more. 

We’ve also worked in some time to exhale and to enjoy the company of your fellow ATCA members and venture out on your own. (Want to extend your stay and visit nearby Disneyland? We’ll have a link for discount tickets.) 

Conference chairs Lou Harry and David John Chávez and their team will provide updates you'll see in the ATCA newsletter and on this conference page, outlining specific programs and additional events.

Our host hotel--where some of the programming will take place--is the Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa, located a short distance from South Coast Rep and our other meeting locations. We’ve negotiated a great deal, with King rooms for $119 a night plus tax (and rooms with two Queen beds for $129  plus tax). This includes free parking, WiFi, and a shuttle for both the airport and for travel in the immediate area. Yes, there’s a pool and the beach isn’t far away.

There are plenty of other lodging options in the area but you are unlikely to find a deal anything like this.

HOTEL. Reserve your hotel room now using this link (at first it looks like a standard registration page but plug in your travel dates and you’ll see the ATCA rates) or call 714-557-3000. Make sure to ask for the "American Theatre Critics Association" room block. And for those looking for a longer vacation, the rate has been extended before and after the conference. Any problems or questions? Email Lou Harry at

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION. Register for the conference events at the link below and stay tuned to this page and ATCA Update for the latest developments.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


 Registration (Members and Guests)

  • $150.00 - Member early bird registration through March 31, 2020.

  • $175.00 - Member registration April 1, 2020 and later.

  • $75.00 -   Non-member guest registration (conference only--performance tickets must be purchased separately. See below.)

    A member should first register herself, then begin the process again from the main registration page to register each guest. The main registration page will display the note "Already Registered" -- click "Register" then "New Registration" then enter a unique email for each individual guest registration.

Click here to register

Guest Tickets to Pacific Playwrights Festival Performances

The low-cost conference guest registration does not include tickets to Pacific Playwrights Festival performances. You can purchase tickets for your guest(s) to any or all of the performances members will be attending. 

How? Simply call South Coast Rep's Molly FitzMaurice at 714-708-5841. Make sure to state that you are a guest with the ATCA conference to ensure you will be seated with the group.


Full productions of THE SCARLET LETTER (including Steinberg/Osborn presentation) and I GET RESTLESS: $75-$88 each (students and senior discounts available)

Individual readings: $19 each

Sunday playwrights panel: Free

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •



VENUE: Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa
3131 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

 8:30 AM: Registrant Check-In

 9:00 AM: Member Meeting Part 1

10:00 AM: Welcome | Representatives from Arts Orange County and Visitors Center

10:30 AM: Membership Meeting Part 2

12:00 PM: Lunch

 1:00 PM: Session 1 | TBA 

 3:00 PM: Afternoon Break

 3:30 PM: Session 2 | TBA

Dinner on your own

Evening Show Options: To Be Announced

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

FRIDAY | APRIL 24, 2020

VENUE(s): Crowne Plaza Costa Mesa + SCR

Area Museum and Touring Options: To Be Announced

 9:30 AM: Foundation ATCA meeting

 1:00 PM: PPF Reading | VLADIMIR | ​by Erika Sheffer

 4:00 PM: PPF Reading | THE FITZGERALDS OF ST. PAUL | book, music, lyrics by Christie Baugher

 8:00 PM: PPF Production | I GET RESTLESS | by Caroline V. McGraw

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


VENUE(s): Orange County Music & Dance + SCR

 9:00 AM: Registrant Check-In at Pacific Symphony Orange County Music & Dance

 9:30 AM: Education Session 1 | Facebook for Journalists

10:30 AM: PPF Reading | EL BORRACHO | by Tony Meneses

11:00 AM: Education Session 2 | Ethics of Criticism Workshop

12:00 PM: Lunch

 1:00 PM: Session 3 | The Sound of Theater: L.A. Theatre Works and audio drama

Presenter: Susan Loewenberg, Producing Director at L.A. Theatre Works

 2:30 PM: Session 4 | Playwrights Writing for the Screen

Panelists: Daniel Talbott, Rolin Jones, Mickey Birnbaum, and others invited

 4:00 PM: Presentation | Perspectives in Criticism: Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times

 8:00 PM: Awards Presentation | Steinberg-ATCA and Osborn Awards

Speakers to include Lou Harry, Chair, ATCA New Play Committee and
Martha Wade Steketee, Chair, ATCA Executive Committee

 8:30 PM: PPF Production | THE SCARLET LETTER | by Kate Hamill

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

SUNDAY | APRIL 26, 2020


 9:00 AM: Session 5 | Meet the PPF Playwrights

10:30 AM: PPF Reading | GOLDEN SHIELD | by Anchuli Felicia King

* Subject to change and availability of invited guests.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •


ATCA has negotiated discount rates for the Disneyland parks, allowing you to purchase up to six tickets for you and/or your conference guests for use before, during or after the conference. Tickets are valid from April 18-29, 2020.

Log into the ATCA OC 2020 Ticket Store here.

These rates are only available through this portal and not at the gate.

Note: On Feb. 11, 2020, Disneyland prices increased. Our negotiated prices, however, have been extended through March 10 so act now. All tickets must be purchased by 9:00 pm PST on April 20

Fine print: These tickets are intended only for conference attendees, family members, and guests and the link is not to be shared. Disney reserves the right to contact the ticket purchaser to request event registration confirmation. If the purchaser is not connected to the conference, the ticket(s) will be blocked and will not be eligible for a refund. These tickets cannot be purchased for the purpose of being resold.


To exit this section and return to the main ATCA website go to:

Copyright 2011 -2020 | American Theatre Critics Association | All Rights Reserved

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

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software