Ilana Lucas '10

Alumna Ilana Lucas '10 Appointed Vice President of the Canadian Theatre Critics' Association

BY Amanda Breen, March 1, 2021

Dramaturgy alumna Ilana Lucas ’10 was recently appointed Vice President of the Canadian Theatre Critics’ Association (CTCA). 


The CTCA grew out of the Toronto Drama Bench, which was established in 1972 by critics Herbert Whittaker, Urjo Kareda, Don Rubin, and Janine Manatis. The Bench included critics from the daily newspapers, magazines, radio, and the then “alternative” weeklies. 


Today, the CTCA includes professional critics, entertainment writers, and journalists across electronic, print, and broadcast media. The CTCA is dedicated to promoting excellence in theatre criticism, a code of ethics for professional critics and their employers, the national dissemination of information on theatre, national and international awareness of Canadian theatre, and excellence in Canadian theatre through national awards. It also aims to improve the acceptance and publication of theatre criticism in Canada as well as the training opportunities, working conditions, and status of theatre critics. 

The introduction to the comprehensive Code of Ethics on the CTCA’s website stresses the importance of consideration for artists and sets professional standards for critics: “The Canadian Theatre Critics Association accepts the premise that its members are dealing with contributions to the public by artists and technicians who have worked long and hard on their presentation. It is thus agreed that while such considerations must not inhibit the reviewer in any honest estimate, it does presume respect for the contributors’ efforts. Membership in the CTCA offers no license to insult, ridicule or denigrate artists who are serious about their work.”


The CTCA’s two major awards are The Herbert Whittaker Award for Distinguished Contribution to Canadian Theatre and The Nathan Cohen Award for Excellence in Critical Writing, which encompasses three distinct honors: Outstanding Review, Outstanding Critical Essay, and Outstanding Emerging Critic. Director and actor Philip Akin received The Herbert Whittaker Award in 2019; Deirdre Kelly, Quelemia Sparrow, and Lois Anderson received The Nathan Cohen Award in 2020. 


Lucas attended the School of the Arts after graduating from Princeton cum laude with a BA in English and Theatre. 


She served as Head Archivist for the Phyllis Newman Archival Project and was a Freelance Columnist for the San Francisco-based website and lifestyle brand Brit + Co, where she wrote weekly books columns, profiling several new releases with a common theme. 


She is currently a Professor of English and Communications at Centennial College in Toronto and a Senior Writer at Mooney on Theatre.