Obie Award

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Obie Awards
Awarded for Excellence in Off-Broadway theatre
Country United States New York City
Presented by The Village Voice
First awarded 1956 (1956)
Official website www.villagevoice.com/obies

The Obie Awards or Off-Broadway Theater Awards are annual awards originally given by The Village Voice newspaper to theatre artists and groups in New York City. In September 2014, the Awards were jointly presented and administered with the American Theatre Wing. As the Tony Awards cover Broadway productions, the Obie Awards cover Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions.

Background[edit]

The Obie Awards were initiated by Edwin (Ed) Fancher, publisher of The Village Voice, who handled the financing and business side of the project. They were first given in 1956 under the direction of theater critic Jerry Tallmer. Initially, only Off-Broadway productions were eligible; in 1964, Off-Off-Broadway productions were made eligible.

Award structure[edit]

With the exception of the Lifetime Achievement and Best New American Play awards, there are no fixed categories and the winning actors and actresses are in a single category titled "Performance". There are no announced nominations.[1][2] Awards in the past have included performance, direction, best production, design, special citations, and sustained achievement. Not every category is awarded every year. The Village Voice also awards annual Obie grants to selected companies; in 2011, these grants were $2,000 each to Metropolitan Playhouse and Wakka Wakka Productions.[3] There is also a Ross Wetzsteon Grant, named after its former theater editor, in the amount of $2,000 (in 2009; in 2011 the grant was $1,000), for a theatre that nurtures innovative new plays.[4]

The first awards in 1955-1956 for plays and musicals were given to Absalom (Lionel Abel) as Best New Play, Uncle Vanya, Best All-Around Production and The Threepenny Opera as Best Musical.[5]

Other awards for Off-Broadway theatre are the Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama Desk Awards, the Drama League Award, and the Outer Critics Circle Awards.

As of September 2014, the Obie Awards are jointly presented by the American Theatre Wing and the Village Voice, with the Wing having "overall responsibility for running" the Awards.[6]

Ceremony[edit]

The ceremony for the 2010–11 season was held on May 16, 2011 at Webster Hall (New York City), hosted by S. Epatha Merkerson and David Hyde Pierce.[3] The ceremony for 2011–12 was held on May 21, 2012 at Webster Hall.[7] The ceremony for the 2012-2013 season was held at Webster Hall on May 20, 2013, with hosts Jessica Hecht and Jeremy Shamos.[8] The ceremony for the 2013-2014 season was held at Webster Hall on May 19, 2014, with hosts Tamara Tunie and Hamish Linklater.[9]

Categories and winners[edit]

  • Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actor
  • Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Ensemble

Lists of winners[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]