Obie Award

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Obie Awards
Awarded for Excellence in Off-Broadway theatre
Sponsored by The Village Voice
Location New York City, New York
Country United States
Presented by American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice
First awarded 1956 (1956)

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.


Julie Bovasso, Shelley Winters and Jason Robards at the 1956 Obie Awards

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. The first Obie Awards ceremony was held at Helen Gee's cafe.[1]

Award structure

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.[2][3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

Award categories

  • Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actress
  • Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Actor
  • Obie Award for Distinguished Performance by an Ensemble
  • Obie Award for PLAYWRITING
  • Obie Award for DESIGN
  • Obie Award for SPECIAL CITATIONS


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.[4] The ceremony for 2011–12 was held on May 21, 2012 at Webster Hall.[8] The ceremony for the 2012–2013 season was held at Webster Hall on May 20, 2013, with hosts Jessica Hecht and Jeremy Shamos.[9] The ceremony for the 2013–2014 season was held at Webster Hall on May 19, 2014, with hosts Tamara Tunie and Hamish Linklater.[10] The ceremony for the 2014–2015 season was held at Webster Hall on May 18, 2015.[11] The ceremony for the 2015–2016 season was held on May 23, 2016 at Webster Hall, hosted by Lea DeLaria.[12]

Lists of winners

  • Winners from
  • "OBIE winners, 2011–2012",
  • "OBIE winners, 2012–2013",
  • "OBIE winners, 2013–2014",
  • "OBIE winners, 2014–2015",
  • "OBIE winners, 2015–2016",
  • OBIE winners, 2017[13]


  1. ^ Aletti, Vince, "Helen Gee 1919–2004", Village Voice (New York City), 12 October 2004, accessed on 21 November 2013
  2. ^ Healy, Patrick. "'Ruined' Wins Obie Awards" The New York Times, May 18, 2009
  3. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Camp, Harris, Merkerson, Marvel and White to Present at Obies; Passing Strange to Perform",, April 17, 2008
  4. ^ a b Gans, Andrew." 'Chad Deity', Ethan Hawke, Laurie Metcalf, Thomas Sadoski, Charlayne Woodard Win Obie Awards", May 16, 2011
  5. ^ Cox, Gordon.Off Broadway event Variety, May 18, 2009
  6. ^ "1955–1956 Obie Awards", accessed May 21, 2013
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew. "American Theatre Wing and Village Voice Will Co-Present Annual Obie Awards", September 9, 2014
  8. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'4000 Miles', Gabriel Ebert, Mary Louise Wilson, Linda Lavin, Santino Fontana and More Are Obie Winners", May 21, 2012
  9. ^ Gans, Andrew. "'Detroit', 'Grimly Handsome', Eisa Davis, John Rando, Shuler Hensley and More Are Obie Winners" Archived June 5, 2013, at the Wayback Machine., May 20, 2013
  10. ^ Gans, Andrew."59th Annual Obie Award Winners Announced; Sydney Lucas Is Youngest Winner in Obie History" Archived May 20, 2014, at the Wayback Machine., May 19, 2014
  11. ^ Hetrick, Adam. "Obie Winners Announced! 'Hamilton' Is Best New American Theatre Work",, May 18, 2015.
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Winners Announced for 61st Annual Obie Awards" Playbill, May 23, 2016
  13. ^ Gans, Andrew. " 'Oslo' and 'The Band's Visit' Among 2017 Obie Award Winners" Playbill, May 22, 2017

External links

  • Official website
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