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Wednesday, April 13, 2011



New York, NY 
The Awards Will Be Presented By:
Alec Baldwin
Arian Moayed
Jim Parsons
John Larroquette
Lee Pace
Lin-Manuel Miranda 
Mamie Gummer
Margaret Colin
Nina Arianda
Patina Miller
Robert Sean Leonard
Rose Hemingway
S. Epatha Merkerson
Entertainment & Co-Hosts To Be Announced
The Village Voice, the nation’s largest alternative weekly newspaper, announced today that the 56th Annual Obie Awards will take place on Monday, May 16, 2011 at Webster Hall in the East Village (125 East 11th Street).
For the past 56 years, the Village Voice Obie Awards, founded by Jerry Tallmer in 1956, have honored the best of Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. Structured with informal categories that change annually, the Village Voice Obie Awards recognize persons and productions of excellence. Unlike most theater awards, the Village Voice Obie Awards list no nominations publicly. In the conviction that creativity is not competitive, the judges may give several Obies in each category, and may even invent new categories to reward exceptional artistic merit
The Voice’s chief theater critic, Michael Feingold, who chairs the Obie Awards judges committee again this year, was honored as a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. The Pulitzer jury recognized Feingold “for his engaging, authoritative drama reviews that fuse passion and knowledge as he helps readers understand what makes a play or a performance successful.”
His fellow judges are Voice critic Alexis Soloski and four guest judges: critic Hilton Als of The New Yorker; playwright David Henry Hwang, a three-time Obie Award winner for his plays F.O.B., Golden Child, and Yellow Face; director Evan Yionoulis, an Obie Award winner for her production of Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain; and critic Andy Propst, of TheaterMania (and a frequent Voice contributor); he is also serving as secretary to the committee. 
Many of the most celebrated names in theater, film and television say their Obie Award was the first major recognition of their professional career. Past winner include such well-known stars such as Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Felicity Huffman, Viola Davis, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Tony Kushner, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Edward Norton, and Sigourney Weaver, to name a few.
Because the Obies always strive to recognize artists of exceptional ability early in their careers, the award serves to encourage, support, and in some sense nurture youthful talent. The Obies help shine an important light on theater artists who are breaking new ground or just breaking through in their careers. In addition, the Obies honor those who have given years of service to the theater, with awards for Sustained Excellence and Lifetime Achievement.
Once again, the 2011 Obies will also honor the Off-Broadway theater community by presenting its annual theater grants, announced live at the ceremony.
Tickets for the Village Voice’s 56th Annual Obie Awards are $25 and are on sale now through TicketFly at For more information please visit
About The Village Voice
Founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, and Norman Mailer in October 1955, The Village Voice introduced free-form, high-spirited, and passionate journalism into the public discourse. As the nation's first and largest alternative newsweekly, the Voice maintains the same tradition of no-holds-barred reporting and criticism it first embraced when it began publishing over 55 years ago.  The recipient of three Pulitzer prizes, the National Press Foundation Award, and the George Polk Award, among others, the Voice has earned a reputation for its groundbreaking investigations of New York City politics and for its expert coverage of New York's cultural scene. Writing and reporting on local and national politics, with opinionated culture, music, dance, film, and theater reviews, daily web dispatches, comprehensive entertainment listings, and unrivaled classifieds, the Voice is the authoritative source on all that is New York.
The Village Voice has also created such celebrated events as the Siren Music Festival, kNow Music Series, and Choice Eats, as well as the most anticipated issues and guides of the year, including the annual Pazz and Jop music poll, Film critics poll, Best of NYC, and the paper’s Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter Arts Preview guides. The Voice is New York's most influential, must-read alternative newspaper, in both print and online at, where the site averages 1.5 million unique users each month.
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