About the Obie Awards

Sixty four years ago, the Village Voice put downtown theatre on the map with in-depth coverage and support. The paper was a forum for heated artistic discussion and played a large role in generating excitement about the emerging theatre movement.

In 2015, the American Theatre Wing joined the Village Voice to co-present the Obie Awards and salute excellence in off-Broadway and off-off Broadway theatre.


The Obie Awards were created by Jerry Tallmer in 1955, soon after the first publication of the paper, to publicly acknowledge and encourage the growing Off-Broadway theatre movement. Just as they are today, the Obies were purposely structured with informal categories, to recognize persons and productions worthy of distinction in each theatre season. The Obie Awards are an important part of the long history of championing Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway.

The Obies have become a theatrical tradition, a meaningful way of acknowledging the best of Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway. This list of actors, directors, writers, and designers whose careers were launched at the Obies is a Who’s Who of theatre. The categories for the awards change almost annually, but the spirit remains the same. The Obie Awards continue to salute a theatrical movement that’s as important, vibrant, and dynamic as it was in 1955.


All off Broadway and off-off Broadway productions which open between May 2019 and April 2020 are automatically in consideration for the Obie Awards. If you wish to formally invite the Obie Award judges and bring their attention to a show in that window, please submit the details of the production via the American Theatre Wing’s online portal.

For general inquiries, please contact:

For sponsorship opportunities please contact: Autumn Hamra , 212.765.0606 ext. 202