The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President & CEO) and The Village Voice (Peter Barbey, CEO) have announced that the 65th Annual Obie Awards, New York’s preeminent celebration of Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater, are now set to premiere on YouTube.com/AmericanTheatreWing on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 8:00pm EDT. The prerecorded ceremony, which was postponed for a moment of reflection in the wake of nationwide calls to end racial inequalities, will be hosted by comedian, actor and writer Cole Escola (Hulu’s Difficult People, FXX’s Man Seeking Woman, Amazon Prime’s Mozart in the Jungle).
The show will feature special guest presenters Cynthia Erivo, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Heidi Schreck, among others, as well as an encore presentation from the Obie Award-winning production of Fela!, featuring Obie Award-winner Saycon Sengbloh and Sahr Ngaujah. Playwright Michael R. Jackson will share a special performance of “Memory Song” from A Strange Loop.
As previously announced, members of the York Theatre Company revival of Merrily We Roll Along will be joined by members of the original Broadway and 2019 Fiasco Theater revival casts for a special performance of “Our Time” in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of its Obie Award wins. Songwriter and performer Shaina Taub (The Devil Wears Prada, Suffragist) will perform during the In Memoriam.
Before the show, Saycon Sengbloh, Broadway actress, pop/soul sensation N’Kenge, Obie Award-winner LaChanze and her daughter, Celia Rose Gooding (Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill), accompanied by Adam Michael Tilford and Kenney M. Green from Marie’s Crisis will join the American Theatre Wing in raising a glass to the 2019-20 Off- and Off-Off-Broadway season with a sing-a-long. At 6:00pm, Saycon and N’Kenge will kick-off the pre-show festivities. LaChanze and Celia will join at 7:00pm to chat with guests and give a special live performance. The pre-show fundraiser, sponsored by Art Lab, will support the Wing’s efforts to support and sustain the theatre community in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can learn more and reserve your spot by visiting www.obieawards.com/preshow.
ViacomCBS is the Sustaining Sponsor, Athletics is the Design Partner, and the Howard Gilman Foundation is the Supporting Sponsor of the 2020 Obie Awards. For more information, visit ObieAwards.com.