The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President & CEO) is pleased to announce details for the 66th Annual Obie Awards, celebrating and honoring Off- and Off-Off-Broadway, including the list of co-chairs and judges, as well as the eligibility timeline and requirements.
The 2022 awards will be co-chaired by Obie-winning Director and Producing Artistic Leader David Mendizábal and veteran theatre critic Melissa Rose Bernardo.
The official 2020-22 season will include shows that have opened since the last Obies ceremony, beginning July 1st, 2020, through August 31st, 2022. The awards ceremony will take place in November 2022, although an official date and venue will be announced at a later date. In addition to in-person work, virtual, digital, and audio work that has taken or will take place during this time period will also be eligible for consideration – a first in the history of the Obies.
“The bold, insistent spirit of Off- and Off-Off- Broadway has been an inspiration to all of us throughout this particularly challenging moment for live entertainment,” Hitchens said in a statement. “Our mission with the 2022 Obies is to support the stories seen on these stages and celebrate the talent and perseverance of the thousands of arts workers who make up this dynamic community. We are thrilled to have David and Melissa as our co-chairs, along with our entire panel of judges, whose wide array of diverse experience and perspective will help us continue to navigate these uncharted waters with eyes fixed squarely on that mission.”
The judges’ panel for the 66th Annual Obie Awards, co-chaired by Mendizábal and Bernardo, includes actor & fight choreographer Dave Anzuelo, actor & playwright Becca Blackwell, scenic designer Wilson Chin, Obie-winning playwright Haruna Lee, theater critic & journalist Soraya McDonald, Obie-winning director & playwright Lisa Peterson, Obie-winning actor Heather Alicia Simms, and Obie-winning costume designer Kaye Voyce.
“Alongside our friends at the American Theatre Wing, we are proud to gather a sensational group of artists and journalists that make up this season’s panel of judges,” said Mendizábal and Bernardo. “The shutdown could not stop this community from creating excellent work. It is now up to us to make sure it doesn’t go unrecognized. To that end, we’ve tried to make the submission process as inclusive as possible. As we continue to navigate the challenges that the pandemic presents, we will explore every opportunity to make as much work eligible for consideration as possible.”
Work that was presented at an Off or Off Off Broadway theater and/or company, whether virtual/digital, audio, or in person, will be eligible for consideration. To submit a production for consideration, please upload information by clicking this link. Digital and audio recordings may be uploaded directly utilizing the link provided. Please direct questions regarding Obie consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit ObieAwards.com.
About the Judges
DAVID MENDIZÁBAL, chair (he/they) is a director, designer, and one of the Producing Artistic Leaders of the OBIE Award-winning The Movement Theatre Company. They are also the Associate Artistic Director of The Sol Project. Select directing credits include: Don’t Eat the Mangos (Magic Theatre/Sundance), On The Grounds of Belonging (Long Wharf), the bandaged place (NYSAF), Then They Forgot About The Rest (INTAR), The Maturation of an Inconvenient Negro (Cherry Lane), And She Would Stand Like This (w/ choreographer Kia LaBeija), Look Upon Our Lowliness, and Bintou (The Movement), and Tell Hector I Miss Him (Atlantic). David is a 2021 Princess Grace Award Honoraria Recipient in Theater. They were part of the inaugural Soho Rep Project Number One Residency, where they created and directed the short film, eat me!. Alumnus of Ars Nova Vision Residency, The Drama League Director’s Project, Labyrinth Intensive Ensemble, artEquity, NALAC, and LCT Directors Lab. David was a participant in the TCG Leadership U: One-on-One program, where they were the Artistic Associate at Atlantic Theater Company. BFA – NYU/Tisch School of the Arts at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. www.davidmendizabal.com
MELISSA ROSE BERNADO, chair (she/her) is a critic at New York Stage Review. She been covering theater for more than 25 years, reviewing for Entertainment Weekly and contributing to such outlets as Broadway.com, Playbill, and CBS’ Watch magazine. She is a proud graduate of the University of Michigan.
DAVID ANZUELO (he/him) is a fight choreographer, actor, and stuntman. He was awarded the 1992 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Supporting Role in a Play for Stand-up Tragedy at the Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago, Illinois. He has been a member of Labyrinth Theater Company since 1992. On the screen is known for his work on Remember Me (2010), A Walk Among the Tombstones (2014), and Person of Interest (2011).
BECCA BLACKWELL (they/them) is an NYC-based trans actor, performer, and writer. Existing between genders, and preferring the pronoun “they,” Blackwell works collaboratively with playwrights and directors to expand our sense of personhood and the body through performance. Some of their collaborations have been with Young Jean Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller’s Circus Amok, Richard Maxwell, Erin Markey, Sharon Hayes, Theater of the Two Headed Calf and Lisa D’Amour. Film/TV includes: “High Maintenance,” “Ramy,” “Marriage Story,” “Shameless,” “Deadman’s Barstool,” and “Jack in the Box.” They have toured their solo shows They, Themself and Schmerm and Schmermie’s Choice across the US. Blackwell was a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award, the Franklin Furnace award, and the Creative Capital Award.
WILSON CHIN (he/him) (Set designer) Broadway and Off-Broadway: Pass Over (Lortel Award nomination, Broadway and LCT3), Next Fall (Broadway and Naked Angels); Cost of Living, By the Water (Manhattan Theatre Club); Teenage Dick (Ma-Yi/Public); A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet (DR2); Space Dogs (MCC); Sweat, Romeo, and Juliet, Macbeth, Pericles (Public Mobile Unit); Wild Goose Dreams(Public/La Jolla Playhouse); The Thanksgiving Play (Playwrights Horizons); My Mañana Comes (The Playwrights Realm); Too Much, Too Much, Too Many (Roundabout); The Jammer (Atlantic Theatre); Sakina’s Restaurant (Audible/Minetta Lane); Engagements (Second Stage); Informed Consent (Primary Stages).Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Eine Florentinische Tragödie/Gianni Schicchi (Canadian Opera,Dora Award).
HARUNA LEE (they/them) is an award-winning Taiwanese-Japanese-American theater maker, screenwriter, educator, and community steward whose work is rooted in a liberation-based healing practice. Their plays are often portals into personal and collective stories navigating transcultural experiences and memories, and the conflicts that arise when dealing with the simultaneity, contradictions, and pluralities of self. Lee’s works include Suicide Forest directed by Aya Ogawa and received a world premiere at The Bushwick Starr in 2019. Other works include Memory Retrograde, to the left of the pantry and under the sugar shack, and War Lesbian.
SORAYA MCDONALD (she/her) is an American writer and culture critic. She was previously a reporter at The Washington Post and has been the culture critic for The Undefeated since 2016. McDonald was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.
LISA PETERSON (she/her) is a two-time OBIE Award-winning writer and director. With Denis O’Hare, she wrote An Iliad, based on Homer’s epic, which won OBIE and Lortel Awards for Best Solo Performance. She has directed world premieres by major American writers including Tony Kushner, Beth Henley, Donald Margulies, Naomi Wallace, Jose Rivera, David Henry Hwang, Alice Tuan, Marlane Meyer, Basil Kreimendahl, Lisa Ramirez, Fernanda Coppel, Maria Irene Fornes, Jessica Hagedorn, and many others. She was the recipient of the Gordon Davidson Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2019.
HEATHER ALICIA SIMMS (she/her) Broadway credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, A Raisin in the Sun, and Gem of the Ocean. Other credits include Born Bad, The Exonerated, and Insurrection: Holding History. Her film credits include Red Hook Summer, The Nanny Diaries, Broken Flowers, and Roxanne, Roxanne. Her television credits include Law and Order, Whoopi, and The Good Wife. She received an Audie award for her work on the audiobook Upstate, and the prestigious TCG/Fox Foundation Fellowship.
KAYE VOYCE (she/her) is a costume and set designer active in theater, opera, dance, and performance. She received her BFA and MFA in theatrical design from New York University in 1994. She is known for her extensive off-Broadway work and her work on Broadway on Significant Other, The Real Thing, and True West, among many others.