About the Obie Awards

In 1956, 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.

In 2021, the American Theatre Wing took over as sole presenter of the Obie Awards and continue to present the honors for off and off-off Broadway theatre.


The Obie Awards honor the highest calibre of off-Broadway and off-off Broadway theatre to recognize brave work, champion new material, and advance careers in theatre.

The Village Voice had put off and off-off Broadway on the map by recognizing the artistic power of downtown theatre. The Voice was a forum for heated artistic discussion, including theatre reviews, that sparked awareness and excitement for New York’s emerging theatre movement. Alongside the publication, The Voice developed the Obie Awards in 1955 to celebrate the important work being staged south of Broadway. The Obie Awards honor the boundary-pushing theatre seen in the city’s intimate performing spaces, supporting an incubator for emerging work, with an award that validates off-Broadway as a league of its own.

Upheld today, the Obie award categories were made purposefully informal to create limitless possibilities for recognizing personas and productions worthy of distinction. The loose nature of the Obies foster an award ceremony that is as spirited as the people who began the downtown theatre movement more than sixty five years ago. Today the American Theatre Wing continues to salute these artists with the Obie Award created over 65 years ago.


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To submit for the 2023-2024 Obie Awards click here