The 53rd Annual Village Voice Obie Awards Set for May 19

Presenters Include: Neil Patrick Harris, Bradley Whitford, S. Epatha Merkerson, Bill Camp, Elizabeth Marvel, Julie White

Featuring A Performance From the Rock Musical Passing Strange

First-Ever Live Webcast

WHO: The Village Voice 53rd annual Obie awards. Presenters include Neil Patrick Harris, Bradley Whitford, S. Epatha Merkerson, Bill Camp, Elizabeth Marvel, and Julie White among others.

WHEN: Monday, May 19, 2008
Ceremony — 8:00pm

WHERE: Webster Hall
125 East 11th Street

WHAT: The Obies were established in 1955 by Village Voice theater editor Jerry Tallmer and have been presented every year since then. Picked by a committee of critics and theater professionals who know the field, there two set awards — “Lifetime Achievement” and “Best New American Play” — but no set categories. The Obies have an astounding history and range, with a roster of extraordinary past recipients including such superstars as Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, and Denzel Washington to the incredibly talented people who are known only to the special inside world of New York off-Broadway theater.

Since the mid-1980s, The Village Voice has provided prize and grant money, which the judges award each year to deserving theater groups and individuals. These prizes and grants have enabled the winning recipients to continue producing groundbreaking theater. This year $1,000 will be given out for “Best New American Play,” $2,000 will be given to the Ross Wetzsteon Award recipient, and $10,000 in grant money will be additionally awarded.

PERFORMANCE: PASSING STRANGE*, the critically-acclaimed rock musical that follows a young musician’s journey from 70s Los Angeles through free-lovin’ Amsterdam to the anarchy 80s Berlin in his search to find something real, will perform during the awards.

JUDGES: The Obies are chaired by the Voice‘s chief theater critic Michael Feingold and his committee of judges including Voice critic Alexis Soloski; Variety critic Mark Blankenship, Bloomberg News editor and critic Jeremy Gerard, playwright-director Robert O’Hara (2007 Obie winner for In the Continuum), set designer Neil Patel (twice an Obie winner for sustained excellence of design), and Time Out New York/New York Sun critic Helen Shaw. Clint Allen serves as secretary to the committee.

WATCH: For the first time ever, the Obie Awards ceremony will be seen via a live webcast through on

SPONSORS: Stella Artois, Crunch, Macy’s, iClips Network LLC, Chinatown Brasserie, Sea Grape Wine Shop

PRINT: Read the special Village Voice Obie issue on stands May 21, 2008

*NOTE: The Village Voice Obies are by invitation only. There are no tickets for sale. You will not be able to see the performance of Passing Strange through the live webcast.

For More Information Please Contact:
Gail Parenteau
Parenteau Guidance
Gail (at)

Julie Lichtenstein
The Village Voice
212-475-3300 x12252
juliel (at)

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 fifty 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 as the premier expert on New York’s art and cultural scene.

The Village Voice is also the creator of such celebrated events as the Obie Awards, Siren Music Festival, Emerging Artist Series, Choice Eats, as well as the most anticipated issues and guides of the year including the annual Pazz and Jop music poll, Best of NYC, and its Spring, Summer, and Fall Preview guides, the Voice is New York’s most influential must-read alternative newspaper in print and online at where the site averages 2 million unique users each month.