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American Theatre Wing and the Village Voice Postpone 2020 Obie Awards

American Theatre Wing and the Village Voice Postpone 2020 Obie Awards

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American Theatre Wing and the Village Voice Postpone 2020 Obie Awards

The American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice have announced the postponement of the 65th Annual Obie Awards amidst nationwide protests in response to the killing of George Floyd. Details for the rescheduled ceremony, which was scheduled to premiere on YouTube on Thursday, June 4, 2020, will be announced at a later date.

"Our hearts are heavy and our souls are weary. This is a time for reflection and mourning, for action and activism. It is not a time for celebration or diversion," said Heather Hitchens.

Speaking on behalf of the Wing in an earlier statement, Ms. Hitchens also said, "The most recent examples of racial violence and injustice in America against the black community that culminated in the senseless and unjust killing of George Floyd are devastating and have added to a persistent and truly horrific narrative about who America is as a nation. We, as the leaders of The National Theatre community, have a critical role here, to not only to denounce racism of any kind within our communities, but to also support, produce, and promote work that reflects and celebrates our beautifully diverse society, creates new narratives, deepens empathy and understanding, and changes hearts and minds. It is our duty to make sure the black lives in our community are not marginalized or endangered in any way, that they are not silenced or demeaned. The American Theatre Wing stands with communities of color today, tomorrow, and always. Black stories matter. Black opportunities matter. We must all speak out, do better, and drive out hate and prejudice from wherever it hides because all lives will only truly matter when Black lives matter."

The Village Voice created the Obie Awards, at the suggestion of then editor Jerry Tallmer, soon after the publication's own inception in 1955, to encourage the newly burgeoning Off-Broadway theater movement and to acknowledge its achievements. The Obies are structured with informal categories, to recognize artists and productions worthy of distinction in each theatrical year. Over the decades, the Obie Awards have played a major role in the Voice's long history of championing work of innovative and exceptional quality Off- and Off-Off Broadway. The Village Voice put the new downtown theater movement on the map with its in-depth coverage, becoming a forum for conflicting viewpoints which helped generate excitement over new works and new approaches to theater-making. The Obies have become a theatrical tradition, a meaningful way to acknowledge the best artistic achievements of downtown theater. The list of actors, writers, directors, and designers who have received Obies at pivotal moments in their careers is a virtual who's who of contemporary theater. While the categories of the awards have continued to change almost annually, the creative spirit remains the same. The Obie Awards salute a theatrical movement that's as important, and as vibrant, today as it was in 1955.


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