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Lea DeLaria Returns To Host Obie Awards

The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President) and The Village Voice (Peter Barbey, Owner & CEO) have just announced that the 62nd Annual Obie Awards will be held on Monday, May 22, 2017 at Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street). Obie and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning actress Lea DeLaria will return as the host for the third consecutive year. Tickets to the 2017 Obie Awards can be purchased at http://www.ObieAwards.com .

"Lea DeLaria has come to personify the best of Off Broadway; she's smart, edgy, and charges way less than she's worth," said Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing. "At this point, we consider her family, and we are delighted to have her back."

"I have come to personify the best of off-Broadway. I'm smart, edgy and charge way less than I'm worth. At this point I consider myself family and I'm delighted to be back," said Lea DeLaria.

Judges for the 62nd Annual Obie Awards include Village Voice columnist and longtime Chair of the Obie Judges Michael Feingold, Obie and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, Entertainment Weekly theater critic Melissa Rose Bernardo, Obie-winning actress J. Smith Cameron, Obie-winning actor-singer Darius de Haas, Village Voice theater critic Miriam Felton-Dansky, and Obie-winning actress Daphne Rubin-Vega. Productions that wish to invite consideration from the judges should visit www.ObieAwards.com. Questions regarding invitations should be directed to ObieInvites@americantheatrewing.org

For more information, visit www.ObieAwards.com.

Lea DeLaria seems to have achieved overnight stardom with her SAG Award winning, stand-out role as 'Carrie 'Big Boo' Black' in the Netflix hit series "Orange is the New Black." However, DeLaria's multifaceted career as a comedian, actress and jazz musician, has in fact, spanned decades. Lea holds the distinction of being the first openly gay comic on television in America which led to countless Television and Film roles portraying Police Lieutenants, PE Teachers and the Lesbian who inappropriately hits on straight women. Selected TV credits: "Awkward," "Clarence," "Californication," "The Oblongs," "One Live to Live," "Law and Order: SVU," "Will and Grace," "The Oblongs," "Friends" & "Matlock." Selected Film credits: First Wives Club, Dear Dumb Diary, Edge of Seventeen. She's received Obie & Theater World Awards, and a Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal as 'Hildy' in The Public Theatre's revival of On The Town, an Ovation nomination for The Boys From Syracuse, and has played both Eddie & Dr. Scott in the gender-bending Broadway musical The Rocky Horror Show. Lea was the featured vocalist at the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, and has performed in some of the most prestigious houses in the world including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Chicago Symphony, Hollywood Bowl, The Royal Albert Hall and the Sydney Opera House. Lea has five records on the Warner Jazz and Classics label and her book "Lea's Book of Rules for the World" is in its third printing at Bantam Doubleday and Dell. Her sixth record, House Of David delaria+bowie=jazz, was released in the Summer of 2015 to critical acclaim. Follow Lea on Twitter and Instagram @realleadelaria and FaceBook. www.delariadammit.com

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.

The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President and CEO) is dedicated to advancing artistic excellence and nurturing theatre's next generation: on the stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience. For nearly a century, the Wing has pursued this mission with programs that span the nation to invest in the growth and evolution of American Theatre. Traditionally, the Wing has encouraged members of the theatre community to share their off-stage time and talent directly with the theatre audience at large--whether it was singing for the troops in the Stage Door Canteen of the 1940s, or sharing their stories on a podcast today. As the founders of The Tony Awards, the American Theatre Wing has developed the foremost national platform for the recognition of theatrical achievement on Broadway. Yet the Wing's reach extends beyond Broadway and beyond New York. The American Theatre Wing is now in a long-term partnership with The Village Voice to co-present The Obie Awards, off-Broadway's Highest Honor. The Wing also develops the next generation of theatre professionals through the SpringboardNYC and Theatre Intern Network programs, incubates innovative theatre across the country through the National Theatre Company Grants, fosters the song of American theatre through the Jonathan Larson Grants, honors the best in New York theatrical design with the Henry Hewes Design Award, illuminates the creative process through the "Working in the Theatre" program and media archive. Finally, the Wing supports theatre education opportunities for underserved young people and under-resourced public schools around the United States with the newly launched Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative. Visitors to AmericanTheatreWing.org can gain inspiration and insight into the artistic process through the Wing's extensive media collection, and learn more about its programming for students, aspiring and working professionals, and audiences.

Follow the Wing on Facebook.com/TheAmericanTheatreWing and Twitter.com/TheWing.

Founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, and Norman Mailer, The Village Voice was created in 1955 as a platform for the downtown New York creative community. As the nation's first alternative newsweekly, The Village Voice introduced free-form, high-spirited, and passionate journalism into the public discourse. The recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes, the National Press Foundation Award and the George Polk Award, The Village Voice remains a go-to source for coverage of New York's politics and vast cultural landscape. Known for its unique mix of in-depth reporting and incisive arts, culture, music, dance, film, and theater reviews, The Village Voice provides readers with an indispensable perspective on the world's most vibrant city. Winner of the National Press Foundation's Online Journalism Award and the Editor & Publisher EPPY Award for Best Overall U.S. Weekly Newspaper Online, The Village Voice is staging a pivotal digital relaunch in 2017 alongside the relaunch of its newsweekly.

For more information, visit www.villagevoice.com.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski



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