Michael Feingold, critic and longtime judge of the awards, will serve as Obie Chairman.
"We are very pleased to have Michael Feingold continue his relationship with the Voice and serve as Obie Chairman for our 59th annual awards," said Josh Fromson, publisher of the Village Voice, in a statement. “Michael brings his elevated skill and expertise as an icon of the New York theater community with a deep history and love for the theater and the Obies.”
Tom Finkel, the Village Voice’s editor-in-chief, added, “I’m thrilled to have Michael Feingold back in our midst. To me the Obie Awards have always embodied the Voice’s passion for the arts and for downtown theater in particular, and as far as I’m concerned, Michael is the embodiment of the Obies.”
Feingold stated, "I am so pleased to be involved with the Obies yet again. Nothing makes me happier than another chance to honor some of the dedicated theater artists whose work does so much to enhance our life here in New York."
The Voice’s present drama critic, Alexis Soloski, will again serve as secretary to the committee. The following guest judges will join Feingold and Soloski on the Obie committee: Kirsten Childs, Nicky Paraiso, Tonya Pinkins, Michael Sommers and Rick Sordelet.
Founded in 1955 by Voice cultural editor Jerry Tallmer, The Village Voice Obie Awards annually honor the best of Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. "Unlike most theater awards," according to press notes, "the Obies do not publicize nominations or employ rigid categories. In the conviction that creativity is not competitive, the judges select outstanding artists and productions and may even invent new categories to reward artistic merit."