The Voice’s chief theatre critic, Michael Feingold, who has chaired the Obies since the 2006-07 season, will become the first Obies Chairman Emeritus. The 2011-12 Obie Chairman will be Brian Parks, who is the Arts and Culture editor of The Village Voice.
Joining Feingold and Parks will be Voice critic Alexis Soloski, who contributes frequently to The New York Times, the U.K. Guardian and BBC Radio.
The four guest judges are Annie Baker, Best New American Play Obie winner in 2010 for her plays Circle Mirror Transformation and The Aliens; Anne Kauffman, accomplished director, instructor and 2007 Obie winner for her direction of The Thugs; José Rivera, two-time Obie Award winner for his plays Marisol and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot; and Helen Shaw, a theatre critic for Time Out New York and a past Obie judge.
In a statement Feingold said, "I am thrilled that Brian Parks is willing to take over, despite the tremendous weight of his expanded responsibilities as Arts & Culture Editor, and I know from experience that he’ll do a wonderful job. I’m delighted to go back to my traditional role as the committee’s resident objection-raiser. It’ll be like a vacation.”
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.
Past winners have included Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, William Hurt, Morgan Freeman, Mos Def, Felicity Huffman, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Olympia Dukakis, Robert Duvall, Denzel Washington, Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Joan Cusack and Harvey Fierstein.
Venue details for the 57th Annual Obie Awards Ceremony, the names of the hosts and presenters, and information about how to purchase tickets will be forthcoming.