The 61st Annual Obie Awards, which recognize the best in Off-Broadway theatre, are being bestowed May 23 by a starry lineup of presenters, including past Obie winners Savion Glover, Elizabeth Marvel, Colman Domingo, Danai Gurira, Tovah Feldshuh and Lisa Kron, plus Maura Tierney, Kate Burton, Carrie Preston, Norm Lewis and Marlo Thomas.
The event, hosted by singer/actress Lea DeLaria, is being held at Webster Hall in New York. The Obies do not announce nominations in advance.
The evening includes special performances by cast members of TV's Orange Is The New Black, 2016 Tony Award nominee Leslie Odom Jr., and Ben Platt.
This year’s Obie Awards are being livestreamed on the official Obie Awards Facebook page.
The American Theatre Wing, which administers the Obies, previously announced that actor/dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade and Sylvia playwright A.R. Gurney will each receive a special Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Lavallade‘s dance career has included ballets created for her by the likes of Lester Horton, Geoffrey Holder, Alvin Ailey, Glen Tetley, John Butler and Agnes de Mille. She appeared on Broadway in House of Flowers, was a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera, and was a guest artist with the American Ballet Theater. She has choreographed for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Philadanco, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and the productions of Porgy and Bess and Die Meistersinger at the Metropolitan Opera.
Gurney’s Broadway credits also include Love Letters, Sweet Sue and The Golden Age 1984. He has had numerous works produced Off-Broadway, including at the Signature Theatre, where he is currently a resident playwright. As well as plays, Gurney has written three published novels, several television scripts and the librettos of two operas.
The Obie Award judges panel for this season, headed by Village Voice columnist and longtime Obie chairman Michael Feingold, included Obie-winning actress Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Obie-winning director Oliver Butler, Obie-winning costume designer Clint Ramos, Obie-winning actress Juliet Rylance, Variety senior critic Marilyn Stasio, and freelance theatre critic Michael Sommers.
Tickets to the 2016 Obie Awards are available via ObieAwards.com.