After putting this year’s Obie Awards on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, the American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice will present the 65th annual ceremony July 14. The virtual event will stream on YouTube beginning at 8 PM.
As previously announced, Cole Escola will emcee the proceedings, which will also include a performance by Shaina Taub, a reunion of alums from multiple productions of Merrily We Roll Along, an encore presentation from Fela!, and a performance of A Strange Loop’s “Memory Song” from composer Michael R. Jackson
Prior to the event, Broadway alums N’Kenge, Saycon Sengbloh, LaChanze, and Celia Rose Gooding will lead a digital sing-a-long with Marie’s Crisis pianists Adam Michael Tilford and Kenney M. Green. Proceeds will support the Wing’s ongoing COVID-19 relief.
Among the presenters during the pre-recorded show are Cynthia Erivo, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, and Heidi Schreck, with more to be revealed later.
The 2020 ceremony was initially slated to take place in-person May 18; those plans were scrapped in the wake of the health crisis, with the ceremony eventually moving online to June 4. As protests and rallies around the country demanded justice for Black lives lost at the hands of police, the Wing noted “it is not a time for celebration or diversion,” and postponed the event.