The names include actors Christine Lahti, Christine Ebersole, Edward Hibbert and Phylicia Rashad; playwright Douglas Carter Beane; and artistic director of the Public, Oskar Eustis. Other names will be announced at a later date.
The Obie committee includes playwright Lynn Nottage (Intimate Apparel); Deidre O'Connell (Pyretown, Spatter Pattern), David Herskovits (Target Margin Theatre); playwright and head of Columbia University graduate playwriting program Eduardo Machado (The Cook); critic and Yale School of Drama professor Marc Robinson; Village Voice theatre critic Michael Feingold; Village Voice theatre critic Alexis Soloski; and Village Voice theatre editor and chairman of the 2005-06 Obie Awards committee Jorge Morales.
This year will be the 51st anniversary of the Obies, which were created in 1955 by Jerry Tallmer and are managed by The Village Voice. The Voice was recently purchased by the national comglomerate New Times Corporation in December 2005. The company then adopted the name of Village Voice Media. Since then, the weekly has witnessed the departure of many of its best-known writers and reporters, including James Ridgeway, Sydney Schanberg and Chuck Eddy.