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6 4 T H   A N N U A L   O B I E   A W A R D S


New York, NY (May 13, 2019)—The American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President and CEO) and The Village Voice (Peter Barbey, President and CEO) are thrilled to announce that Artistic Director of New York Theatre Workshop, James C. Nicola, and Artistic Director and founder of Theatre For A New Audience, Jeffrey Horowitz, will receive special Obie Awards® for Lifetime Achievement at the 64th Annual Obie Awards, which will be held on Monday, May 20, 2019 at Terminal 5 (610 West 56th Street). Tickets to the 2019 Obie Awards are now available via www.ObieAwards.com.

As was previously announced, Golden Globe® winning “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” creator and star Rachel Bloom will host the 64th Annual Obie Awards. The judges’ panel for the 64th Annual Obie Awards, chaired as in previous years by longtime Village Voice critic Michael Feingold, includes Obie-winning director Arin Arbus, Obie-winning scenic designer Rachel Hauck, Obie-winning scenic designer Riccardo Hernandez, two-time Obie-winning playwright Rajiv Joseph, Obie-winning actress Kecia Lewis, and New York Stage Review theater critic Jesse Oxfeld.

Audible, the Presenting Sponsor of the 2019 Obie Awards announced the Minetta Lane Theatre as its creative home for live performances in New York last year, and Billy Crudup’s performance of Harry Clarke, the company’s inaugural live show at the Minetta Lane, won an Obie Award in 2018.

Nickelodeon is a sustaining sponsor of the 2019 Obie Awards.

For more information, visit www.ObieAwards.com.


James C. Nicola has been the Artistic Director of New York Theatre Workshop since 1988. Under his guidance, NYTW has remained steadfast to its founding commitment of nurturing emerging, mid-career and established theatre artists and promoting collaboration and bold experimentation with theatrical forms. Mr. Nicola initiated an extensive series of workshop opportunities that have continued for 25 years, including summer residencies and fellowships for artists representing a broad spectrum of cultures and backgrounds. He forged a unique community of theatre artists, the Usual Suspects, which now boasts over 600 members and whose work has shaped our very idea of what theatre can be. This group of writers, directors, designers and actors form the core of NYTW’s artist development activities. As Artistic Director, Mr. Nicola has been instrumental in the development of many NYTW productions, including Jonathan Larson’s Rent; Tony Kushner’s Slavs! and Homebody/Kabul; Doug Wright’s Quills; Claudia Shear’s Blown Sideways Through Life and Dirty Blonde; Paul Rudnick’s The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told and Valhalla; Martha Clarke’s Vienna: Lusthaus; Will Power’s The Seven and Fetch Clay, Make Man; Caryl Churchill’s Mad Forest, Far Away, A Number and Love and Information; Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen’s Aftermath; Rick Elice’s Peter and the Starcatcher; Glen Hansard, Markéta Irglová and Enda Walsh’s Once; David Bowie and Enda Walsh’s Lazarus; Dael Orlandersmith’s The Gimmick and Forever; Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown; Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me; Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play; Sam Gold’s production of Othello; and eight productions directed by Ivo van Hove. Before joining NYTW, Mr. Nicola spent seven years at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., first as a National Endowment for the Arts Directing Fellow and later as a Producing Associate. From 1975 to 1980, Mr. Nicola was a Casting Coordinator for the New York Shakespeare Festival where he developed his continuing, passionate commitment to new voices in the theatre. Mr. Nicola fueled his love of theatre during the early 1970s, when he was an Assistant Director at The Young Vic/National Theatre of Great Britain and an Assistant Stage Manager at London’s Royal Court Theatre. Mr. Nicola is a graduate of Tufts University and is a recipient of Tufts University’s P.T. Barnum Award, the Erwin Piscator Award, and the 2015 Miss Lilly Award for supporting women in theater.


Jeffrey Horowitz began his career in theatre as an actor and has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional theatre. Horowitz graduated Cum Laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He then trained as an actor for three years at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. In 1979, he founded Theatre for a New Audience, whose cornerstone is Shakespeare. Horowitz has produced twenty-four of Shakespeare’s plays, Greek, Jacobean and Italian classical drama and contemporary classics by Harley Granville-Barker and Edward Bond. He has also commissioned and developed new plays from authors such as Suzan-Lori Parks and Elizabeth Swados. Under his leadership, Theatre for a New Audience has grown from a touring theatre into one of New York’s leading classical theatres. He has nurtured relationships with many of the finest American and European directors including JoAnne Akaliatis, Peter Brook, Karin Coonrod, Ron Daniels, William Gaskill, Sir Peter Hall, Doug Hughes, Dalia Ibelhauptaite, Barry Kyle, Michael Langham, Mark Rylance, Bartlett Sher, Julie Taymor and Robert Woodruff. The work of artists affiliated with Theatre for a New Audience has won many theatre awards and nominations, including the Lortel, Drama Desk, Drama League, Obie and Tony. Several of Theatre for a New Audience’s productions have gone on to a future life: Green Bird directed by Julie Taymor opened on Broadway April 2000; both The Tempest and Titus Andronicus, also directed by Taymor and produced by Theatre for a New Audience have been made into films starring Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. In October 2001, Theatre for a New Audience became the first American theatre to be invited to bring a production of Shakespeare to the RSC’s Other Place in Stratford. The Theatre has, under Horowitz’ leadership, been committed to programs of education and access. For adult audiences, authors and intellectuals such as Robert Caro, Stanley Kauffmann, Tony Kushner, Robert MacNeil and Susan Sontag and scholars such as David Kastan and James Shapiro lead spirited symposia, in conjunction with productions. For students, Theatre for a New Audience built the largest programs for introducing Shakespeare in the New York City Public Schools. The programs are now nationally recognized. Several thousand students take part each year and 122,000 young people have been served since the program began in 1984. Horowitz has served on the Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts and on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group. He is currently on the Advisory Board of The Shakespeare Society, the Artistic Directorate of London’s Globe Theatre and the Artistic Advisor to the Shakespeare Globe Centre (USA). He has participated in numerous panels on Shakespeare’s plays, including most recently, Symposia at The Public Theater, SSD&C, the Brooklyn Academy of Music and ABC’s World News Tonight. For his work with Theatre for a New Audience, he has been awarded The Acting Company’s John Houseman Award and the Breukelein Institute’s Gaudium Award.


The Village Voice created the Obie Awards, at the suggestion of then editor Jerry Tallmer, soon after the publication’s own inception in 1955, to encourage the newly burgeoning Off Broadway theater movement and to acknowledge its achievements. The Obies are structured with informal categories, to recognize artists and productions worthy of distinction in each theatrical year. Over the decades, the Obie Awards have played a major role in the Voice’s long history of championing work of innovative and exceptional quality Off and Off-Off Broadway. The Village Voice put the new downtown theater movement on the map with its in-depth coverage, becoming a forum for conflicting viewpoints which helped generate excitement over new works and new approaches to theater-making. The Obies have become a theatrical tradition, a meaningful way to acknowledge the best artistic achievements of downtown theater.  The list of actors, writers, directors, and designers who have received Obies at pivotal moments in their careers is a virtual who’s who of contemporary theater. While the categories of the awards have continued to change almost annually, the creative spirit remains the same. The Obie Awards salute a theatrical movement that’s as important, and as vibrant, today as it was in 1955.


One hundred years ago, on the eve of America’s entry into World War I, seven suffragists—all women of the theatre—came together to form The Stage Women’s War Relief. A century later, the spirit and vision behind the founding of American Theatre Wing remains a touchstone for all we do. The Wing continues to champion bravery, with a focus on developing the next generation of brave artists. The Wing advances the future of American Theatre by celebrating excellence and nurturing the next generation: on stage, behind the scenes, and in the audience. We envision an American Theatre that is as vital, multi-faceted, and diverse as the American people.

The Wing’s programs span the nation to invest in the growth and evolution of American Theatre. We provide theatre education opportunities for underserved students through the Andrew Lloyd Webber Initiative, develop the next generation of theatre professionals through the SpringboardNYC and Theatre Intern Network programs, incubate innovative theatre across the country through the National Theatre Company Grants, foster the song of American Theatre through the Jonathan Larson® Grants, and illuminate the creative process through the Emmy-nominated “Working in the Theatre” documentary series. In addition to founding the Tony Awards® which are co-presented with The Broadway League, the American Theatre Wing co-presents the Obie Awards®, Off Broadway’s Highest Honor, with The Village Voice.

Visitors to AmericanTheatreWing.org can gain inspiration and insight into the artistic process through the Wing’s extensive media collection, and learn more about its programming for students, aspiring and working professionals, and audiences. Follow the Wing on Twitter and Instagram @TheWing, and on Facebook.com/TheAmericanTheatreWing.


Founded in 1955 by a small group led by Norman Mailer, The Village Voice was the nation’s first alternative newsweekly. The winner of three Pulitzers, it built a reputation for itself as an aggressive interrogator of ‘the powers that be’ as well as a reliable resource for finding and promoting cutting edge arts and culture. Over the years it was a home to a wide range of writers and artists, including e.e. Cummings, Katherine Anne Porter, James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates plus photographers Fred McDarrah and Sylvia Plachy, cartoonist Lynda Barry, investigative journalists Wayne Barrett and Tom Robbins, music writer Robert Christgau, and film writer J. Hoberman, a virtual who’s who of essential American political and cultural commentators.

On August 31, 2018, The Voice stopped publishing new material but The Village Voice archives are still available. One can enjoy the history of Off and Off-Off Broadway by reviewing the rich repository of theatrical reviews.

For more information, visit www.villagevoice.com


Audible is a rich listening destination that offers insight and inspiration to millions of listeners and is the world’s leading audio and spoken-word media service. Audible’s theater initiative unleashes the artistic creativity of playwrights around the globe to deliver language-driven storytelling and inspire captivating performances on stage and in audio. Off-Broadway, Audible has produced Harry Clarke by David Cale starring Billy Crudup, Girls & Boys by Dennis Kelly starring Carey Mulligan, Patti Smith: Words and Music, and many others. In audio, Audible has produced Stories by Heart starring John Lithgow, True West starring Kit Harington and Johnny Flynn, and more. In 2017, Audible launched a five million-dollar Emerging Playwrights Fund that identifies, nurtures and invests in emerging playwrights, making their works available to millions of listeners around the world. Proof of Love, the inaugural stage production from the Emerging Playwrights Fund, will premiere at the Minetta Lane Theatre this May.

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