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56th OBIE Awards will take place on 16 May 2011



The Village Voice, the nation's largest alternative weekly newspaper, has announced the 56th Annual OBIE awards will take place on 16 May 2011 at Webster Hall in the East Village.

The OBIES will be co-hosted by Anika Noni Rose and Michael Cerveris. A list of notableThe Awards will be released by Alec Baldwin, Arian Moayed, Jim Parsons, John Larroquette, Lee Pace, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mamie Gummer, Margaret Colin, Nina Arianda, Patina Miller, Robert Sean Leonard, Rose Hemingway and S. Epatha Merkerson.

The Co-hosts for the Award ceremony are still to be announced.

The Voice's chief theater critic, Michael Feingold, who chairs the Obie Awards judges committee again this year, was honored as a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. The Pulitzer jury recognized Feingold "for his engaging, authoritative drama reviews that fuse passion and knowledge as he helps readers understand what makes a play or a performance successful."

His fellow judges are Voice critic Alexis Soloski and four guest judges: critic Hilton Als of The New Yorker; playwright David Henry Hwang, a three-time Obie Award winner for his plays F.O.B., Golden Child, and Yellow Face; director Evan Yionoulis, an Obie Award winner for her production of Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain; and critic Andy Propst, who is also serving as secretary to the committee.

Many of the most celebrated names in theater, film and television say their Obie Award was the first major recognition of their professional career. Past winner include such well-known stars such as Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Felicity Huffman, Viola Davis, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Tony Kushner, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Edward Norton, and Sigourney Weaver, to name a few.

Once again, the 2011 OBIES will honor the Off-Broadway theater community by presenting its annual theater grants, announced live at the ceremony.

For the past half-century, the The Village Voice Obie Awards have honored the best of Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. Structured with informal categories that change annually, The Village Voice Obie Awards recognize persons and productions of excellence. Unlike most theater awards, The Village Voice Obie Awards have no nominations.

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