As protests around the country continue to mourn the killing of George Floyd and demand justice for Black lives lost at the hands of police, the Obie Awards will postpone the 2020 ceremony, which was scheduled to stream on YouTube June 4.
A new date will be announced at a later time.
“Our hearts are heavy, and our souls are weary,” says Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of The American Theatre Wing (which co-presents the awards with The Village Voice). “This is a time for reflection and mourning, for action and activism. It is not a time for celebration or diversion.”
Earlier, Hitchens spoke on behalf of the Wing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, saying, “The American Theatre Wing stands with communities of color today, tomorrow, and always. Black stories matter. Black opportunities matter. We must all speak out, do better, and drive out hate and prejudice from wherever it hides because all lives will only truly matter when Black lives matter.”
The June 4 stream was to be hosted by Cole Escola and feature musical performances by Shaina Taub and alumni of Merrily We Roll Along, as well as a pre-show sing-along fundraiser with Patti LuPone.
The 65th annual event, commemorating work Off- and Off-Off-Broadway, was originally scheduled to take place in-person May 18 at Manhattan’s Terminal 5; those plans were scrapped in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.