WHEREAS: To fully appreciate New York City’s theatrical greatness, one must venture Off (or Off-Off) Broadway, where the curtains part to reveal a vital creative world defined by an acceptance of adventurous ideas and performers. For fifty years, the Village Voice Obie Awards have recognized the best of Off and Off-Off-Broadway theater. Jerry Tallmer created the Obie in 1955, not long after the inception of The Village Voice. Purposely divided into informal categories designed to recognize all persons and productions worthy of distinction, an Obie is coveted by many and respected by all.
WHEREAS: This year, the awards and monetary grants will be presented at a ceremony at Webster Hall attended by many of New York City’s finest actors, playwrights, and directors. Everyone honored tonight can take great pride in the role they have played in stretching theater’s horizon of expectations. Their work can be measured not only within the Off and Off-Off Broadway communities, but also in the realm of mainstream theater.
WHEREAS: Oscar Wilde said: “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” The anniversary of the Village Voice Obie Awards vindicates Wilde’s sentiment, and offers proof of theater’s continuing relevance. New York City commends all those associated with the awards; their dedication has resulted in theater that illuminates contemporary life and, at its best, transforms the spirit.
Now therefore, I, Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York, in recognition of this important anniversary, do hereby proclaim Monday, May 16, 2005, in the City of New York as:
“VILLAGE VOICE OBIE AWARDS DAY”
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the City of New York to be affixed.
Michael R. Bloomberg