Jason Grote, a while back, wrote a bit of a diatribe about his experiences at the Obies. To follow-up, he's written this piece (which I think is necessary reading) after a conversation with the publicist.
I think he's pretty clear here that his initial criticisms were not intended in any way as against the concept of the Obie Awards and what they provide for the theatre community as a whole. Criticism is not the same thing as calling for public execution.
The Obies are a part of the institutional memory of Off and Off-Off Broadway. Let's hope whichever corporate parent that now holds the purse strings understands that the Village Voice's strength is its connection to the New York community, and its voice (no pun intended) would be hindered by a reduction in its role as unifier and advocate for the arts in New York City.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.