The Obies Go Online

With curtains drawn, stages dark, theaters shuttered, and productions cancelled, New York’s theater community has been hard hit by the health crisis. But that hasn’t stopped The Obies — the annual awards show for Off- and Off-Off-Broadway talent — from moving ahead with its 2020 ceremony. Instead of cancelling, The Obies have decided for the first time ever to go virtual, and open up the event to the general public.


Known for having a uniquely responsive finger on the pulse of social and political crosscurrents, The Obies — and its organizer The American Theater Wing — didn’t miss a beat in responding to the pandemic. When the virus reached New York, besides bringing The Obies online, the Wing quickly set up the Theatre Artist Relief Fund, which grants theater workers from 90 Off- and Off-Off-Broadway productions $500 each to support them through this difficult period. The funds were generously provided by the Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust and the theatrical production company No Guarantees.


Since 2015 Athletics has had the unique honor of creating brand identities for the annual Obie awards show, and this year is no different, despite the unique circumstances. This year’s design concept is based around dimensionality, and was developed by Athletics Senior Designer Allison Connell (a veteran of Obies design systems) and design intern Kaylan Tran. Highlighting the multifaceted nature of The Obies and Off- and Off-Off-Broadway, our team extruded the iconic flat “O” graphic to bring it into the 3D space. The result is a new perspective on something familiar.


To see the system at work, and to virtually attend the 2020 Obies ceremony, visit here

For more information on the Theatre Artist Relief Fund, read more here