The 2015 Tony Awards haven’t even been decided yet but next year’s best-musical race already has a strong contender. Hamilton, Lin-Manual Miranda’s history lesson rapped in a musical, continues nabbing every award in sight. Monday evening it was the OBIE for Best New American Theater Work, along with special citations for director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and musical director Alex Lacamoire. The show, which had a sold-out run at the Public Theater, begins performances on Broadway in July.
The OBIES were created by the Village Voice to honor Off-Broadway and now are co-sponsored with the Tony-founding American Theatre Wing. This marked the OBIES’ 60th anniversay. More eclectic than the Tonys, the awards’ winners are selected by a changing jury, with no written limitation on how many awards may be given in each category. The top award also carries a cash prize of $1,000.
This year’s judges were OBIE Committee Chairman and former Voice chief drama critic Michael Feingold, playwright Adam Bock, orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, director Lear deBessonet, scenic designer Mimi Lien, critic David Rooney, Village Voice critic Tom Sellar and director Liesl Tommy.
Here are the 2015 OBIE winners:
Best New American Theatre Work (includes $1,000 check)
Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, direction by Thomas Kail, arrangements/orchestrations/music direction by Alex Lacamoire (The Public Theater).
Sustained Achievement Award
James Houghton (Founding Artistic Director, Signature Theatre Company).
April Matthis, Sustained Excellence of Performance.
Usman Ally, The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop).
Firdous Bamji, Indian Ink (Roundabout Theatre Company).
Brooke Bloom, You Got Older (Page 73).
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside And Crazy (Atlantic Theater Company & Second Stage Theatre).
John Douglas Thompson, Tamburlaine (Theatre For A New Audience) & The Iceman Cometh (BAM).
Ayad Akhtar, The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop).
Clare Barron, You Got Older (Page 73 & HERE Arts Center).
Suzan-Lori Parks, Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts I, II, & III (The Public Theater).
Anne Kauffman, Sustained Excellence of Direction.
Trip Cullman, Punk Rock (MCC Theater).
Darko Tresnjak, The Killer (Theatre For A New Audience).
Christine Jones, Sustained Excellence of Set Design.
Ben Stanton, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design.
Japhy Weideman, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design.
Abigail DeVille, Prophetika: An Oratorio (La MaMa).
Kate Benson (writer) and Lee Sunday Evans (director), A Beautiful Day In November On The Banks Of The Greatest
Of The Great Lakes (New Georges).
Bootycandy writer/director Robert O’Hara, actors Philip James Brannon, Jessica Frances Dukes, Jesse Pennington, Benja Kay Thomas, Lance Coadie Williams (Playwrights Horizons).
Catch (performance series), Andrew Dinwiddie, Caleb Hammons, Jeff Larson.
Bridget Everett, Rock Bottom (Public Theater).
Bush Moukarzel and Dead Centre, Lippy (Abrons Arts Center).
Andrew Schneider, Youarenowhere (PS 122 / COIL Festival).
OBIE Grants ($2,500 to each theater)
Horse Trade Theater Group / The Fire This Time Festival.
JACK (Arts Center).
The Ross Wetzsteon Award (includes $1,000 check)