The Obie Awards, founded in 1955 by the Village Voice to the nascent off-Broadway theater movement, recognized the original production of Oslo currently a contender for the best play Tony after moving to the Broadway-designated Vivian Beaumont Theater. The Obies, which were announced this evening, also gave playwright Paula Vogel (Indecent) her second lifetime achievement award in as many weeks, following the New York Drama Critics Circle.
J.T. Rogers’ play about the secret meetings that led to the 1992 Oslo Accords between the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Oslo already has been named best play of the season by the N.Y. Drama Critics Circle, the Lucille Lortel Awards, the Drama League and the Outer Critics Circle.
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The Obies are now produced jointly by the American Theatre Wing, which created and co-produces the Tonys) and the Village Voice. Oslo shares the Best New American Theatre Work award with Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard’s Underground Railroad Game, produced by Ars Nova. The award carries a $500 prize to each recipient.
The Obie judges panel for this season included Village Voice critic and longtime chair Michael Feingold, playwright Ayad Akhtar, Entertainment Weekly theater critic Melissa Rose Bernardo, actor-singer Darius de Haas, Voice theater critic Miriam Felton-Dansky, and actresses Daphne Rubin-Vega and J. Smith Cameron.
Here are the winners:
Best New American Theater Work ($500 prize each)
Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard, Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova)
J.T. Rogers, Oslo (Lincoln Center Theater)
Christopher Chen, Caught (The Play Company at La MaMa)
Lynn Nottage, Sweat (The Public Theater)
Itamar Moses (book) and David Yazbek (music & lyrics), The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Arin Arbus, The Skin of Our Teeth (Theatre for a New Audience)
Lileana Blain-Cruz, Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World (Signature Theatre Company)
David Cromer, The Band’s Visit (Atlantic Theater Company)
Jack Cummings III, Picnic (Transport Group)
Rebecca Taichman, Indecent (Vineyard Theatre)
Bartlett Sher (director) and the cast of Oslo (Lincoln Center Theater): Michael Aronov, Anthony Azizi, Adam Dannheisser, Jennifer Ehle, Daniel Jenkins, Dariush Kashani, Jeb Kreager, Jefferson Mays, Christopher McHale, Daniel Oreskes, Angela Pierce, Henny Russell, Joseph Siravo, T. Ryder Smith;
Lila Neugebauer (director) and the cast of The Wolves (The Playwrights Realm): Kate Arrington, Mia Barron, Brenna Coates, Jenna Dioguardi, Samia Finnerty, Midori Francis, Lizzy Jutila, Sarah Mezzanotte, Tedra Millan, Lauren Patten, Susannah Perkins
Matthew Broderick, Evening at the Talk House (The New Group) and Shining City (Irish Repertory Theatre)
Bobby Cannavale, The Hairy Ape (Park Avenue Armory)
Kevin Geer, Sustained Excellence [in memoriam]
Kecia Lewis, Marie and Rosetta (Atlantic Theater Company) and The Skin of Our Teeth (Theatre for a New Audience)
Heather MacRae, Come Back, Little Sheba (Transport Group)
Amy Ryan, Love, Love, Love (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Pete Simpson, Sustained Excellence
Michael Urie, Homos, or Everyone in America (Labyrinth Theater Company)
Riccardo Hernandez, Sustained Excellence of Set Design
Dane Laffrey, Sustained Excellence of Set and Costume Design
Jared Mezzocchi, Projection Design, Vietgone (Manhattan Theatre Club) Ryan Rumery, Sustained Excellence of Sound Design
Scott Zielinski, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design
Anna Deavere Smith, Notes from the Field (Second Stage Theater) Taylor Mac, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music (St. Ann’s Warehouse)
Obie Grants ($4,000 prize each)
Irish Repertory Theatre, Pearl Theatre Company, The Playwrights Realm
The Ross Wetzsteon Award ($3,000 prize)
Theatre for a New Audience
Lifetime Achievement Award
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