Christopher Durang, Kathleen Chalfant, Swoosie Kurtz, Liev Schreiber, Kristine Nielsen and House/Lights were among the winners of the 1999 OBIE Awards. The trophies, sponsored by The Village Voice, honor excellence in Off Broadway Theatre.
The Wooster Group's House/Lights, a post-modern take of Gertrude Stein's Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights heavy on video and sound design and choreographed movement, was named the season's Best New American Play.
Durang, meanwhile, was given a Distinguished Playwriting Award for Betty's Summer Vacation, his scathing satire on America's psychotic appetite for scandal and sensation. The play also netted awards for Kristine Nielsen's kinetic performance and Nicholas Martin's direction.
Lea DeLaria and Paul Rudnick co-hosted the 44th Annual Village Voice OBIE Awards, on May 17, at NY's Webster Hall.
Performance awards went to Kathleen Chalfant (Wit), Swoosie Kurtz (The Mineola Twins and Liev Schreiber (Cymbeline), among others. Sustained excellence awards were bestowed upon actors Randall Duk Kim and Daniel Gerroll. Unlike other award ceremonies, the OBIEs have no nominations, and multiple productions or artists can win in a single category. Also, dissimilar from other theatre awards, OBIE recipients receive a cash grant with their prize.
This year's OBIE judges include two critics from the Voice, Michael Feingold and Alisa Solomon, who were flanked by Guest Judges Liz Diamond (director); Mark Russell (head of P.S. 122); Dael Orlandersmith (solo performer); and Una Chaudhuri (Head of the NYU theatre department). Charles McNulty will serve as secretary to the committee, which is chaired by editor, Brian Parks. The event was produced by Eileen Phelan.
On hand as presenters for the event were Betty Buckley (Eros Trilogy), Chalfant, Stephen DeRosa (Mystery of Irma Vep), David Henry Hwang (Golden Child), Kurtz, Elizabeth Marvel (TFANA's Macbeth ), John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), Everett Quinton (Mystery of Irma Vep), Phylicia Rashad (Everybody's Ruby), and Roger Rees (Misanthrope).
The OBIE award winners follow:
Liev Schreiber for his performance in Cymbeline
Kathleen Chalfant for her performance in Wit
Daniel Gerroll for Sustained Excellence of Performance
Matthew Maher for his performance in The Race of the Ark Tattoo
Randall Duk Kim for Sustained Excellence of Performance
Mina Bern for Sustained Excellence of Performance
Darius de Haas for his performance in Running Man
Viola Davis for her performance in Everybody's Ruby
Kristine Nielson for her performance in Betty's Summer Vacation
Swoosie Kurtz for her performance in The Mineola Twins
Jim Simpson for his direction of Benten Kozo
Melia Bensussen for her direction of The Turn of the Screw
Nicholas Martin for his direction of Betty's Summer Vacation
Declan Donnellan for his direction of Le Cid
Thomas Lynch for Sustained Excellence of Set Design Michael Chybowski for Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design Martin Pakledinaz Costume Design for The Misanthrope Diedre Murray Score for Running Man
W. David Hancock for The Race of the Ark Tattoo
Dare Clubb for Oedipus
Christopher Durang for Betty's Summer Vacation
Peggy Shaw for Menopausal Gentleman
Richard Maxwell for House
David Cale for Lillian
Kim Hughes for Sakina's Restaurant
Aasif Mandvi for Sakina's Restaurant
Ronnie Burkett for Tinka's New Dress
Lisa Kron for 2.5 Minute Ride
Basil Twist for Symphonie Fantastique
The Wooster Group for Best Production House/Lights
Wynn Handman (WPA Theatre).
The Point, CDC
National Asian American Theater
Ross Wetzsteon Award to Ellie Covan - Dixon Place