The Brooklyn Academy of Music walked away a big winner. In addition to receiving a special citation for its international programming, several 2002-03 BAM presentations were honored, including Uncle Vanya, The Island and Medea.
The stage at Webster Hall was often very crowded. At one early point in the ceremony, the 13 members of the cast and crew of Talking Band's Painted Snake in a Painted Chair were presented with Obies. Later, eight artists connected to The Romance of Magno Rubio were recognized. The evening ended with five of the members of Talking Heads, the collection of Alan Bennett monologues, accepting their awards.
Playwright Mac Wellman was given the Lifetime Achievement prize. No award was bestowed on a specific play this year.
Ten thousand dollars in grant money was split by three companies: Collapsable Hole, Galapagos and The Immigrant Theatre Project.
A complete lists of winners follows: Performance
Kathleen Chalfant, Daniel Davis, Christine Ebersole, Valerie Mahailey, Lynn Redgrave, Brenda Wehle, Talking Heads
Mos Def, Fucking A
Rosemary Harris, All Over
Ty Jones, J. Kyle Manzay, The Blacks: A Clown Show
Stephen Mellor, Bitter Bierce or, The Fiction We Call Grief
Edward Norton, Burn This
Jim Norton, Dublin Carol
Denis O'Hare, Take Me Out
Jason Petty, Hank Williams: Lost Highway
Simon Russell Beale, Uncle Vanya
Fiona Shaw, Medea
Barry Del Sherman, The Mystery of Attraction
Emily Mann, All Over
Deborah Warner, Medea
Kimberly Glennon, Anne Lommel, The Blacks: A Clown Show
Kenneth Posner, sustained excellence of lighting design
Anthony Ward, set design, Uncle Vanya
Art Acuna, Loy Arcenas, Lonnie Carter, Ramon de Ocampo, Ron Domingo, Jojo Gonzalez, Orlando Pabotoy, Ralph B. Pena, The Romance of Magno Rubio
Brooklyn Academy of Music International Programming
Lisa D'Amour, Katie Pearl, Kathy Randels, Nita and Zita
David Greenspan, She Stoops to Comedy
Morgan Jenness, longtime support of playwrights
John Kani and Winston Ntshona, The Island
Erika Munk, editorship of Theater
Ellen Maddow, Paul Zimet, Diane Beckett, Gary Brownlee, Randolph Curtis Rand, Steven Rattazzi, Tina Shepard, Louise Smith, Nic Ularu, Kiki Smith, Carol Mullins, Karinne Keithley, "Blue" Gene Tyranny of Talking Band's Painted Snake in a Painted Chair
The Immigrant Theatre Project
Ross Wetzsteon Award: Soho Think Tank's Ice Factory series at the Ohio Theatre.
Writer-performers Charlayne Woodard (In Real Life) and Bill Irwin (Fool Moon) hosted the event, which boasted such presenters as playwright Edward Albee (The Goat), last year's Obie winning actresses Linda Emond (Homebody/Kabul), Juliana Francis (Maria del Bosco) and actress Martha Plimpton (Hobson's Choice) as well as actress Jackie Hoffman, actor-comedian Eddie Izzard, actor Labyrinth Theatre co-founder John Ortiz and actor Liev Schreiber.
The evening also featured performances by the cast of Hank Williams: Lost Highway and Cynthia Hopkins singing selections from the Transmission Project's Compress Your Dreams.
The Obies were created in 1956 by former Voice critic Jerry Talmer. The awards honor New York theatre exclusively Off-Broadway in such broad categories as performance, playwriting, design and direction, bestowing as many prizes in each as they see fit. There are no nominations. Furthermore, the Obie Award panel also award special citations, grants and sustained achievement honors.
This year's Obie Award judges were Brian Parks (Village Voice theatre editor and Obie chairman); the Voice critics Charles McNulty, Francine Russo and Alisa Solomon; playwright Neal Bell; New Dramatists artistic director Todd London; and performer Ching Valdes-Aran. Voice contributor Alexis Soloski served as assistant to the committee.
For more information, visit www.villagevoice.com/obies.