Presenters included Jonathan Groff, Priscilla Lopez, S. Epatha Merkerson, Marisa Tomei, Julie White and Bradley Whitford, and the evening also featured a performance by the cast of Passing Strange, which began life Off-Broadway before arriving earlier this season at Broadway's Belasco Theatre.
The Village Voice gives out the annual awards, which honor Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway shows. Award recipients are chosen by a panel without the complication of selecting or announcing nominees.
For the first time in Obie history, the awards were webcast live online via iClips.net on www.villagevoice.com/obies.
The winners of the 2008 Obie Awards follow:
David Henry Hwang, Yellow Face DIRECTION
David Cromer, Adding Machine PERFORMANCE
David Zinn, Sustained Excellence of Costume and Set Design SPECIAL CITATIONS
David Greenspan, The Argument BEST NEW THEATRE PIECE ($1,000 prize)
Stew, Heidi Rodewald, Annie Dorsen, Passing Strange THE ROSS WETZSTEON AWARD ($2,000 given annually to a theatre that nurtures innovative new plays)
Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Adrienne Kennedy OBIE GRANTS (Totaling $10,000)
Theater of a Two-Headed Calf, $5,000 *
Village Voice critic Michael Feingold was chairman of the Obie Awards Committee, which selected the winners. His fellow judges included Voice critic Alexis Soloski, Variety critic Mark Blankenship, Bloomberg News editor and critic Jeremy Gerard, playwright-director Robert O'Hara (2007 Obie winner for In the Continuum), set designer Neil Patel (twice an Obie winner for sustained excellence of design), and Time Out New York/New York Sun critic Helen Shaw. Clint Allen serves as secretary to the committee.
The Obie Awards were created in 1955 by Jerry Tallmer. Past recipients include Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, William Hurt, Morgan Freeman, Mos Def, Amy Irving, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Olympia Dukakis, Robert Duvall, Kevin Bacon, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Felicity Huffman and Harvey Fierstein, among others.
For more information visit www.villagevoice.com.