Foote, Hwang, Cromer, Hamilton, Mulgrew and Stew Among 2008 Obie Award Winners

By Andrew Gans
19 May 2008

Horton Foote
Horton Foote
Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The 53rd Annual Village Voice Obie Awards, a major honor in the Off-Broadway community, were presented May 19 at Webster Hall in Manhattan. Elizabeth Marvel and Bill Camp co-hosted the ceremony.

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:



PLAYWRITING
  • Horton Foote, Dividing the Estate
  • David Henry Hwang, Yellow Face

    DIRECTION

  • Krzysztof Warlikowski, Krum
  • David Cromer, Adding Machine

    PERFORMANCE

  • LisaGay Hamilton, The Ohio State Murders
  • Kate Mulgrew, Iphigenia 2.0
  • Francis Jue, Yellow Face
  • Rebecca Wisocky, Amazons and Their Men
  • Joel Hatch, Adding Machine
  • Heidi Schreck, Drum of the Waves of Horikawa
  • Veanne Cox, Sustained Excellence of Performance
  • Sean McNall, Sustained Excellence of Performance
  • Ensemble: Passing Strange: de'Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Stew

    DESIGN

  • Takeshi Kata, Set and Keith Parham, Lighting Design, Adding Machine
  • Peter Ksander, Scenic Design, Untitled Mars (This Title May Change)
  • Ben Katchor, Drawings; John Findlay and Jeff Sugg, Set and Projection; Russell H. Champa, Lighting Design, The Slug Bearers Of Kayrol Island
  • Jane Greenwood, Sustained Excellence of Costume Design
  • David Zinn, Sustained Excellence of Costume and Set Design

    SPECIAL CITATIONS

  • Nature Theater of Oklahoma, No Dice
  • 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)

  • Keen Company, $5,000
  • 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.