The American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice have announced the winners of the 61st Annual Obie Awards, which recognize the best in Off-Broadway theatre and were presented May 24 at Webster Hall. Obie winner Lea DeLaria hosted.
Rajiv Joseph’s Guards at the Taj, produced by the Atlantic Theater Company, received the Obie for Best New American Play, which is accompanied by a $1,000 prize. Actor/dancer/choreographer Carmen de Lavallade and playwright A.R. Gurney each received a special Obie for Lifetime Achievement.
The evening’s festivities, which were live-streamed on the Obie Facebook page, included an opening number featuring host DeLaria and her Orange Is the New Black castmates Emily Althaus, Lori Tan Chinn, Joel Marsh Garland, Kimiko Glenn, Annie Golden, Vicky Jeudy, Emma Myles, Dascha Polenco and Dale Soules, as well as Stephen Wallem. Performances were also given by Hamilton Tony nominee Leslie Odom, Jr., who honored the 20th anniversary of Rent by performing “Without You,” and by Dear Evan Hansen's Ben Platt, who performed that musical's “Waving Through a Window,” accompanied by a band including composer Justin Paul on piano.
The complete list of Obie winners follows. The Obies allow multiple winners in each category:
Lucas Hnath, The Christians (Playwrights Horizons) and Red Speedo (New York Theatre Workshop)
Stephen Karam, The Humans (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Steven Levenson (book), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (music & lyrics), Dear Evan Hansen (Second Stage Theatre)
Rachel Chavkin, The Royale (Lincoln Center Theater)
Michael Leibenluft, I’ll Never Love Again (Bushwick Starr)
Khris Davis, The Royale (Lincoln Center Theater)
Emily Donahoe, The Christians (Playwrights Horizons)
Georgia Engel, John (Signature Theatre Company)
Ensemble, Eclipsed (The Public Theater): Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah, Lupita Nyong’o, Saycon Sengbloh
Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed, Guards at the Taj (Atlantic Theater Company)
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen (Second Stage Theatre)
Lucas Caleb Rooney, Red Speedo (New York Theatre Workshop)
Tamara Tunie, Familiar (Playwrights Horizons)
Rachel Hauck, Sustained Excellence of Set Design
Jason Lyons, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design
James Ortiz, Puppet Design, The Woodsman (New World Stages)
Bray Poor, Sustained Excellence of Sound Design
Kaye Voyce, Sustained Excellence of Costume Design
Special Citations: Collaboration
Annie Baker (playwright), Sam Gold (director), and the design team of John (Signature Theatre Company): Mark Barton (lighting), Ásta Bennie Hostetter (costumes), Mimi Lien (set), Noah Mease (props), Bray Poor (sound)
Dominique Morisseau (playwright) and Ruben Santiago-Hudson (director), Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company)
Obie Grants ($4,000 prize to each theater)
Prospect Theatre Company
The Ross Wetzsteon Award ($3,000 prize)
NAATCO/National Asian American Theatre Company
Best New American Play ($1,000 prize)
Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph (Atlantic Theatre Company
Lifetime Achievement Award
Carmen de Lavallade
The Obie Award judges panel for this season, headed by Village Voice columnist and longtime Obie chairman Michael Feingold, included Obie-winning actress Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Obie-winning director Oliver Butler, Obie-winning costume designer Clint Ramos, Obie-winning actress Juliet Rylance, Variety senior critic Marilyn Stasio and freelance theatre critic Michael Sommers.
For more information visit ObieAwards.com.