(Via Gail Parenteau, 5/16.)
The 56th Annual Obie Awards were given out at a ceremony tonight at Webster Hall in Greenwich Village. The event was co-hosted by S. Epatha Merkerson and David Hyde Pierce, and the awards were presented by Alec Baldwin, Andrew Rannells, Arian Moayad, Frank Wood, Jim Parsons, John Larroquette, Liev Schreiber, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mamie Gummer, Margaret Colin, Nina Arianda, Patina Miller, and Rose Hemingway. Anthony Rapp, of the original cast of the Obie Award-winning musical RENT and his band from the musical WITHOUT YOU performed at the ceremony.
The Obies were judged by a committee of six, chaired by Michael Feingold, chief theater critic of The Village Voice. Joining him were Voice critic Alexis Soloski and four guest judges: Critic Hilton Als of The New Yorker; playwright David Henry Hwang, a three-time Obie Award winner for his plays F.O.B., Golden Child, and Yellow Face; director Evan Yionoulis, an Obie award winner for her production of Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain; and critic Andy Propst, of TheaterMania AmericanTheaterWeb.com (also a frequent Voice contributor), who served as secretary to the committee.
THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, by Kristoffer Diaz, received the Obie Award for Best New American Play, which is accompanied by a $1000 check. Repertorio Espanol and its co-founder and artistic director, René Buch, received the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement. A complete list of awards is given below.
F. Murray Abraham, sustained excellence of performance
André Braugher, THE WHIPPING MAN (Manhattan Theatre Club)
Michael Chernus, IN THE WAKE (Public Theater)
Ethan Hawke, BLOOD FROM A STONE (The New Group)
Hamish Linklater, THE SCHOOL FOR LIES (Classic Stage Company)
Laurie Metcalf, THE OTHER PLACE (Manhattan Class Company)
Thomas Sadoski, OTHER DESERT CITIES (Lincoln Center Theater)
Scott Shepherd, GATZ (Elevator Repair Service / Public Theater)
Brenda Wehle, THE INTELLIGENT HOMOSEXUAL’S GUIDE TO CAPITALISM AND SOCIALISM WITH A KEY TO THE SCRIPTURES (Signature Theatre / Public Theater)
Charlayne Woodard, THE WITCH OF EDMONTON (Red Bull Theater)
Samuel D. Hunter, A BRIGHT NEW BOISE (Partial Comfort Productions)
Jonas Hassen Khemiri, INVASION! (The Play Company)
Austin Pendleton, THREE SISTERS (Classic Stage Company)
Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (New York Theatre Workshop)
Leigh Silverman, IN THE WAKE (Public Theater) and GO BACK TO WHERE YOU ARE (Playwrights Horizons)
Jill BC Du Boff, sustained excellence of sound design
Donyale Werle, sustained excellence of set design
design and choreography, SLEEP NO MORE (Punchdrunk Theatre)
Felix Barrett, Livi Vaughan, Beatrice Minns, Maxine Doyle, Stephen Dobbie, Euan Maybank, and David Israel Reynoso
Young Jean Lee, WE’RE GONNA DIE (13P / Joe’s Pub)
debbie tucker green and Leah C. Gardiner, BORN BAD (Soho Rep)
Obie Grants ($2,500 to each theater):
The Ross Wetzsteon Award (includes $1,000 check):
BELARUS FREE THEATRE
Best New American Play (includes $1,000 check):
THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY by Kristoffer Diaz (Second Stage)
Lifetime Achievement Award:
René Buch and Repertorio Espanol
Village Voice CEO Jim Larkin, president and COO Scott Tobias, publisher Josh Fromson, editor-in-chief Tony Ortega, arts and culture editor Brian Parks, the entire marketing and promotion staff of The Village Voice, and the outside staff and volunteers for the 56th Annual Obie Awards all joyously congratulate the winners.