Off-Broadway’s best: OBIE Awards announced

"Ruined" playwright Lynn Nottage

"Ruined" playwright Lynn Nottage

Last night was Off-Broadway’s time to shine at the 54th Annual Village Voice OBIE Awards ceremony. The show at Webster Hall in the East Village was co-hosted by former OBIE winners Daniel Breaker (2008 for Passing Strange in its pre-Broadway incarnation at the Public Theater) and Martha Plimpton (2002 for Hobson’s Choice).

Lynn Nottage‘s Pulitzer Prize-wining Ruined (Manhattan Theater Club) — directed by Kate Whoriskey, who is also Breaker’s wife — took the award for best new American play.

Click to the jump for the full list of winners.

THE 2008-2009 WINNERS:
Lifetime Achievement Award

Best New American Play (includes a cash prize of $1,000)

RUINED by Lynn Nottage (Manhattan Theatre Club)

Francois Battiste, THE GOOD NEGRO (Public Theater)

Quincy Tyler Bernstine, RUINED (Manhattan Theatre Club)

Kevin T. Carroll, sustained excellence of performance

Saidah Arrika Ekulona, RUINED (Manhattan Theatre Club)

Jonathan Groff, PRAYER FOR MY ENEMY (Playwrights Horizons) and THE SINGING FOREST (Public Theater)

Birgit Huppuch, TELEPHONE (Foundry Theatre)

Russell Gebert Jones, RUINED (Manhattan Theatre Club)

Aaron Monaghan, THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (Atlantic Theater Co.)

Sahr Ngaujah, FELA! (37 Arts)

Lorenzo Pisoni, HUMOR ABUSE (Manhattan Theatre Club)

James Sugg, CHEKHOV LIZARDBRAIN (Pig Iron Theatre Company)

John Douglas Thompson, OTHELLO (Theatre for a New Audience)
Music and Lyrics

Stephen Sondheim, ROAD SHOW (Public Theater)

David Cromer, OUR TOWN (Barrow Street Theatre)

Katie Mitchell, THE WAVES (National Theatre of Great Britain / Lincoln Center Great Performances “New Visions” Series)

Ken Rus Schmoll, TELEPHONE (Foundry Theatre)

Toni-Leslie James, sustained excellence of costume design (with special reference to WIG OUT, Vineyard Theatre)

David Korins, sustained excellence of set design (with special reference to WHY TORTURE IS WRONG, AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM, Public Theater)
Special Citations

Sarah Benson (director) and Louisa Thompson (set designer), BLASTED (Soho Rep)

David Esbjornson (director) and Christian Camargo (actor), HAMLET (Theatre for a New Audience)
The Ross Wetzsteon Award (includes a cash prize of $2,000)

HERE Arts Center
OBIE Grants ($10,000 divided equally among three theaters)

The Chocolate Factory

The Classical Theatre of Harlem

Lark Play Development Center

The Voice‘s chief theater critic, Michael Feingold, chaired this year’s OBIE Awards committee. His fellow judges included Voice critic Alexis Soloski and six guest judges: freelance writer and Voice contributor Eric Grode; critic Andy Propst of, also a Voice contributor; actress-playwright Eisa Davis, an OBIE Award winner for her performance in Passing Strange and author of the recent Angela’s Mixtape; actor-playwright Ty Jones, 2003 OBIE Award winner for his performance in The Blacks; playwright-director Moises Kaufman, 2004 OBIE Award winner for his direction of I Am My Own Wife, currently represented on Broadway by 33 Variations; and playwright-director Chay Yew, 2007 OBIE Award winner for his direction of Durango.

And our thanks to this year’s OBIE Awards sponsors: Macy’s, Virgin America, Metro PCS, Le Tourment Vert, Sierra Nevada, Sea Grape Wines, Fragoli, Pal, Harlequin Books,, Crumpler, Highline Studios, and Webster Hall.

For more information about the OBIE Awards, please visit here.

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