'Caroline,' 'Bug,' Russell take Off awards

“Small Tragedy,” “I Am My Own Wife,” “Caroline, or Change,” “Bug” and Mark Russell, the outgoing artistic director of P.S. 122, were among the major winners at the 49th annual Village Voice Obie Awards, presented Monday at Webster Hall.

The Obies honor achievement in Off and Off Off Broadway theater, and are selected by a panel of theater critics and artists chaired by Voice theater editor Charles McNulty.

Craig Lucas’ “Small Tragedy” was named best American play and received a second award for its acting company. “Bug” also received an award for its ensemble and a second for its design team.

“Caroline” authors Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori received a special citation. The musical’s director, George C. Wolfe, received his own citation “for his stewardship of the Public Theater,” while Tonya Pinkins was honored for her performance in the musical.

Russell was given a lifetime achievement award for his work in Off Off Broadway.

“I Am My Own Wife” won a trio of Obies, for Moises Kaufman’s direction, Derek McLane’s set design and Jefferson Mays’ performance. A second directing Obie went to Lee Breuer for Mabou Mines’ “Dollhouse.”

Other performance awards went to Viola Davis for “Intimate Apparel,” Lisa Emery for “Iron,” Jayne Houdyshell for “Well,” Sarah Jones for “Bridge & Tunnel,” Zilah Mendoza for “Living Out,” Maude Mitchell for Mabou Mines’ “Dollhouse,” Brian F. O’Byrne for “Frozen” and Lili Taylor for “Aunt Dan and Lemon.”

Robert Een’s music for “Hiroshima Maiden” was also honored.

Other special citations went to Pieter-Dirk Uys for “Foreign Aids,” Soho Rep for “Molly’s Dream,” the Builder Assn. and Motiroti for “Alladeen,” Kyle Jarrow and Alex Timbers for “A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant,” Martin Moran for “The Tricky Part” and Terry Nemeth for play publishing at TCG.

Grants were given to the Civilians, an experimental theater company; the concert series Musicals Tonight; and THAW (Theaters Against War), an activist theater organization. The Ross Wetzsteon Memorial Award was given to St. Ann’s Warehouse, Susan Feldman, artistic director.

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