'Doubt,' 'Gabler,' 'Glass' win multiple honors
Manhattan Theater Club’s “Doubt,” New York Theater Workshop’s “Hedda Gabler” and the commercially produced “Woman Before a Glass” at the Promenade Theater were the big winners Monday night at the Obie Awards. Kudos are given by Village Voice for Off and Off Off Broadway achievement.“Doubt,” which has picked up a slew of season-end awards and has since moved to Broadway, won Obies for John Patrick Shanley’s writing and Cherry Jones’ performance. Helmer Doug Hughes received an award for sustained excellence of direction. Elizabeth Marvel won for her title role in “Hedda Gabler.” Other winners from that production were co-star Jason Butler Harner, director Ivo van Hove and set designer Jan Versweyveld. “Woman Before a Glass,” the solo show by Lanie Robertson about Peggy Guggenheim, won for thesp Mercedes Ruehl and its entire design team: Thomas Lynch (set), Phil Monat (lighting), David Van Tieghem (sound) and Willa Kim (costumes). Other playwriting winners were Caryl Churchill for “A Number” at NYTW, Christopher Shinn for “Where Do We Live” at the Vineyard and Lynn Nottage for “Fabulation” at Playwrights Horizons. “Engaged,” the W.S. Gilbert farce revived by Theater for a New Audience and directed by Hughes, received awards for thesp Jeremy Shamos and its design team: John Lee Beatty (set), Rui Rita (lighting), Guy Sherman (sound) and Catherine Zuber (costumes). Other winners for performance were Kieran Culkin for “After Ashley,” Larry Bryggman for “Romance,” LaChanze for “Dessa Rose,” Rosemary Allen for “Good Samaritans,” and Vivienne Benesch and L. Scott Caldwell for “Going to St. Ives.” Deidre O’Connell took home a prize for sustained excellence. The other directing winner was Dan Wackerman for “Counsellor-at-Law.” Special citations went to Pig Iron Theater Company’s piece “Hell Meets Henry Halfway”; the New Group’s “Sin: A Cardinal Deposed”; and the Imagine Festival of Arts, Issues & Ideas, a series of politics-related events that coincided with the Republican National Convention. Playwright John Guare won for sustained achievement. Scribe organization New Dramatists received the Ross Wetzsteon Memorial Award for general excellence. “After Ashley’s” Gina Gionfriddo received a grant for being a distinguished emerging playwright. The companies 13P and Epic Theater Company and the experimental series Little Theater at Tonic received grants.