Obies spread kudos around

'Red Light,' 'Stuff Happens' among big winners

See winners

“In the Continuum,” “Red Light Winter” and “Stuff Happens” were among multiple winners in the 51st annual Village Voice Obie Awards, honoring Off Broadway achievements of the past year.

Director Robert O’Hara and playwright-performers Nikkole Salter and Danai Gurira were given special citations for “In the Continuum,” which examines the experiences of African and African-American women living with HIV.

Gary Wilmes received a performance Obie for “Red Light Winter,” about an emotionally destructive romantic triangle; play also earned a special citation for scribe Adam Rapp.

David Hare’s docudrama about the buildup to war in Iraq, “Stuff Happens,” landed a directing Obie for Daniel Sullivan and performance nods for Byron Jennings and Peter Francis James, who play Tony Blair and Colin Powell, respectively.

Adding to their crop of awards this season, Christine Ebersole was recognized for her perf in “Grey Gardens” and Lois Smith for “The Trip to Bountiful.” Other actors honored include S. Epatha Merkerson in “Birdie Blue,” Euan Morton in “Measure for Pleasure,” Dana Ivey in “Mrs. Warren’s Profession,” Sherie Renee Scott in “Landscape of the Body” and Julie White in “The Little Dog Laughed.”

Playwriting honors went to Rolin Jones for “The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow” and Martin McDonagh for “The Lieutenant of Inishmore.”

Former Present Company artistic director and New York Intl. Fringe Festival co-founder John Clancy received an Obie for sustained excellence of direction, while theater academic Eric Bentley was given a lifetime achievement award.

Emerging theater grants of $3,000 each went to Edge Theater Company, Red Bull Theater and Billie Holiday Theater, with emerging playwright grants of $1,000 each going to Rinne Groff and Neena Beber.

The Obies were presented Monday night at the Skirball Center in a ceremony hosted by Lili Taylor and Eric Bogosian.

And the winners are…

PERFORMANCE

S. Epatha Merkerson for her performance Birdie Blue
Ari Fliakos for his performance Poor Theater: A Series of Simulacra
Scott Shepherd for his performance Poor Theater: A Series of Simulacra
Gary Wilmes for his performance Red Light Winter
Dana Ivey for her performance Mrs. Warren’s Profession
Christine Ebersole for her performance Grey Gardens
Euan Morton for his performance Measure for Pleasure
Lois Smith for her performance The Trip to Bountiful
Edwin Lee Gibson for his performance The Seven
Sherie Rene Scott for her performance Landscape of the Body
Julie White for her performance The Little Dog Laughed
Peter Francis James for his performance Stuff Happens
Byron Jennings for his performance Stuff Happens
Marin Ireland for her performance Cyclone
Michael Cumpsty for his performance Hamlet
Reed Birney Sustained Excellence of Performance
Meg MacCary for her performance What Then

DIRECTION

Daniel Sullivan for his direction Stuff Happens
John Clancy for Sustained Excellence of Direction

PLAYWRITING

Rolin Jones Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow
Martin McDonagh The Lieutenant Of Inishmore

DESIGN

Anita Yavich Sustained Excellence of Costume Design
Allen Moyer Sustained Excellence of Set Design
NTUSA Design of Abacus Black Strikes Now

SPECIAL CITATIONS

Nikkole Salter
In the Continuum
Danai GuriraIn the Continuum
Robert O’Hara In the Continuum
Adam RappRed Light Winter
Jane Moss, Jon Nakagawa, Ricky Ian Gordon and Doug VaroneOrpheus and Euridyce
Hunter Bell, Jeff Bowen & Michael Berresse [title of show]

THE ROSS WETZSTEON MEMORIAL AWARD — $2000 Grant
Ross Wetzsteon Memorial Award

Soho Repertory Theater

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT
Eric Bentley

Emerging Theater Grants
Edge Theater Company ($3000)
Red Bull Theater ($3000)
Billie Holiday Theatre ($3000)

Emerging Playwright Grants
Rinne Groff ($1000)
Neena Beber ($1000)

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