“Hamilton,” the Off Broadway trophy magnet that will make the move to Broadway this summer, racked up one more award at the 60th annual Obie Awards, earning the honor for best new american theater work.
Stephen McKinley Henderson, the star of this year’s Pulitzer-winning play “Between Riverside and Crazy,” took home one of the six performance awards handed out that evening. James Houghton, the founding artistic director of Off Broadway’s Signature Theater, was the previously announced winner of the sustained achievement award, earning the honor just before he steps down from the post after a tenure of 25 years.
Obie grants of $2,500 each went to Horse Trade Theater Group/The Fire This Time Festival and the arts center JACK. Ars Nova, the Off Broadway producing organization behind successes including “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812,” snagged a $1,000 check, as did the creators of “Hamilton.”
Current Tony nominee Ayad Akhtar (“Disgraced”) snagged a playwriting award for the Off Broadway run of his latest play “The Invisible Hand,” while nominated designers Ben Stanton (“Fun Home”) and Japhy Weideman (“Airline Highway,” “The Visit”) each got an award for sustained excellence in lighting design.
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Lea DeLaria (“Orange is the New Black”) hosted the 2015 ceremony, which marked the first year that the Off Broadway-centric Obies, originated by the Village Voice, were co-presented by the American Theater Wing, the New York nonprofit that also co-presents the Tony Awards.
Presenters at the May 18 event at downtown’s Webster Hall included Sting, Jessie Eisenberg, Stockard Channing, Billy Crudup, Tony Kushner and current Tony nominees Lisa Kron (“Fun Home”) and William Ivey Long (“On the 20th Century).
The full list of 2015 Obie Awards winners follows:
Usman Ally, The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop)
Firdous Bamji, Indian Ink (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Brooke Bloom, You Got Older (Page 73 & HERE Arts Center)
Stephen McKinley Henderson, Between Riverside and Crazy (Atlantic Theater Company & Second Stage Theatre)
April Matthis, Sustained Excellence of Performance
John Douglas Thompson, Tamburlaine (Theatre for a New Audience) & The Iceman Cometh (BAM)
Ayad Akhtar, The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop)
Clare Barron, You Got Older (Page 73 & HERE Arts Center)
Suzan-Lori Parks, Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts I, II, & III (The Public Theater)
Trip Cullman, Punk Rock (MCC Theater)
Anne Kauffman, Sustained Excellence of Direction
Darko Tresnjak, The Killer (Theatre for a New Audience)
Abigail DeVille, Prophetika: An Oratorio (La MaMa)
Christine Jones, Sustained Excellence of Set Design
Ben Stanton, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design
Japhy Weideman, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design
Kate Benson (writer) and Lee Sunday Evans (director), A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes (New Georges)
Bootycandy, writer/director Robert O’Hara, actors Philip James Brannon, Jessica Frances Dukes, Jesse
Pennington, Benja Kay Thomas, Lance Coadie Williams (Playwrights Horizons)
Catch (performance series), Andrew Dinwiddie, Caleb Hammons, Jeff Larson
Bridget Everett, Rock Bottom (Public Theater)
Bush Moukarzel and Dead Centre, Lippy (Abrons Arts Center)
Andrew Schneider, Youarenowhere (PS 122 / COIL Festival)
OBIE Grants ($2,500 to each theater)
Horse Trade Theater Group / The Fire This Time Festival
JACK (Arts Center)
The Ross Wetzsteon Award (includes $1,000 check)
Best New American Theatre Work (includes $1,000 check)
Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, direction by Thomas Kail, arrangements/orchestrations/music direction by Alex Lacamoire (The Public Theater)
Sustained Achievement Award