After a review of 400 productions from three seasons, the 2020-2022 Obie Award winners have been announced. The awards, presented by the American Theatre Wing, honor Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway artistry.
Winners will be celebrated at the 66th Obie Awards, scheduled for February 27 at Terminal 5. Lucille Lortel Award-winning actor Crystal Lucas-Perry will host the ceremony.
Sanaz Toossi's English, presented by Atlantic Theater Company and Roundabout Theatre Company, received the award for Best New American Play, while Martyna Majok received the Playwrighting Award for the New York Theater Workshop production of Sanctuary City.
Several artists associated with the Public Theater production of Fat Ham, soon to open at Broadway's American Airlines Theatre, were also honored, with director Saheem Ali receiving the Sustained Achievement in Directing Award and Billy Eugene Jones receiving the Sustained Achievement in Performance Award. Ali is celebrated for his work on Fat Ham as well as his direction of Nollywood Dreams, Merry Wives, and Romeo y Julieta. Jones is recognized for his performance in Fat Ham and On Sugarland.
The creative team and ensemble of Fat Ham also received a Special Citation. Those honored include playwright James Ijames, director Ali, set designer Maruti Evans costume designer Dominique Fawn Hill, lighting designer Stacey Derosier, sound designer Mikaal Sulaiman, choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie, hair and wig designer Earon Chew Nealey, illusions designer Skylar Fox, and ensemble members Nikki Crawford, Chris Herbie Holland, Jones, Adrianna Mitchell, Calvin Leon Smith, Marcel Spears, and Benja Kay Thomas.
Composer Shaina Taub and director Laurie Woolery received a Special Citation for their collaboration on the Public's adaptation of As You Like It, and Kara Young received a Performance Award for Twelfth Night at the Classical Theatre Harlem.
“We are beyond thrilled to announce the 37 awards selected by the Obie judges to be celebrated at the 66th Obie Awards on Monday evening. For this Obies, the judges reviewed over 400 productions over the last three seasons including digital and audio works made during the pandemic. We look forward to finally gathering in person to celebrate the artistic excellence and resilience of the amazing artists and theatre companies that make up the Off- and Off-Off- Broadway community,” says Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens.
Sustained and Lifetime Achievement winners will accept their awards during the ceremony. All other winner remarks will premiere on the American Theatre Wing’s YouTube channel.
View the full list of winners below:
Best New American Play
Sanaz Toossi, English (Atlantic Theater Company and Roundabout Theatre Company)
Martyna Majok, Sanctuary City (New York Theater Workshop - NYTW)
Taylor Reynolds, Man Cave (Page 73) and Tambo & Bones (Playwrights Horizons)
Awoye Timpo, Wedding Band (TFNA) and her work as founder of Classix
Matt Ray (Music Direction and Composition) The Hang (HERE)
Sustained Achievement In Directing
Saheem Ali, Nollywood Dreams (MCC); Merry Wives (The Public); Romeo y Julieta (The Public);
and Fat Ham (The Public | National Black Theater - NBT)
David Brimmer, Wolf Play (SoHo Repertory)
Stephanie Berry and Lizan Mitchell, On Sugarland (NYTW)
Brittany Bradford, Wedding Band (Theatre For a New Audience)
Kara Young, Twelfth Night (Classical Theatre of Harlem)
Arturo Luís Soria, Ni Mi Madre (Rattlestick)
Sustained Achievement In Performance
Billy Eugene Jones for On Sugarland (NYTW) and Fat Ham (The Public)
Andrea Patterson, for Cullud Wattah (Public Theater); Confederates (Signature); and Seize the King (The Classical Theatre of Harlem)
Reza Behjat (Lighting Design), for English (Atlantic Theater Company) and Wish You Were Here (Playwrights Horizons)
Sustained Achievement in Design
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design) for Cullud Wattah (The Public), Oratorio for Living Things (Ars Nova), The Nosebleed (Lincoln Center Theater), Golden Shield (MTC), Snow in Midsummer (CSC), Fairycakes (Greenwich House), and What You Are Now (EST)
Nikiya Mathis (Hair and Wig Design) for Nollywood Dreams (MTC)
Machine Dazzle (Set and Costume Designer)
Heather Christian (Composer, Vocal Arrangements, Orchestration); Ben Moss (Music Director, Orchestration); Nick Kourtides (Sound Design); and the musical team of Oratorio For Living Things (Ars Nova)
Creative Team and Ensemble of Fat Ham (The Public) James Ijames (Playwright), Saheem Ali (Director); Maruti Evans (Set Design); Dominique Fawn Hill (Costume Design); Stacey Derosier (Lighting Designer); Mikaal Sulaiman (Sound Design); Darrell Grand Moultrie (Choreographer); Earon Chew Nealey (Hair and Wig Design); Skylar Fox (Illusions Design); Nikki Crawford, Chris Herbie Holland, Billy Eugene Jones, Adrianna Mitchell, Calvin Leon Smith, Marcel Spears, and Benja Kay Thomas (ensemble)
Creative Team and Ensemble of English (The Atlantic Theater) Knud Adams (Directing), Marsha Ginsberg (Set Design), Enver Chakartash (Costume Design), Reza Behjat (Lighting Design), Sinan Refik Zafar (Sound Design) Tala Ashe, Ava Lalezarzadeh, Pooya Mohseni, Marjan Neshat, and Hadi Tabbal (Ensemble)
Aya Ogawa for the Creation, Writing, and Direction of The Nosebleed (Lincoln Center Theater | Japan Society)
Qween Jean (Costume Designer) for Corsicana (Playwrights Horizons), Soft (MCC), Wedding Band (TFNA), Black No More (The New Group), The Fever (Audible | The New Group), What To Send Up When it Goes Down (Playwrights Horizons), and Semblance (NYTW)
Digital+Virtual+Hybrid Production: Michael Breslin, Patrick Foley, Ariel Sibert, Cat Rodríguez and Rory Pelsue (Creators, Writers, Director) in collaboration with David Bengali (Video Designer) Circle Jerk (Fake Friends and Jeremy O. Harris)
Laurie Woolery (Director) and Shaina Taub (Music and Lyrics) for their collaboration in the adaptation of As You Like It (The Public)
Alex Edelman (Creator and Performer), Just For Us (Mike Birbiglia | Greenwich House Theater)
Digital+Virtual+Hybrid Production: Modesto Flako Jimenez (Creator and Writer) Taxilandia (Oye Group | NYTW | Bushwick Starr | The Tank)
Digital+Virtual+Hybrid Production: Sarah Gancher (Writer), Jared Mezzocchi and Elizabeth Williamson (Directors) Russian Troll Farm (The Civilians, Theater Works Hartford, and TheatreSquared)
Richard Nelson (Playwright), for the completion and producing of The Rhinebeck Panorama
Ping Chong (Director, Choreographer, Video + Installation Artist, and Founder of Ping Chong and Company)
Anne Bogart (Director and co-Founder of SITI Company)
Ralph Lee and Casey Compton (Artistic and Managing Director, Mettawee River Theatre Company)
The Sol Project
Theatre in Quarantine
See Lighting Foundation
Anticapitalism for Artists
Ross Wetzsteon Award
The Classical Theatre of Harlem
Michael Feingold Award
The 2023 awards are co-chaired by Obie-winning director and producing artistic leader David Mendizábal and theatre critic Melissa Rose Bernardo. The judges’ panel includes actor and fight choreographer Dave Anzuelo, scenic designer Wilson Chin, Obie-winning playwright Haruna Lee, Obie-winning director and playwright Lisa Peterson, and Obie-winning actor Heather Alicia Simms.
For tickets and other information, visit ObieAwards.com.