Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway shows received their laurels at their response to the Tony's on Monday night at the 56th Annual Obie Awards.
The award-winners were announced at the downtown Manhattan mega-club Webster Hall. Two stars best known for their contributions to the small screen — S. Epatha Merkerson, who many may know from her two-decade stint on the TV show "Law and Order," and "Frasier" star David Hyde Pierce — hosted the ceremony. The awards presenters brought their own stardom to the stage. Among them were Alec Baldwin, Lin Manuel-Miranda (star and writer of Broadway's "In the Heights") and Nina Arianda.
A committee of six theater critics, directors and playwrights — Michael Feingold, Alexis Soloski, Hilton Als, David Henry Hwang, Evan Yionoulis, Andy Propst — were the judges.
Two of the big winners of the evening were the play "The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity," by Krisoffer Diaz, which won an award for Best New American Play, Repertorio Español and René Buch, the company's co-founder and artistic director, won a Lifetime Achievement award. Check out the rest of this year's winners below.
Winners in the Performance Category:
- Actor F. Murray Abraham won a Sustained Excellence of Performance award
- André Braugher for his role in "The Whipping Man," staged by the Manhattan Theatre Club
- Michael Chernus for his role in "In the Wake," staged by the Public Theater
- Ethan Hawke for his role in "Blood From a Stone," staged by The New Group
- Hamish Linklater for his role in "The School for Lies," staged by the Classic Stage Company
- Laurie Metcalf for her role in "The Other Place," staged by the Manhattan Class Company
- Thomas Sadoski for his role in "Other Desert Cities," staged by the Lincoln Center Theater
- Scott Shepherd for his role in "Gatz," staged by the Elevator Repair Service/Public Theater
- Brenda Wehle for her role in "The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures," staged by the Signature Theatre/Public Theater
- Charlayne Woodard for her role in "The Witch of Edmonton," staged by the Red Bull Theater
Winners in the Playwriting Category:
- Samuel D. Hunter for his play "A Bright New Boise," staged by Partial Comfort Productions
- Jonas Hassen Khemiri for his play "Invasion!" staged by The Play Company
Winners in the Direction Category:
- Austin Pendleton, who directed "Three Sisters," which was staged by the Classic Stage Company
- Roger Rees and Alex Timbers, who directed "Peter and the Starcatcher," which was staged by the New York Theatre Workshop
- Leigh Silverman, who directed "In the Wake," which was staged by the Public Theater, and for directing "Go Back to Where You Are," which was staged by Playwrights Horizons
Winners in the Design Category:
- Jill BC Du Boff won a Sustained Excellence of Sound Design award
- Donyale Werle won a Sustained Excellence of Set Design award
- "Sleep No More," staged by the Punchdrunk Theatre, won a citation for its design and choreography
- Felix Barrett, Livi Vaughan, Beatrice Minns, Maxine Doyle, Stephen Dobbie, Euan Maybank, and David Israel Reynoso won special citations
- Young Jean Lee won a special citation for "We're Gonna Die," staged by 13P/Joe's Pub
- Debbie Tucker Green and Leah C. Gardiner won citations for "Born Bad," staged by the Soho Rep.
Obie grants of $2,500 each went to the Metropolitan Playhouse and to the Wakka Wakka Theater Company. The Belarus Free Theater won a $1,000 Ross Wetzsteon Award.
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