2016 Obie Award Winners Revealed

11251846_10153278883259522_3755075312032157980_nWith Broadway celebrating its most successful season ever, Off-Broadway is also celebrating a year of hits uptown and downtown. With boundaries not as constricted and a more diverse audience, Off-Broadway is consistently home to some of the most daring, brave and often considered “unproducable” works in the New York Theatre market. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the news the 2016 Obie Award winners have been announced!

The American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice proudly announced the winners of the 61st annual Obie Award winners at Webster Hall last night. In a ceremony hosted by Orange Is The New Black star Lea DeLaria, the Off-Broadway season was celebrated but the night’s big winner was Dear Evan Hansen which continues to play its sold-out run at Second Stage Theatre in Midtown. Not only was the writing team consisting of Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul honored but so was the production’s leading man Ben Platt who also performed “Waving Through A Window” at the ceremony. The night included various performances including Leslie Odom Jr. performing “Without You” in honor of RENT’s 20th anniversary.

The winners for the 2016 Obie Awards are (Multiple Per Category):

Playwriting
Lucas Hnath  The Christians (Playwrights Horizons)
Lucas Hnath – Red Speedo (New York Theatre Workshop)
Stephen Karam – The Humans (Roundabout Theatre Company)

Musical Theater
Steven Levenson (Book)
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Music & Lyrics)
Dear Evan Hansen (Second Stage Theatre)

Direction
Rachel Chavkin – The Royale (Lincoln Center Theater)
Michael Leibenluft  I’ll Never Love Again (Bushwick Starr)

Performance
Khris Davis – The Royale (Lincoln Center Theater)
Emily Donahoe – The Christians (Playwrights Horizons)
Georgia Engel – John (Signature Theatre Company)
Ensemble – Eclipsed (The Public Theater)
(Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah, Lupita Nyong’o, Saycon Sengbloh)
Jayne Houdyshell – The Humans (Roundabout Theatre Company)
Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed – Guards at the Taj (Atlantic Theater Company)
Ben Platt – Dear Evan Hansen (Second Stage Theatre)
Lucas Caleb Rooney – Red Speedo (New York Theatre Workshop)
Tamara Tunie – Familiar (Playwrights Horizons)

Design
Rachel Hauck – Sustained Excellence of Set Design
Jason Lyons – Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design
James Ortiz – Puppet Design, The Woodsman (New World Stages)
Bray Poor – Sustained Excellence of Sound Design
Kaye Voyce – Sustained Excellence of Costume Design

Special Citations: Collaboration
Annie Baker (playwright), Sam Gold (director), and the design team of John (Signature Theatre Company): Mark Barton (lighting), Ásta Bennie Hostetter (costumes), Mimi Lien (set), Noah Mease (props), Bray Poor (sound)
Dominique Morisseau (playwright) and Ruben Santiago-Hudson (director) – Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company)

Obie Grants ($4,000 prize to each theater)
Bedlam Theatre
Noor Theatre
Prospect Theatre Company

The Ross Wetzsteon Award ($3,000 prize)
NAATCO/National Asian American Theatre Company

Best New American Play ($1,000 prize)
Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph (Atlantic Theatre Company

Lifetime Achievement Award
Carmen de Lavallade
A.R. Gurney

static.playbillLuner Lowdown: An exciting night for Off-Broadway in the midst of one its most popular and publicized seasons yet! Wins for The Humans and Eclipsed, both which began Off-Broadway earlier this season before transferring to Broadway, may provide a boost for these shows with the Off-Broadway audience. Dear Evan Hansen was without a doubt the big winner of the night but it’s win may go even further than expected. With rumors of a Broadway bow in the near future, the win at the Obie Awards will help the show gain momentum as it’s an original musical aiming for Broadway with a young creative team. A Broadway bow has not been confirmed at this time but is being heavily spoken about. The Off-Broadway run has been playing to sold-out houses and was even extended a week Off-Broadway. Thanks to Matthew Murphy for the photo above and below!

Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2016 Obie Awards! Another fantastic season for Off-Broadway is in the books and we’re looking forward to seeing what next year brings.

More Obie Awards Information: WebsiteFacebookTwitter  Instagram

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