Obies

“Mary Jane” and “Is God Is” Achieve a Glorious Trifecta at the 63rd Obie Awards

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The 63rd edition of the Obie awards, hosted by John Leguizamo, just concluded at Terminal 5. Two works by female playwrights achieved a remarkable trifecta, winning awards for playwriting, directing, and performance; those were Amy Herzog’s healthcare-themed drama Mary Jane, directed by Anne Kauffman and starring Carrie Coon, and Aleshea Harris’s Is God Is, a revenge plot involving twin sisters, directed by Taibi Magar and starring Alfie Fuller and Dame-Jasmine Hughes. Jerry Springer — The Opera also garnered multiple victories, including for one of its lead performers, Will Swenson; Rajiv Joseph’s Describe the Night triumphed in the evening’s only category with an outright “best” in the name (New American Play); and the great Kathleen Chalfant accepted her Lifetime Achievement award.

The complete list of winners can be found below, along with links to related coverage. The Voice will be publishing more Obies recap stories throughout the week — in addition to red-carpet and backstage photography from the event  so check back often.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Kathleen Chalfant [Miriam Felton-Dansky’s interview]

BEST NEW AMERICAN PLAY

Rajiv Joseph
Describe the Night (Atlantic Theater Company)

PLAYWRITING

Aleshea Harris
Is God Is (Soho Rep) [Michael Feingold’s review]

Amy Herzog
Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop) [David Cote’s review]

Abe Koogler
Fulfillment Center (Manhattan Theatre Club) [Michael Feingold’s review]

Dominique Morisseau
Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theater) [Michael Feingold’s review]

DIRECTING

Jesse Berger
The Government Inspector (Red Bull Theater) [Joseph Cermatori’s review]

Anne Kauffman
Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop) [David Cote’s review]

Taibi Magar
Is God Is (Soho Rep) [Michael Feingold’s review]

PERFORMANCE

Sean Carvajal and Edi Gathegi
Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Signature Theatre Company)

Carrie Coon
Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop) [David Cote’s review]

Alfie Fuller and Dame-Jasmine Hughes
Is God Is (Soho Rep) [Michael Feingold’s review]

Denise Gough
People, Places & Things (National Theatre/Headlong/St.Ann’s Warehouse) [David Cote’s review]

Will Swenson
Jerry Springer — The Opera (The New Group) [Michael Feingold’s review]

Chukwudi Iwuji
The Low Road (Public Theater) [Michael Feingold’s review]

Robert Sean Leonard
At Home at the Zoo (Signature Theatre Company) [Laura Collins-Hughes’s review]

Jessica Hecht
Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater) [Michael Feingold’s review]

Ben Edelman
Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater) [Michael Feingold’s review]

Billy Crudup
Harry Clarke (Vineyard Theatre)

DESIGN

Lap Chi Chu
Sustained excellence of lighting design

Sarah Laux
Costume design, Jerry Springer — The Opera (The New Group) [Michael Feingold’s review]

The design team, He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box (Theatre for a New Audience):
Christopher Barreca (set design), Justin Ellington (sound design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Montana Levi Blanco (costume design), Austin Switser (video design) [Michael Feingold’s review]

SPECIAL CITATIONS

Ariane Mnouchkine and Théâtre du Soleil
A Room in India (Park Avenue Armory) [Michael Feingold’s review]

The cast and creative team of Yerma (Park Avenue Armory):
Simon Stone (director), Lizzie Clachan (set design), Alice Babidge (costume design), James Farncombe (lighting design), Stefan Gregory (sound design), Maureen Beattie, Brendan Cowell, John MacMillan, Billie Piper, Charlotte Randle, Thalissa Teixeira (cast) [Elisabeth Vincentelli’s review]

David Greenspan, Jack Cummings III, and Transport Group
Strange Interlude (Transport Group)

THE ROSS WETZSTEON AWARD

Ma-Yi Theater Company

OBIE GRANTS

Pan-Asian Repertory Theatre

York Theatre Company for its “Musicals in Mufti” series

JUDGES

Michael Feingold, chairman; Melissa Rose Bernardo, Wendall K. Harrington, Charles Isherwood, Toni-Leslie James, Sondra Lee, Arian Moayed, Ching Valdes-Aran

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