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2008 Obie Awards Winners Announced

May 20
9:27 AM 2008

The 53rd annual Village Voice Obie Awards were presented last night at a ceremony at Webster Hall, an East Village landmark in Manhattan.

The ceremony was co-hosted by Elizabeth Marvel & Bill Camp. The awards were presented by Jonathan Groff, Priscilla Lopez, S. Epatha Merkerson, Marisa Tomei, Julie White and Bradley Whitford. The cast of the hit rock musical PASSING STRANGE performed two songs as seen in the stage show that were banned from a pre-Tony Awards promotional telecast, "We Just Had Sex" and "Welcome To Amsterdam."

The Village Voice OBIEs were chaired by the Voice's chief theater critic Michael Feingold. His fellow judges included Voice critic Alexis Soloski; Variety critic Mark Blankenship; Bloomberg News editor and critic Jeremy Gerard; playwright-director Robert O'Hara (2007 OBIE winner); set designer Neil Patel (twice an OBIE winner for sustained excellence); and New York Sun/Time Out New York critic Helen Shaw.

For the first time in the history of the Obies, the ceremony was webcast on www.villagevoice.com/obies by iClips www.iClips.net

Playwriting:Horton Foote Dividing The Estate
David Henry Hwang Yellow Face

Direction:Krzysztof Warlikowski Krum
David Cromer Adding Machine

Performance:LisaGay Hamilton The Ohio State Murders
Kate Mulgrew Iphigenia 2.0
Francis Jue Yellow Face
Rebecca Wisocky Amazons and Their Men
Joel Hatch Adding Machine
Heidi Schreck Drum Of The Waves Of Horikawa
Veanne Cox Sustained Excellence of Performance
Sean McNall Sustained Excellence of Performance

Ensemble

Passing Strange:
(De'Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Stew)

Design:
Takeshi Kata, Set - Keith Parham, Lighting Design
Adding Machine Peter Ksander, Scenic Design
Untitled Mars (This Title May Change) Ben Katchor, Drawings; John Findlay & Jeff Sugg, Set & Projection
Russell H. Champa, Lighting Design The Slug Bearers Of Kayrol Island

Jane Greenwood Sustained Excellence of Costume Design
David Zinn Sustained Excellence of Costume and Set Design

Special Citations:
Nature Theater of Oklahoma No Dice
David Greenspan The Argument

Best New Theater Piece: $1,000
Stew, Heidi Rodewald, Annie Dorsen
Passing Strange

The Ross Wetzsteon Award $2,000
Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project

Lifetime Achievement Award
Adrienne Kennedy

Obie Grants:
Keen Company $5,000
Theater of a Two-Headed Calf $5,000

The Village Voice Obie Awards are hosted and presented annually by The Village Voice. The producer of the event was Eileen Phelan, who has held this position consecutively since 1994.

The Obies are the freewheeling wild child of New York theater's awards world, established in 1955 by then Village Voice theater editor Jerry Tallmer. The winners are chosen by a committee of critics and working theater artists, currently chaired by the Voice's chief theater critic, Michael Feingold. Outside of annual awards for Lifetime Achievement and for Best New American Play, the Obies have no fixed categories and no listed nominations. Artists receive Obies on their own merit and not in competition with others. The Obie awards cover an astounding artistic range. Past recipients have included everyone from now-established superstars like Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, and Denzel Washington to incredibly talented people best known inside the special world of New York's Off-Broadway theater.

Since the mid-1980s, The Village Voice has provided prize and grant money, which the judges award each year to deserving theater groups and individuals. These prizes and grants have enabled the winning recipients to continue producing groundbreaking theater. This year $10,000 in grant money was awarded as well as $1,000 for a Best New American Play and $2,000 to the recipient of the Ross Wetzsteon Award, which honors an institution that fosters the development of new theatrical voices.

This year's Obie Awards were made possible by our generous sponsors Stella Artois, Crunch, Macy's, iClips Network LLC, Chinatown Brasserie, Sea Grape Wine Shop, Svedka Vodka, Frogoli and Hint Water.

ABOUT THE VILLAGE VOICE:

Founded by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, and Norman Mailer in October 1955, The Village Voice introduced free-form, high-spirited and passionate journalism into the public discourse. As the nation's first and largest alternative newsweekly, the Voice maintains the same tradition of no-holds-barred reporting and criticism it first embraced when it began publishing over fifty years ago. The recipient of three Pulitzer prizes, the National Press Foundation Award, and the George Polk Award, among others, the Voice has earned a reputation for its groundbreaking investigations of New York City politics, and as the premier expert on New York's art and cultural scene.

The Village Voice is also the creator of such celebrated events as the Obie Awards, Siren Music Festival, Choice Eats, as well as the most anticipated issues and guides of the year, including the annual Pazz and Jop music poll, Best of NYC, and its Spring, Summer, and Fall Preview guides. The Voice is the most influential alternative newspaper in the country, and also appears online at www.villagevoice.com, a site that averages 2 million unique visitors per month.

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