Subscribe now to and start applying to auditions!


Obies Totally 'Ruined'

Obies Totally 'Ruined'
Photo Source: Getty Images
Ruined, the multi-award winning play about women surviving rape and civil war in the Congo, dominated the 54th annual Village Voice Obie Awards, winning prizes for playwright Lynn Nottage for best new American play (and a check for $1,000) and for cast members Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, and Russell Gebert Jones. Ruined is playing an extended engagement at Manhattan Theatre Club and has won the Pulitzer Prize and awards from the Drama Desk, New York Drama Critics Circle, and Outer Critics Circle.

The Obies were presented May 18 at Webster Hall in Manhattan in a loose, sometimes raucous ceremony hosted by former Obie winners Martha Plimpton and Daniel Breaker. The Obies honor excellence in Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater, have no set categories or nominees, and are selected by a committee of theatre artists and Village Voice theatre critics.

Actor Earle Hyman, best known as the grandfather on The Cosby Show and a veteran of a six-decade stage career, was presented with the lifetime achievement award by Anne Hathaway. The 82-year-old Hyman was helped up the steps to the stage, and delivered a moving speech in which he paid tribute to Hathaway's performance in the film Brokeback Mountain. Other recipients included Stephen Sondheim for his score for Road Show, David Cromer for the direction of the revival of Our Town, and actors Jonathan Groff (Prayer for My Enemy and The Singing Forest), Francois Battiste (The Good Negro), and Kevin T. Carroll (sustained excellence).

A complete list of Obie winners follows:

Lifetime Achievement Award

Earle Hyman

Best New American Play (includes a cash prize of $1000)

Ruined by Lynn Nottage (Manhattan Theater Club)


Francois Battiste, The Good Negro (Public Theater)

Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Ruined (Manhattan Theater Club)

Kevin T. Carroll, sustained excellence of performance

Saidah Arrika Ekulona, Ruined (Manhattan Theater Club)

Jonathan Groff, Prayer for My Enemy (Playwrights Horizons) and The Singing Forest (Public Theater)

Birgit Huppuch, Telephone (Foundry Theatre)

Russell Gebert Jones, Ruined (Manhattan Theater Club)

Aaron Monaghan, The Cripple of Inishmann (Atlantic Theater Co.)

Sahr Ngaujah, Fela! (37 Arts)

Lorenzo Pisoni, Humor Abuse (Manhattan Theater Club)

James Sugg, Chekhov Lizardbrain (Pig Iron Theatre Company)

John Douglas Thompson, Othello (Theatre for a New Audience)

Music and Lyrics

Stephen Sondheim, Road Show (Public Theater)


David Cromer, Our Town (Barrow Street Theatre)

Katie Mitchell, The Waves (National Theatre of Great Britain / Lincoln Center Great Performances "New Visions" Series)

Ken Rus Schmoll, Telephone(Foundry Theatre)


Toni-Leslie James, sustained excellence of costume design (with special reference to Wig Out, Vineyard Theatre)

David Korins, sustained excellence of set design (with special reference to Why Torture Is Wrong and the People Who Love Them, Public Theater)

Special Citations

Sarah Benson (director) and Louisa Thompson (set designer), Blasted (Soho Rep)

David Esbjornson (director) and Christian Camargo (actor), Hamlet (Theatre for a New Audience)

The Ross Wetzsteon Award (includes a cash prize of $2000.)

HERE Arts Center

OBIE Grants ($10,000 divided equally among three theaters)

The Classical Theatre of Harlem

The Chocolate Factory

Lark Play Development Center

What did you think of this story?
Leave a Facebook Comment: