2009 Obie Award winners announced

The winners of the 54th Annual Obie Awards were announced on 18 May 2009 at a ceremony held at Webster Hall in Manhattan. The Obie's have been honoring the Off-Broadway community since 1956 and are considered Off-Broadway's highest honor.

The event was hosted by Martha Plimpton and Daniel Breaker, and the presenters of the awards were Sasha Allen, Gavin Creel, Brian d'Arcy James, Anne Hathaway, Marc Kudisch, Kate Mulgrew, Karen Olivo and John Shea

The judging panal was chaired by Village Voice Theatre Critic and Obie Chairperson Michael Feingold. His fellow judges included Alexis Soloski, Eric Grode, Eisa Davis, Ty Jones, Moises Kaufman and Chay Yew.

The winners of the 2009 Obie Awards are:
There are no nominations or categories for the Obies.


  • 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: Telephones (Foundry Theatre)
  • Russell Gebert Jones: Ruined (Manhattan Theater Club)
  • Aaron Monaghan: The Cripple of Inishmaan (Atlantic Theater)
  • 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, 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)

Best New American Play ($1,000 prize)

  • Ruined: by Lynn Nottage (Manhattan Theater Club)

The Ross Wetzsteon Memorial Award ($2,000 prize)

  • HERE Arts Center

Lifetime Achievement

  • Earle Hyman

OBIE Grants (Totaling $10,000 divided equally amongst the winners)

  • The Classical Theatre of Harlem ($5,000)
  • The Chocolate Factory ($5,000)
  • Lark Play Development Center ($5,000)

Originally published on

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