We are thrilled to announce that Pulitzer Prize-wining playwright Paula Vogel will receive a special Obie Award® for Lifetime Achievement at the 62nd Annual Obie Awards, which will be held on Monday, May 22, 2016 at Webster Hall.
As was previously announced, Obie and Screen Actors Guild® Award-winning actress Lea DeLaria will again return as the host of this year’s Obie Awards. The Obie Award judge’s panel for this season include Village Voice columnist and longtime Chair of the Obie Judges Michael Feingold, Obie and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, Entertainment Weekly theater critic Melissa Rose Bernardo, Obie-winning actress J. Smith Cameron, Obie-winning actor-singer Darius de Haas, Village Voice theater critic Miriam Felton-Dansky, and Obie-winning actress Daphne Rubin-Vega.
Paula Vogel made her Broadway debut this season with her newest work, Indecent. The play was commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s American Revolutions and Yale Repertory Theatre. In close collaboration with director Rebecca Taichman, Indecent was developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab in 2013. It has been produced at Yale Repertory Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse in Fall 2015. It was produced Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in May 2016 and is currently running on Broadway at the Cort Theatre. Don Juan Comes Home From Iraq, her previous play, was written for the Wilma Company in Philadelphia. With director Blanka Zizka and company members, Paula Vogel conducted interviews with veterans of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars, and received funding from the Pew Charitable Trust and Independence Foundation to conduct a year-long workshop with veterans in Philadelphia. Her play How I Learned to Drive received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lortel Prize, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and New York Drama Critics Award for Best Play, as well as winning her second Obie. Most recently it was produced in Mandarin in Beijing. Other plays include the Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot’n’throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, The Oldest Profession, and A Civil War Christmas. In 2004-5 she was playwright in residence at The Signature Theatre. Theatre Communications Group has published four books of her work.
In addition, Paula Vogel continues her “bootcamps,” playwriting intensives, with community organizations, theatre companies, subscribers and writers across the globe. Her most recent teaching was at Sewanee, Shanghai Theatre Academy and Nanjing University; her upcoming teaching includes University of Texas in Austin, the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and workshops for neighborhood residents near The Vineyard Theatre in New York. Most recent awards include the American Theatre Hall of Fame, Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lily’s, the William Inge and the 2015 Thornton Wilder. She is honored to have 3 awards dedicated to emerging playwrights in her name: The American College Theatre Festival, the Paula Vogel Award given annually by the Vineyard Theatre, and the recent Paula Vogel mentor’s award by Young Playwrights of Philadelphia. From 1984 to 2008, Paula Vogel founded and ran the playwriting program at Brown University; during that time she started a theatre workshop for women in Maximum Security at the Adults Correction Institute in Cranston, Rhode Island. It continues to this day, sponsored by the Pembroke Center for Women at Brown University. From 2008-2012 she was the O’Neill Chair at Yale School of Drama. She now writes and lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.