2018 Obies Winners and Performances

The American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice are thrilled to announce the winners of the 63rd Annual Obie Awards®. Emmy and Obie-winning actor John Leguizamo hosted this year’s ceremony, which was held at Terminal 5 (610 West 56th Street). A complete list of the awards is listed below.


Best New American Play ($1,000 prize)

Rajiv Joseph, Describe the Night (Atlantic Theater Company)


Aleshea Harris, Is God Is (Soho Rep)

Amy Herzog, Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop)

Abe Koogler, Fulfillment Center (Manhattan Theatre Club)

Dominique Morisseau, Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theater)


Jesse Berger, The Government Inspector (Red Bull Theater)

Anne Kauffman, Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop)

Taibi Magar, Is God Is (Soho Rep)


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

Carrie Coon, Mary Jane (New York Theatre Workshop)

Alfie Fuller & Dame-Jasmine Hughes, Is God Is (Soho Rep)

Denise Gough, People, Places & Things (National Theatre/Headlong/St. Ann’s Warehouse)

Will Swenson, Jerry Springer – The Opera (The New Group)

Chukwudi Iwuji, The Low Road (The Public Theater)

Robert Sean Leonard, At Home at the Zoo (Signature Theatre Company)

Jessica Hecht, Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater)

Ben Edelman, Admissions (Lincoln Center Theater)

Billy Crudup, Harry Clarke (Vineyard Theatre/Audible)


Lap Chi Chu, Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design

Sarah Laux, Costume Design, Jerry Springer – The Opera (The New Group)

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)

Special Citations

Ariane Mnouchkine & Theatre du Soleil, A Room in India (Park Avenue Armory)

The Cast and Creative Team, 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)

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

The Ross Wetzsteon Award ($3,000 prize)

Ma-Yi Theater Company

Obie Grants ($6,000 prize each)

Pan-Asian Repertory Theatre

York Theatre Company, for its Musicals in Mufti Series

Lifetime Achievement Award

Kathleen Chalfant

This year’s presenters included New York City nightlife celeb Pixie Aventura, The Village Voice President and CEO Peter Barbey, Tony Award winner David Binder, two-time Tony Award and Obie Award winner Matthew Broderick, Lilli Cooper, Chair of the Obie Judges Michael Feingold, Academy Award® and two-time Tony Award® nominee Andrew Garfield, Gideon Glick, American Theatre Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens, Tony Award and three-time Obie Award winner David Henry Hwang, six-time Tony Award winner Natasha Katz, Emmy Award nominee Lucy Liu, six-time Tony Award winner William Ivey Long, Tony Award nominee Beth Malone, Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Arian Moayed, Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner David Morse, Tony Award nominee and Obie Award winner Itamar Moses, Tony Award nominee Oliver Platt, Tony Award nominee Emilio Sosa, Tony Award and Obie Award winner Rebecca Taichman, and Tony Award winner David Zinn.

The evening’s festivities, which were live-streamed on the official Obie Awards Twitter account www.twitter.com/ObieAwards, also included an opening number featuring Obies host John Leguizamo. In addition, special performances were given by Stephen Trask who performed “Wig in a Box” honoring the 20th Anniversary of Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Laura Benanti who led an off-Broadway musical trivia segment; and Laura Osnes who performed “What Matters Most” as part of the In Memoriam. The Obie Awards Band was led by P. Jason Yarcho, and featured the vocals of Brie Cassil, Lisa Ramey, and Yvette Rovira.

The Obie Award judges panel for this season were chaired by longtime Village Voice critic Michael Feingold, and included Entertainment Weekly theater critic Melissa Rose Bernardo, Obie-winning projection designer Wendall K. Harrington, Broadway News theater critic Charles Isherwood, Tony Award-nominated and Obie-winning costume designer Toni-Leslie James, dancer-actress-director Sondra Lee, Tony Award-nominated and Obie-winning actor Arian Moayed, and Obie-winning actress Ching Valdes-Aran.

The production team for the 2018 Obie Awards included J. Jason Daunter (Artistic Supervisor), Eric Cornell (Line Producer), P. Jason Yarcho (Musical Supervisor), Natasha Katz (Lighting Designer), Kai Harada (Sound Designer), Antje Ellermann (Scenic Designer), and Adam J. Thompson (Video Designer).

Sponsors of the 2018 Obie Awards were Nickelodeon, PRG, Athletics, Serino Coyne, and Festival Napa Valley.