The American Theatre Wing and The Village Voice Announce the 2020 Obie Award Winners

Tonight, in celebration of Off- and Off-Off Broadway theater, the American Theatre Wing (Heather Hitchens, President & CEO) and The Village Voice (Peter Barbey, CEO) proudly honored the recipients of the 65th Annual Obie Awards.

“There has never been a more important time to gather – even if we can’t be in the same room – to honor the work of the boldest and bravest among us,” said Heather Hitchens during the show. “It’s our collective responsibility to ensure this moment lives up to its promise – by making space for and upholding the voices of artists who will challenge the status quo, move our culture forward, and evolve the landscape of American theatre.”

Hosted by comedian, actor and writer Cole Escola, the prerecorded ceremony premiered on and featured performances from Obie Award winners Michael R. Jackson, Saycon Sengbloh, Sahr Ngaujah and LaChanze, who was joined by her daughter, Jagged Little Pill’s Celia Rose Gooding. Additionally, in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of its Obie Award wins, members of the York Theatre Company revival of Merrily We Roll Along were joined by members of the original Broadway and 2019 Fiasco Theater revival casts for a special performance of “Our Time.” Songwriter and performer Shaina Taub (The Devil Wears Prada, Suffragist) performed during the In Memoriam.

Guest presenters included Clint Ramos, Craig Lucas, Cynthia Erivo, Dominique Morisseau, Eisa Davis, Emilio Sosa, Heather Hitchens, Heidi Schreck, Katrina Lenk, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Liesl Tommy, Malcolm Gets, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Hauck, Sahr Ngaujah, Sam Pinkleton and Saycon Sengbloh. During the show, the American Theatre Wing and the Village Voice also honored Michael Feingold, longtime Village Voice theatre critic and former Obie Chairman, with a special citation for his work as a leading voice in theater criticism, his advocacy on behalf of Off- and Off-Off-Broadway, and his 43 years of dedication to the Obie Awards, including twelve as the Chairman. In addition, the Obies will establish a Special Citation to be given annually in Mr. Feingold’s name – the MICHAEL FEINGOLD AWARD. This award will recognize achievement in criticism, dramaturgy, translation, scholarship, mentorship or education, or for a theatrical contribution which has not been historically acknowledged by major awards.

The full ceremony is available on the American Theatre Wing’s official YouTube channel.

Please see below for a complete list of the 2020 Obie Award Winners:


Tim Sanford

Vinie Burrows


Will Arbery, Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizons)

Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizon, Page 73)

Haruna Lee, for the Conception and Writing of Suicide Forest (Ma-Yi Theater Company, Bushwick Starr)


JoAnne Akalaitis, MUD/Drowning (Mabou Mines, Weathervane Productions, The Days and Nights Festival)

Kenny Leon, Much Ado About Nothing (The Public Theater)

Whitney White, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (WP Theater, Second Stage, by special arrangement with Benjamin Simpson and Joseph Longthorne)

Les Waters, Sustained Excellence in Direction


Camille A. Brown, Sustained Excellence in Choreography


Liza Colón-Zayas and Elizabeth Rodriguez, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven (Atlantic Theater, LAByrinth Theater Company)

Emily Davis, Is This A Room (Vineyard Theatre)

Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements (Lincoln Center Theater)

April Matthis, Toni Stone (Roundabout Theatre)

Joe Ngo, Cambodian Rock Band (Signature Theatre)

Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H. (Vineyard Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group)


Yu-Hsuan Chen, Set Design, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (WP Theater, Second Stage, by special arrangement with Benjamin Simpson and Joseph Longthorne)

Mikhail Fiksel, Sound Design, Dana H. (Vineyard Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Center Theatre Group) and Cambodian Rock Band (Signature Theatre)

Andrea Hood, Costume Design with Public Works (The Public Theater)

Arnulfo Maldonado, Sustained Excellence in Set Design

Jen Schriever, Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design


Creative Team and Ensemble of Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Playwrights Horizons)

Jeb Kreager, Julia McDermott, Michele Pawk, Zoë Winters, John Zdrojeski (Ensemble), Laura Jellinek (Set Design), Sarafina Bush (Costume Design), Isabella Byrd (Lighting Design), Justin Ellington (Sound Design), Danya Taymor (Director)

Creative Team and Ensemble of A Strange Loop (Playwrights Horizons, Page 73)

Antwayn Hopper, James Jackson, Jr., L Morgan Lee, John-Michael Lyles, John-Andrew Morrison, Larry Owens, Jason Veasey, Elijah Caldwell (Ensemble), Stephen Brackett (Director), Raja Feather Kelly (Choreographer), Arnulfo Maldonado (Scenic Design), Montana Levi Blanco (Costume Design), Jen Schriever (Lighting Design), Alex Hawthorn (Sound Design), Cookie Jordan (Hair, Wig, and Makeup Design), Charlie Rosen (Orchestrations), Rona Siddiqui (Music Director), Michael R. Jackson (Vocal Arrangements)

David Cale, for the Writing and Performance of We’re Only Alive For A Short Amount of Time (The Public Theater)

Dave Malloy, Or Matias, and Hidenori Nakajo for their collaboration on the Music and Sound of Octet (Signature Theatre)

David Neumann and Marcella Murray, for the Creation and Performance of Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed (Advanced Beginner Group, Abrons Arts Center, Chocolate Factory Theater, Mabou Mines)

Tina Satter, for the Conception and Direction of Is This A Room (Vineyard Theatre)

Alexandria Wailes, for Sustained Excellence as an Artist and Advocate

AAPAC (Asian American Performers Action Coalition) for advocacy in the field of equity, diversity, and inclusion

Michael Feingold, for his Extraordinary Service to the Theater


National Black Theatre, for Sustained Excellence in Production and continued Advocacy on behalf of Black Artists

Page 73, for Providing Extraordinary Support for Early Career Playwrights

The Tank, for Providing Extraordinary Support for Emerging Artists