1950s Featured Image

The Obie Awards were created in 1955 at the suggestion of then editor Jerry Tallmer. The award served to encourage the newly burgeoning Off Broadway theater movement and to acknowledge its achievements. The Threepenny Opera, Uncle Vanya, George C. Scott, and Hal Holbrook were among the winners of the first Obies decade.


Special Citations

  • Paul Shyre

    for bringing O'Casey to Off-Broadway; for his adaptations of "I Knock at the Door," "Pictures in the Hallway," and "USA"

Distinguished Performances (Actresses)

  • Marguerite Lenery

    House of Breath

  • Betty Miller


  • Jutta Wolf


Distinguished Performances (Actors)

  • Thayer David

    "Saint Joan," "Oscar Wilde"

  • Michael Kane


  • Arthur Malet

    "Volpone," "The Misanthrope," "The Apollo of Bellac"

Best New Play

  • Louis A. Lippa

    A House Remembered

Best Director

  • Gene Frankel


Best All-Around Production

  • Daniel S. Brown and Burry Fredrick


Best Actress

  • Colleen Dewhurst

    "The Taming of the Shrew," "The Eagle Has Two Heads," "Camille"

Best Actor

  • William Smithers

    The Sea Gull

Hosts & Presenters


Geraldine Page