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

  • The Phoenix Theatre

  • The Theatre Club

  • Lucille Lortel

Distinguished Performances (Actresses)

  • Tammy Grimes


  • Grania O'Malley

    Guests of the Nation

  • Nydia Westman


Distinguished Performances (Actors)

  • Leonardo Cimino

    The Brothers Karamazov

  • Michael Higgins

    The Crucible

  • J.D. (Jack) Cannon

    Children of Darkness, New York Shakespeare Festival

  • Robert Gerriger

    Guests of the Nation, New York Shakespeare Festival

Best Revival

  • Arthur Miller, Directed by Word Baker

    The Crucible

Best Play (Adaptation)

  • Boris Tumarin and Jack Sydow

    The Brothers Karamazov

Best One-Act Play

  • Neil McKenzie

    Guests of the Nation

Best Foreign Play

  • Samuel Beckett


Best Director

  • Stuart Vaughan

    New York Shakespeare Festival

Best Comedy

  • George Panetta

    Comic Strip

Best Actress

  • Anne Meacham

    Garden District

Best Actor

  • George C. Scott

    "Richard III," "As You Like It," "Children of Darkness"

Obie Committee

  • Joseph Anthony

  • George Freedley

  • Jerry Tallmer

Hosts & Presenters


Maureen Stapleton