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

  • Hal Holbrook

    Mark Twain Tonight!

Distinguished Performances (Actresses)

  • Rosina Fernhoff

    "Fashion," "The Geranium Hat"

  • Anne Fielding


  • Nancy Wickwire

    A Clearing in the Woods

Distinguished Performances (Actors)

  • Zero Mostel

    Ulysses in Nighttown

  • Lester Rawlins

    The Quare Fellow

  • Harold Scott


Best Revue

  • Steven Vinaver


Best Proscenium Set

  • Will Steven Armstrong


Best Open-Stage Set

  • David Hays

    The Quare Fellow

Best Musical

  • A Party with Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Best Music

  • David Amram

    Many Productions

Best Lighting

  • Nikola Cernovich

    Many Productions

Best Director (Foreign Play)

  • William Ball


Best Director (American Play)

  • Jack Ragotzy

    Arthur Laurents Cycle

Best All-Around Production

  • Daniel Hineck and Harlin Quist


Best Actress

  • Kathleen Maquire

    The Time of the Cuckoo

Best Actor

  • Alfred Ryder

    I Rise in Flame, Cried the Phoenix

Obie Committee

  • Kenneth Tynan

  • Henry Hewes

  • Jerry Tallmer

Hosts & Presenters


Kim Stanley