1980s Featured Image

The 1980s saw the beginnings of new playwrights like Christopher Durang, Harvey Fierstein, and David Henry Hwang, all receiving Obie Awards.

Meryl Streep and Morgan Freeman joined the Obies family winnings Obies in performance.



  • Ruth Maleczech and Julie Archer

    Vanishing Pictures

  • Sally Jacobs

    Conference of the Birds

  • Laura Crow

    Mary Stuart

Distinguished Lighting Design

  • Beverly Emmons


  • Edward Cornell

    Johnny on a Spot

  • Elizabeth LeCompte

    Point Judith

  • A.J. Antoon

    The Art of Dining


  • Michael Burrell


  • Michael Cristofer


  • Lindsay Crouse


  • Elizabeth Franz

    Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You

  • Morgan Freeman

    Mother Courage and Coriolanus

  • John Heard

    Othello and Split

  • Michael Higgins


  • Madeleine le Roux

    La Justice

  • Jon Polito

    Performances with Dodger Theatre Company and the BAM Theater Company

  • Bill Raymond

    A Prelude to Death in Venice

  • Dianne Wiest

    The Art of Dining

  • Hattie Winston

    Mother Courage and The Michigan


  • Lee Breuer

    A Prelude to Death in Venice

  • Christopher Durang

    Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You

  • Romulus Linney


  • Roland Muldoon

    Full Confessions of a Socialist

  • Jeff Weiss

    That's How the Rent Gets Paid (Part Three)

Special Citations

  • The Flying Karamazov Brothers

  • The Actors of Le Centre International de Creations Theatrales

    Outstanding Ensemble Performance

  • Ellen Stewart and La Mama E.T.C.

    For Contribution to the American theatre by the importation of Foreign Companies

  • David Jones and Richard Nelson

    For innovative programming at the BAM Theatre Company

  • Ntozake Shange

    For her Adaptation of Mother Courage

Sustained Achievement

  • Sam Shepard

Obie Committee

  • Eileen Blumenthal

  • Erika Munk

  • Harold Clurman

  • Julius Novick

  • Terry Curtis Fox

  • Michael Feingold

  • Ross Wetzsteon