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.


Best New American Play

  • Metamorphosis in Miniature

  • Mr. Dead and Mrs. Free

Best Theater Piece

  • Tadeusz Kantor

    Wielopole, Wielopole

Sustained Excellence in Set Design

  • Jim Clayburgh

Sustained Excellence in Lighting Design

  • Arden Fingerhut


  • Tommy Tune

    Cloud 9

Distinguished Ensemble Performance

  • Lisa Banes, Brenda Currin, Elizabeth McGovern and Beverly May

    May My Sister in This House

  • Adolph Caesar, Larry Riley, and Denzel Washington

    A Soldier's Play


  • Kevin Bacon

    Forty Deuce and Poor Little Lambs

  • James Barbosa

    Soon Jack November

  • Ray Dooley

    Peer Gynt

  • Christine Estabrook


  • Michael Gross

    No End of Blame

  • E. Katherine Kerr

    Cloud 9

  • Kenneth McMillan

    Weekends Like Other People

  • Kevin O'Connor

    Chucky's Hunch, Birdbath, and Crossing the Crab Nebula

  • Carole Shelley

    Twelve Dreams

  • Josef Sommer

    Lydie Breeze

  • Irene Worth

    The Chalk Garden


  • Robert Auletta

    Stops and Virgins

  • Caryl Churchill

    Cloud 9

Special Citations

  • La Mama

    20th Anniversary Celebration

  • Harvey Fierstein

    Torch Song Trilogy

  • Theatre Communications Group

Sustained Achievement

  • Maria Irene Fornes

Obie Committee

  • Eileen Blumenthal

  • Michael Feingold

  • Erika Munk

  • Julius Novick

  • Richard Gilman

  • Gus Edwards

  • Ross Wetzsteon

  • Robert Massa

Hosts & Presenters


Swoosie Kurtz


Tommy Tune