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.



  • Heidi Landesman

    A Midsummer Night's Dream and Painting Churches


  • Gregory Mosher


  • Gary Sinise

    True West

Ensemble Performance

  • Director Kenneth Frankel and the Cast of Quartermaine's Terms

  • Director Max Stafford Clark and the Royal Court cast of Top Girls

  • The New York Shakespeare Festival cast of Top Girls


  • Ernest Abuba

    Yellow Fever

  • Christine Baranski

    A Midsummer Night's Dream

  • Glenn Close

    The Singular Life of Albert Nobbs

  • Jeff Daniels

    Johnny Got His Gun

  • Ruth Maleczech


  • John Malkovich

    True West

  • Donald Moffat

    Painting Churches

  • Ray Wise

    The Tooth of Crime


  • Caryl Churchill

    Top Girls

  • David Mamet


Distinguished Playwriting

  • Tina Howe

Most Promising Young Playwright

  • Harry Kondoleon

Special Citations

  • The Big Apple Circus

  • Ethyl Eichelberger, Lucrezia Borgia

  • Michael Moschen, Fred Garbo, Bob Berky


  • The Zagreb Theater Company

    The Liberation of Skopje

  • Dramatists Play Service

    for its commitment to new work

  • Performing Arts Journal publications

  • Theatre Development Fund

  • The musical performance of Poppie Nongena

  • The musical production of The Mother of Us All

Sustained Achievement

  • Lanford Wilson, Marshall Mason, and the Circle Repertory Company

Obie Committee

  • Eileen Blumenthal

  • Michael Feingold

  • Erika Munk

  • Julius Novick

  • Maria Irene Fornes

  • John Guare

  • Ross Wetzsteon

  • Robert Massa