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 Musical

  • Lee Breuer and Bob Telson

    Gospel at Colonus

Best New American Play

  • Sam Shepard

    Fool For Love


  • Adrianne Lobel

    The Vampires and All Night Long

  • Bill Stabile

    Spookhouse and Damnee Hanon, Sacree Sandra

  • Douglas Stein

    Through the Leaves

Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design

  • Anne Militello


  • JoAnne Akalaitis

    Through the Leaves

  • Maria Irene Fornes

    The Danube, Sarita, Mud

  • Lawrence Sacharow

    Five of Us

  • Sam Shepard

    Fool for Love


  • F. Murray Abraham

    Uncle Vanya

  • Kathy Baker

    Fool for Love

  • Sheila Dabney


  • Morgan Freeman

    Gospel at Colonus

  • George Guidall


  • Ed Harris

    Fool for Love

  • Richard Jordan

    A Private View

  • Ruth Maleczech

    Through the Leaves

  • Stephen McHattie

    Mensch Meier

  • Frederick Neuman

    Through the Leaves

  • Will Patton

    Fool for Love

  • Dianne Wiest

    Serendaring Louie and Other Places

Sustained Excellence of Performance

  • Pamela Reed


  • Samuel Beckett

    Ohio Impromptu, What Where, Catastrophe, Pocket

  • Maria Irene Fornes

    The Danube, Sarita, Mud

  • Vaclav Havel

    A Private view

  • Len Jenkin

    Five of Us

  • Franz Xaver Kroetz

    Through the Leaves, Mensch Meier

  • Ted Tally

    Terra Nova

Special Citations

  • Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon

    For their production of Woza Albert

  • International Theatre Institute of the U.S., Inc

  • Ann and Jules Weiss

  • Richard Peaslee

    For his musical score for The Garden of Earthly Delights

Sustained Achievement

  • Music-Theatre Group/Lenox Arts Center

Obie Committee

  • Eileen Blumenthal

  • Michael Feingold

  • Erika Munk

  • Julius Novick

  • Ross Wetzsteon

  • Lanford Wilson