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

  • Richard Foreman

    "The Cure" and "Film Is Evil, Radio Is Good"

Obie Grant

  • The New Theatre of Brooklyn

  • The Irish Arts Center

  • Brooklyn Arts and Cultural Association (BACA)

Sustained Achievement

  • Charles Ludlam and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company


  • Robert Israel, sets and costumes

    The Hunger Artist

  • Paul Gallo, lights

    The Hunger Artist

  • James F. Ingalls

    Sustained Excellence of Lighting Design

  • Andrew Jackness

    Sustained Excellence of Set Design


  • Garland Wright

    On The Verge


  • Robin Bartlett

    The Early Girl

  • Rob Besserer

    The Hunger Artist

  • Philip Bosco

    Sustained Excellence of Performance

  • Morgan Freeman

    Driving Miss Daisy

  • Laura Hicks

    On the Verge

  • John Kelly

    Pass the Blutwurst, Bitte (The Egon Schiele St)

  • Gcina Mhlophe

    Born in the RSA

  • Dana Ivey

    Driving Miss Daisy

  • Clarice Taylor


  • Black-eyed Susan

    Sustained Excellence of Performance

  • Bill Raymond

    Cold Harbor

  • Anthony Holland

    The Hunger Artist

Special Citations

  • The Woza Afrika Foundation

  • The Non-Traditional Casting Project

  • The La Mama Great Jones Repertory Company for the revival of this play

    Fragments of a Greek Trilogy

  • Judith Malina

    The Living Theatre Retrospectacle

  • Dario Fo and Franca Rame

Obie Committee

  • Ross Wetzsteon, Eileen Blumenthal, Robert Massa, Gordon Rogoff, Michael Feingold, Erika Munk, Julius Novick, Billie Allen, Norris Houghton

Hosts & Presenters


Morgan Freeman


Christine Lahti