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57th Annual 2012 Village Voice OBIE Awards

By Maria Esteves – May 23, 2012

The 57th Annual 2012 Village Voice OBIE Awards (OBIES 2012) honoring theatrical excellence and achievements in Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway commenced Monday, May 21, 8:00 pm the legendary Webster Hall ballroom, New York, Monday, May 17, 8:00 pm. The ceremony also featured three outstanding performances by Joshua Henry and Sumayya Ali from ten-time Tony Award nominated Broadway musical The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, David Patrick Kelly from eleven-time Tony Award nominated Broadway ONCE, and Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra’s NO PLACE TO GO. The OBIES 2012 gala with the fantastic jazz, swing, and blues band Blue Vipers of Brooklyn  preceded the awards ceremony.

OBIES 2012 were produced by The Village Voice chief executive officer Jim Larkin, president & chief operating officer Scott Tobias, editor in chief Tony Ortega, and publisher Josh Fromson. The official sponsors included Stella Artois, Parenteau Guidance PR, A.R.T. NY, Pisco Porton, Academy for Dramatic Arts, Manhattan Dental Spa, Ovelia Psistaria Bar, Testaccio Ristorante, Bice Ristorante, Blue Planet Grill, Fragoli, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Dallis Bros. Coffee, Atlas Direct, and Webster Hall. This year’s award presenters were Eric McCormack, Grace Gummer, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Juliet Rylance, Justin Bartha, Leslie Odom Jr., Lily Rabe, Michael McKean, Tonya Pinkins, Topher Grace, and Tracee Chimo.

The Village Voice Obie Awards founded by Jerry Tallmer in 1955, acknowledge the best of Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions. The name OBIE derives from the abbreviation for Off-Broadway (O.B.). Past recipients include Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Felicity Huffman, Viola Davis, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Alec Baldwin, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Edward Norton, and Sigourney Weaver.
The judges may vote multiple OBIES in any category where outstanding achievement deserves recognition.

The winners of the 2011-2012 OBIE Awards were judged by:

Annie Baker – Playwright, 2010 OBIE Award winner

Michael Feingold – Chairman emeritus chief theater critic, The Village Voice

Anne Kauffman –Director, 2007 OBIE Award winner

Brian Parks – Chairman, arts and culture editor, The Village Voice

Jose Rivera – Playwright, OBIE Award winner (2001, 1992)

Helen Shaw - Theater critic, Time Out New York

Alexis Soloski – Theater critic, The Village Voice

This year’s OBIES included 38 awards within 9 categories. The following are the various awards and their winners:

Performance

CHERISE BOOTHE in “Milk Like Sugar” (Playwrights Horizons, The Women’s Project)

STEVEN BOYER in “Hand to God” (Ensemble Studio Theatre/Youngblood)

JON DEVRIES, SHULER HENSLEY, MARYANN PLUNKETT, LAILA ROBINS, JAY O. SANDERS, and J. SMITH-CAMERON ensemble of “Sweet and Sad” (The Public Theater)

GABRIEL EBERT and MARY LOUISE WILSON in “4000 Miles” (Lincoln Center Theater)

SANTINO FONTANA in “Sons of the Prophet” (The Roundabout Theatre)

SUSAN POUFAR in “Tribes” (Barrow Street Theatre)

LINDA LAVIN in “The Lyons” (The Vineyard Theatre)

Sustained Excellence Performance Award

JIM FLETCHER

Directing

RICHARD MAXWELL for “Early Plays” (The Wooster Group, St. Ann's Warehouse)

JAY SCHEIB for “World of Wires” (The Kitchen)

Playwriting

KIRSTEN GREENIDGE for “Milk Like Sugar” (Playwrights Horizons, the Women's Project)

Best Design

MARK BARTON for sustained excellence of lighting design

MIMI LIEN for sustained excellence of set design

MATT TIERNEY and BEN WILLIAMS for sound design in “The Select (The Sun Also Rises)” (New York Theatre Workshop)

Special Citations

MARK BENNETT, DENIS O'HARE, LISA PETERSON, and STEPHEN SPINELLA in “An Iliad” (New York Theatre Workshop)

ERIN COURTNEY and KEN ROSS SCHMOLL in “A Map of Virtue” (13P)

ELEVATOR REPAIR SERVICE for sustained excellence

DANIEL KITSON in “It's Always Right Now, Until It's Later” (St. Ann's Warehouse)

ETHAN LIPTON & HIS ORCHESTRA in “No Place to Go” (The Public Theater/Joe's Pub)

STEVEN HOGGETT, MARTIN LOWE, and JOHN TIFFANY in “Once” (New York Theatre Workshop)

OBIE Grants

THE BUSHWICK STARR - $2,500

THE DEBATE SOCIETY - $2,500

Best New American Play

4000 MILES, playwright Amy Herzog 

Ross Wetzsteon Award

YOUNGBLOOD Ensemble Studio Theatre - $1,000

Lifetime Achievement Award

CARIDAD SVICH

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

Jonathan Pryce – 2012 OBIE Award Presenter

Jonathan Pryce born June 1, 1947 in Holywell, Wales, and living in England, is an internationally acclaimed award-winning stage and film actor. In the early 1970s, Pryce began his career as a stage actor in London. His film credits in the U.S. include Voyage of the Damned (1976), Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), Brazil (1985), Evita (1996), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), three Pirates of the Caribbean films: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Dead Man's Chest (2006), and At World's End (2007). He is recipient of numerous awards including 1977 Tony Award for Best Actor in Comedians, 1980 Laurence Olivier Award for Hamlet, 1989 Tony Award for Best Actor in Miss Saigon, and 1995 Cannes Best Actor Award in Carrington. Pryce recent theater credits include The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, Glengarry Glen Ross, Dimetos, and The Caretaker.

Michael Feingold – 2012 OBIE Judge

Michael Feingold who lives and works in New York is a graduate of Columbia University and the Yale Scholl of Drama. He is chief theater critic of The Village Voice and chairman emeritus of the Obie Awards Committee as well as playwright, lyricist, translator, director, and dramaturg. He currently serves as literary advisor to New York's Theater for a New Audience. His translations include standard versions of the Brecht-Weill works Happy End, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny and Threepenny Opera, Schiller's Mary Stuart, Eduardo de Filippo's Souls of Naples, and Goldoni’s Venetian Twins.

Alexis Soloski – 2012 OBIE Judge

Alexis Soloski who works in New York is a graduate of Yale University (magna cum laude). She is theater critic at The Village Voice. Her writings on theater, art, literature has appeared in The New York Times, Modern Painters, The Believer, Salon, and Theater Magazine, where she served as a Jerome Fellow. She is a guest on BBC 5 Up All Night. She teaches literature and writing at Barnard College.

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