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Obie Awards

Dark Disabled Stories and Downstate Among 67th Obie Winners

By: David Sheward

January 31, 2024: Dark Disabled Stories, Downstate, and The Comeuppance were among the winners of the 67th annual Obie Awards, presented by the American Theater Wing on Jan. 27 for excellence in Off and Off-Off-Broadway theater. The official 67th Obie Awards season includes shows that opened between September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023. 

Francis Guinan and K. Todd Freeman in “Downstate”.

Dark Disabled Stories and Downstate Among 67th Obie Winners

By: David Sheward

January 31, 2024: Dark Disabled Stories, Downstate, and The Comeuppance were among the winners of the 67th annual Obie Awards, presented by the American Theater Wing on Jan. 27 for excellence in Off and Off-Off-Broadway theater. The official 67th Obie Awards season includes shows that opened between September 1, 2022 through August 31, 2023. 

This year instead of a live ceremony, the Obies were presented on NY-1’s On Stage program. In lieu of the annual awards ceremony, the American Theatre Wing dedicated funds to the support and growth of the artists, by bestowing winners with grants ranging from $1,000-5,000.

Obie judge/Costume designer Dede Ayite.

The Obie Judges Committee includes: Obie-and Drama Desk winning and Tony Award-nominated costume designer Dede Ayite; acclaimed scenic designer Wilson Chin; writer and Grammy Award winner Ty Defoe; Broadway’s first Black intimacy coordinator & Obie Award winner Ann C. James; Obie Award-winning playwright Haruna Lee; actor, writer and performance artist Florencia Lozano; and Obie Award-winning performance artist Carmelita Tropicana; and is co-chaired by Obie-winning director David Mendizábal and veteran theater critic Melissa Rose Bernardo.  The judges thoroughly evaluated over 300 productions, engaged in thoughtful discussions, and, through their votes, selected the recipients.

“We are truly excited about this next iteration of the Obies because it genuinely reflects the ethos of the Awards as well as the Off & Off Off Broadway movements – which is to continuously evolve and meet the moment,” says Heather Hitchens, president and CEO of the American Theater Wing. “The grants and our relationship with Spectrum News NY1 will provide meaningful support, and more effective, nationwide promotion for these incredible artists, innovators, and theater companies.”

The winners of The 67th Obie Awards are:

BEST NEW AMERICAN PLAY

Ryan J. Haddad, Dark Disabled Stories (The Bushwick Starr | The Public Theater)

PLAYWRITING

Hansol Jung, Wolf Play (MCC Theater | Soho Rep | Ma-Yi Theater Company)

Bruce Norris, Downstate (Playwrights Horizons | Steppenwolf Theatre Company |National Theatre)

DIRECTION

Dustin Wills, Montag (Soho Rep), Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater), and Wolf Play (MCC Theater | Soho Rep | Ma-Yi Theater Company)

Shayok Misha Chowdhury, Public Obscenities (Soho Rep | National Asian American Theatre Company), Faye Driscoll, Weathering (New York Live Arts)

SUSTAINED ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

Eric Ting, The Far Country (Atlantic Theater Company) and The Comeuppance (Signature Theatre Company)

Pam MacKinnon, Downstate (Playwrights Horizons | Steppenwolf Theatre Company| National Theatre)

PERFORMANCE

William Jackson Harper, Primary Trust (Roundabout Theatre Company)

Marla Mindelle, Titanique (Eva Price)

Zuleyma Guevara, Sancocho (The Sol Project | Latinx Playwrights Circle | WP Theater)

Maryann Plunkett, Deep Blue Sound (Clubbed Thumb)

SUSTAINED ACHIEVEMENT IN PERFORMANCE

Shannon Tyo, The Comeuppance (Signature Theatre Company), The Far Country (Atlantic Theater Company), and Regretfully, So The Birds Are (Playwrights Horizons | WP Theater)

John Douglas Thompson, Endgame (Irish Repertory Theatre) and Hamlet (The Public Theater)

K. Todd Freeman, Downstate (Playwrights Horizons)

DESIGN

Enver Chakartash (Costumes), Public Obscenities (Soho Rep | National Asian American Theatre Company), Toros (Second Stage Theater), The Trees (Playwrights Horizons | Page 73), Wolf Play (MCC Theater | Soho Rep | Ma-Yi Theater Company), Catch As Catch Can (Playwrights Horizons), and I’m Revolting (Atlantic Theater Company)

Barbara Samuels (Lights), Public Obscenities (Soho Rep | National Asian American Theatre Company), Wolf Play (MCC Theater | Soho Rep | Ma-Yi Theater Company), Becky Nurse of Salem (Lincoln Center Theater), and Toros (Second Stage Theater)

SUSTAINED ACHIEVEMENT IN DESIGN

dots (Sets) Collective: Santiago Orjuela-Laverde, Andrew Moerdyk, and Kimie Nishikawa, Public Obscenities (Soho Rep | National Asian American Theatre Company), Dark Disabled Stories (The Bushwick Starr | The Public Theater), Events (The Hearth Theater Company), Infinite Life (Atlantic Theater Company), Deep Blue Sound (Clubbed Thumb), and Grief Hotel (Clubbed Thumb)

Mikaal Sulaiman (Sound), The Half God of Rainfall (New York Theatre Workshop), Primary Trust (Roundabout Theatre), Des Moines (Theatre For A New Audience), Evanston Salt Costs Climbing (The New Group)

SPECIAL CITATIONS

Ensemble of Dark Disabled Stories (The Bushwick Starr | The Public Theater) Ryan J. Haddad, Dickie Hearts, and Alejandra Ospina

Design Team of Wet Brain (Playwrights Horizon | MCC Theater): Kate Noll (Set), Cha See (Lights), Haydee Zelideth Antuñano (Costumes), Tei Blow (Co-Sound), John Gasper (Co-Sound), and Nick Hussong (Projections)

Ensemble of The Comeuppance (Signature Theatre Company) Brittany Bradford, Caleb Eberhardt, Susannah Flood, Bobby Moreno, and Shannon Tyo

Liza Birkenmeier (Writer) and Tara Ahmadinejad (Director) of Grief Hotel (Clubbed Thumb)

Lead Actors of Montag (Soho Rep) Ariana Venturi and Nadine Malouf

Intimacy Coordinators of Color and Ann C. James (Founder and Mentor)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver (writing and performing duo of Split Britches)

Carole Rothman (Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Second Stage)

THEATRE GRANTS

Breaking the Binary Theatre Company

Dominican Artists Collective (DAC)

The Brick

ROSS WETZSTEON AWARD

Under the Radar Festival (Mark Russell as Founder)

MICHAEL FEINGOLD AWARD

Andrew Morrill for their work as Director of Artistic Sign Language and Alison Kopit for Access Dramaturgy of Dark Disabled Stories (The Bushwick Starr | The Public Theater)