Passing Strange Wins Ensemble Obie

Stew’s soulful rock musical Passing Strange and race satire Yellow Face were two big winners at last night’s 53rd annual Village Voice Obie Awards, presented at Webster Hall. Established in 1955, the awards are the "freewheeling wild child of New York theater’s awards world," and are chosen by a committee of critics and working theater artists. Yellow Face‘s lead Francis Jue won an Obie, along with playwright David Henry Hwang. The Observer‘s John Heilpern wrote in his review of Yellow Face: "The play is a powerful departure—a bitterly honest attempt by the dramatist to come to terms with himself and who he is in the tumult of racially divided America." Passing Strange won for ensemble and best new theater piece. You can watch a video of the presentation here. More winners after the jump.


  • Horton Foote, Dividing The Estate
  • David Henry Hwang, Yellow Face


  • Krzysztof Warlikowski, Krum
  • David Cromer, Adding Machine


  • LisaGay Hamilton, The Ohio State Murders
  • Kate Mulgrew, Iphigenia 2.0
  • Francis Jue, Yellow Face
  • Rebecca Wisocky, Amazons and Their Men
  • Joel Hatch, Adding Machine
  • Heidi Schreck, Drum Of The Waves Of Horikawa
  • Veanne Cox, Sustained Excellence of Performance
  • Sean McNall, Sustained Excellence of Performance
  • Ensemble, Passing Strange:
    (De’Adre Aziza, Daniel Breaker, Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Stew)


  • Takeshi Kata, Set – Keith Parham, Lighting Design, Adding Machine
  • Peter Ksander, Scenic Design
    Untitled Mars (This Title May Change)
  • Ben Katchor, Drawings; John Findlay & Jeff Sugg, Set & Projection
    Russell H. Champa, Lighting Design

    The Slug Bearers Of Kayrol Island
  • Jane Greenwood,
    Sustained Excellence of Costume Design
  • David Zinn,
    Sustained Excellence of Costume and Set Design

Special Citations

  • Nature Theater of Oklahoma, No Dice
  • David Greenspan, The Argument

Best New Theater Piece: $1,000

  • Stew, Heidi Rodewald, Annie Dorsen,
    Passing Strange

The Ross Wetzsteon Award $2,000

  • Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project

Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Adrienne Kennedy

Obie Grants

  • Keen Company $5,000
  • Theater of a Two-Headed Calf $5,000


Passing Strange Wins Ensemble Obie