Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 Obie Award Winners

The Village Voice, the nation’s largest alternative weekly newspaper, presented its 59th Annual Obie Awards on Monday, May 19, 2014, at Webster Hall in the East Village in New York. The Obies were co-hosted by Tamara Tunie and Hamish Linklater. Presenters for the 2014 Obies included: Betsy Aidem, Harvey Fierstein, Lena Hall, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Andy Karl, David Bar Katz, Cristin Milioti, Kelli O’Hara, Lily Rabe and Stephen Trask.

Mia Katigbak and Alok Tewari in NAATCO's Awake and Sing. Photo by William P. Steele

Mia Katigbak and Alok Tewari in NAATCO’s Awake and Sing. Photo by William P. Steele

Congrats to all of the 2014 Obie Award Winners.

LARRY PINE, A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (SoHo Rep)
SYDNEY LUCAS, Fun Home (Public Theater)
JOHN ELLISON CONLEE, The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence (Playwrights Horizons)
K. TODD FREEMAN, Fetch Clay, Make Man (NYTW)
JOHN EARL JELKS, Sunset Baby (Labyrinth)/Fetch Clay, Make Man (NYTW)
JOHANNA DAY, Appropriate (Signature)
MARYLOUISE BURKE, sustained excellence of performance
CHRIS MYERS, An Octoroon (SoHo Rep)

K. Todd Freeman won an 2014 Performance Obie for Fetch Clay, Make Man. Photo courtesy of K. Todd Freeman- Facebook.

K. Todd Freeman won a 2014 Performance Obie for Fetch Clay, Make Man. Photo courtesy of K. Todd Freeman- Facebook.

John Earl Jelks. Photo by Lia Chang

John Earl Jelks. Photo by Lia Chang

WILL ENO, The Other House (Signature)

Will Eno's The Open House. Photo by Joan Marcus

Will Eno’s The Open House. Photo by Joan Marcus

LISA KRON (author), JEANINE TESORI (composer), and SAM GOLD (director), Fun Home
(Public Theater)

Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas & Alexandra Socha in Fun Home. Photo by Joan Marcus

Beth Malone, Sydney Lucas & Alexandra Socha in Fun Home. Photo by Joan Marcus

JAMES MACDONALD, Love and Information (NYTW)
OLIVER BUTLER, The Open House (Signature)
LIESL TOMMY, Appropriate (Signature)

Ari Loeb and Cole Horibe in Kung Fu (2014). Photo by Joan Marcus

Ari Loeb and Cole Horibe in Kung Fu (2014). Photo by Joan Marcus

Kung Fu choreographer Sonya Tayeh. Photo by Lia Chang

Kung Fu choreographer Sonya Tayeh. Photo by Lia Chang

Emmanuel Brown. Photo by Lia Chang

Emmanuel Brown. Photo by Lia Chang

BEN RUBIN (projections), Arguendo (Elevator Repair Service @ Public Theater)
EMMANUEL BROWN (fight direction) and SONYA TAYEH (choreography), Kung Fu (Signature)
JUSTIN TOWNSEND, sustained excellence of lighting design
ERIC SOUTHERN (lighting design), The Correspondent (Rattlestick)

MALLORY CATLETT, This Was the End (Chocolate Factory)
HEATHER CHRISTIAN (music), JIYOUN CHANG (lighting) and HANNAH WASILESKI (projections), The World Is Round (Ripe Time @ BAM Fisher)





Johanna Day as Toni, Michael Laurence as Bo, Patch Darragh as Franz & Maddie Corman as Rachael in Appropriate. Photo by Joan Marcus

Johanna Day as Toni, Michael Laurence as Bo, Patch Darragh as Franz & Maddie Corman as Rachael in Appropriate. Photo by Joan Marcus

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Photo by Lia Chang

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins. Photo by Lia Chang

BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS, Appropriate (Signature) and An Octoroon (SoHo Rep)

The 2014 Obie Awards are chaired by Michael Feingold, a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism and George Jean Nathan Award winner, who began contributing to The Village Voice in 1971 and served as its chief theater critic from 1983 to 2013. Feingold’s fellow judges include: Kirsten Child, whose musical The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin won her, in addition to the Obie, the Kleban, Larson, and Rodgers Awards; Nicky Paraiso, Director of Programming for The Club at La MaMa and curator of the annual La MaMa Moves!; Tonya Pinkins, the Tony and Obie Award-winning actress, who has appeared in television and film but whose first love is theater; Michael Sommers, who currently covers the New York theater scene for New Jersey Newsroom and is a freelance reviewer of regional theater for The New York Times; and Rick Sordelet, an award-winning and prolific fight director with 60 Broadway productions and 54 first-class productions on five continents to his credit.

For the past 59 years, the Village Voice Obie Awards, founded by Jerry Tallmer in 1956, have honored the best of Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. Structured with informal categories that change annually, the Village Voice Obie Awards recognize persons and productions of excellence. Unlike most theater awards, the Village Voice Obie Awards list no nominations publicly. In the conviction that creativity is not competitive, the judges may give several Obies in each category, and may even invent new categories to reward exceptional artistic merit.

Many of the most celebrated names in theater, film, and television say their Obie Award was the first major recognition of their professional career. Past winners include such well-known stars as Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Felicity Huffman, Viola Davis, Kevin Kline, Nathan Lane, Tony Kushner, Kathy Bates, James Earl Jones, Edward Norton, and Sigourney Weaver, to name a few.

Because the Obies always strive to recognize artists of exceptional ability early in their careers, the award often serves to encourage, support, and in some sense nurture youthful talent. The Obies help shine an important light on theater artists who are breaking new ground, or just breaking through in their careers. In addition, the Obies honor those who have given years of service to the theater, with awards for Sustained Excellence and Lifetime Achievement.

The Obie Awards are presented by STELLA ARTOIS and also sponsored by Barefoot & Bubbly Wine, Verizon FIOS and Frames. The awards are benefiting the Obie winning non-profit Alliance of Resident Theaters A.R.T./ New York.

About Village Voice Events: The Village Voice has independently produced and created such celebrated events as Choice Eats, Obies Awards, 4Knots Music Festival, Choice Streets, Brooklyn Pour, Holiday Spirits well as the most anticipated issues and guides of the year including the annual Pazz and Jop music poll, Best of NYC, and its Spring, Summer, and Fall Preview guides. The Village Voice is New York’s most influential must-read alternative newspaper in print and online. For more information on the Voice or its events, go online at

Other articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
LAByrinth Extends New York Times Critic’s Pick Sunset Baby, Starring John Earl Jelks, DeWanda Wise and Harvey Gardner Moore, to December 15
Photos: LAByrinth’s Opening Night of Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby with John Earl Jelks, DeWanda Wise, Harvey Gardner Moore, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Tracie Thoms, Alano Miller and More
Photos: John Earl Jelks, DeWanda Wise, Harvey Gardner Moore, André De Shields at Dominique Morisseau’s Sunset Baby
Nov. 6 – Dec. 8: Tony Nominee John Earl Jelks, Dewanda Wise and Harvey Gardner Moore Star in Labyrinth’s American Premiere of Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau at Bank Street Theater
Photos: Opening Night of Will Power’s Fetch Clay, Make Man with John Earl Jelks, Richard Masur, Nikki M. James, K. Todd Freeman, Ray Fisher
NYTW Production Photos of Fetch Clay, Make Man: Ray Fisher, Nikki M. James, John Earl Jelks, K. Todd Freeman
Francis Jue, Bryan Cranston, Olympia Dukakis, Paul Daigneault, All The Way, The Jungle Book, The Flick, Tribes, Hairspray Among 32nd Annual Elliot Norton Award Winners
May 18: Asia Flores Debuts Royal72Co Fashion Line at Pa’ina Lounge
CICADA and THE ROAD TO FAME Takes Top Honors at the 30th Anniversary Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Asian American Federation Celebrates Cao K. O with Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez, Former City Comptroller John Liu, Assemblyman Ron Kim and More
Photos: The George Gee Swing Orchestra at SWING46; Launches Indiegogo Campaign for New CD, Swing Makes You Happy
Jun. 23: The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall Features Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon and More
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong Leads Cast of A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series 
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Leads 2014 Tony Award Nominations; Bryan Cranston, LaTanya Richardson, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Rylance, Audra McDonald, Leigh Silverman among nominees
Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Photos: Late Night with Holy Land’s Jojo Gonzalez
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at

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