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Heidi Schreck and What the Constitution Means to Me Wins The Coveted Prize at The Obie Awards

Heidi Schreck and What the Constitution Means to Me Wins The Coveted Prize at The Obie Awards

64th Annual Obie Awards were announced last night at a ceremony that recognize Off and Off Off Broadway productions.

Rachel Bloom

Hosted by Crazy Ex-Girlfriend creator and star Rachel Bloom, the Obie’s were created in 1955 by The Village Voice and have been taken over by The American Theatre Wing.

Did you know seven suffragettes—all women of the theatre—in 1917 came together to form an organization called The Stage Women’s War Relief dedicated to supporting the troops. These woman raised more than seven million dollars for American soldiers. In 1940, Antoinette Perry picked up where the Stage Women’s War Relief left off, renaming the effort the American Theatre Wing. The Wing donated $75,000 dollars to the USO for entertainment for troops overseas while sparking excitement for theatre back home. Most of the money Antoinette Perry used to help this organization came from gambling.

We asked the off Broadway stars who walked the red carpet, what their most inspirational play was this year off or off off Broadway and it was a tie. One of them was Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me. Now it has received the 2019 Obie Award for Best New American Play. A 2019 Pulitzer Prize finalist, What the Constitution Means to Me is also nominated for two Tony Awards, one for Best Play and another Best Leading Actress/Play. Originally starting at The New York Theatre Workshop the show transfers to the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway.

The Obie’s, were announced at a ceremony that recognize Off and Off Off Broadway productions.

Previously announced was that James C. Nicola and Jeffrey Horowitz received Lifetime Achievement awards.

Here are the winners of the 64th annual Obie Awards:

Best New American Play ($1,000 prize)
Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me (New York Theatre Workshop)

Marcus Gardley, The House That Will Not Stand (New York Theatre Workshop)
Madeleine George, Hurricane Diane (New York Theatre Workshop)
Suzan-Lori Parks, White Noise (The Public Theater)

Jo Bonney, Sustained Excellence of Directing
Leigh Silverman, Sustained Excellence of Directing
Stevie Walker Webb, Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public Theater)

Mia Barron, Hurricane Diane (New York Theatre Workshop)
Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Sustained Excellence of Performance (Lincoln Center)
Cherise Boothe, Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (Signature Theatre Company)
Francis Jue, Wild Goose Dreams (The Public Theater)
Heather Alicia Simms, Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine (Signature Theatre Company) and By The Way, Meet Vera Stark (Signature Theatre Company)

Dede M. Ayite, Sustained Excellence in Costume Design
Isabella Byrd, Lighting Design, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (New York Theatre Workshop)
Palmer Hefferan, Sustained Excellence in Sound Design
Cookie Jordan, Sustained Excellence in Hair, Wigs, and Makeup
Clint Ramos, Set Design, Wild Goose Dreams (The Public Theater)
Louisa Thompson Sustained Excellence in Scenic Design

Special Citations
Clare Barron (Playwright) and Lee Sunday Evans (Director), Dance Nation(Playwrights Horizons)
Jordan E. Cooper for Playwrighting & Performance, Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public Theater)
Jackie Sibblies Drury (Playwright) and Lileana Blain Cruz (Director), Marys Seacole(LCT3)
The Cast and Creative Team, The Jungle (St. Ann’s Warehouse)
The Director and Creative Team, Oklahoma! (St. Ann’s Warehouse)

Obie Grants ($4,000 prize each)
The Movement Theatre Company
Target Margin Theater
WP Theater

The Ross Wetzsteon Award ($3,000 prize)
Lincoln Center Theater 3

The cast of Stomp

Lifetime Achievement Award
James C. Nicola, Artistic Director, New York Theatre Workshop
Jeffrey Horowitz, Artistic Director and founder, Theatre For A New Audience

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email:

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