Al Pacino, Sam Shepard, Roy Scheider, Estelle Parsons -- It's Obies 1968!
23 Win '68 'Obies'
The 1967-68 Village Voice Off-Broadway Awards were presented on Saturday afternoon at a giant invitational party at the Village Gate. These were the 13th annual "Obies," and a crowd of about 500 gathered to applaud the winners.
The ceremony began shortly after 1 p.m. with Shelley Plimpton singing "Frank Mills" from the musical "Hair," accompanied by Walter Harris of East 9th Street at the piano. When the cheers were spent, six members of the cast of Julie Bovasso's play "The Moon Dreamers," done last winter at La Mama, performed the Stockbroker's Dance, choreographed by Buzz Miller to the tune of "Pennies from Heaven." This too won boisterous acclaim.
Then Edwin Fancher, publisher of The Voice, introduced Michael Smith, Voice Theatre Critic and "Obie" judge. They were joined on stage by Daniel Wolf, editor of The Voice; Jerry Tallmer of the New York Post, who ran the "Obies" from 1956 until 1962; and the current guest judges, Clive Barnes of the New York Times and John Lahr of the New York Free Press. To present the awards, Smith introduced Estelle Parsons, who won an "Obie" in 1964 for her performances in "Next Time I'll Sing To You" and "In the Summer House" and an "Oscar" this year for "Bonnie and Clyde"...
VILLAGE VOICE OFF-BROADWAY AWARDS
Best Actress: Billie Dixon ("The Beard")
Best Actor: Al Pacino ("The Indian Wants the Bronx")
Best Director: Michael A. Schultz ("Song of the Lusitanian Bogey")
Best Musical: "In Circles" by Gertrude Stein and Al Carmines
Best Foreign Play: "The Memorandum" by Vaclav Havel
Best Design: Robert LaVigne ("A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Endecott and the Red Cross")
Distinguished Direction: John Hancock ("A Midsummer Night's Dream")
Distinguished Direction: Rip Torn ("The Beard")
Distinguished Playwrighting: Israel Horovitz ("The Indian Wants the Bronx"), John Guare ("Muzeeka"), Sam Shepard ("Forensic and the Navigators" and "Melodrama Play")
Distinguished Performances: John Cazale ("Line" and "The Indian Wants the Bronx"), James Coco ("Fragments"), Jean David ("Istanbul"), Cliff Gorman ("The Boys in the Band"), Mari Gorman ("The Memorandum" and "Walking to Waldheim"), Moses Gunn (The Negro Ensemble Company repertory), Peggy Pope ("Muzeeka"), Roy R. Scheider ("Stephen D.")
Special Citation: El Teatro Campesino (for creating a workers' theatre to demonstrate the politics of survival)
Special Citation: The Fortune Society (for expanding public awareness of the problems of the ex-convict and the prison system in America)
Special Citation: The Negro Ensemble Company (for sustained excellence in repertory theatre and the development of new theatrical talent)
Special Citation: San Francisco Mime Troupe (for uniting theatre and revolution and grooving in the park)
Judges: Clive Barnes, John Lahr, Michael Smith
[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]