Broadway: Catch Me If You Can; Impressionism; The Coast of Utopia (Tony Awards, Best Director and Play); Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony nomination); Henry IV (Tony Awards, Best Director and Play Revival); Hairspray (Tony Award); The Invention of Love (Tony nomination); The Full Monty (Tony nominations, Best Director and Musical); The Little Foxes;Hapgood; Damn Yankees (Tony nomination, Best Musical Revival); Two Shakespearean Actors(Tony nominations, Best Director and Play); Porgy and Bess (Tony Award); The Most Happy Fella.
For the Metropolitan Opera: Il Trittico, 2007.
London: Love Never Dies; Hairspray; His Girl Friday.
Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego, from 1981-2007, where he directed more than 60 productions, ranging from the musical How The Grinch Stole Christmas to Chekhov's Three Sisters in a new version by Tom Stoppard. In other notable projects for the Globe, O'Brien directed Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2, starring John Goodman; the world premiere of Stephen Sondheim & George Furth's The Doctor Is Out; Hamlet, starring Campbell Scott, which was cited by Time Magazine as 1990's "finest classical revival"; Uncle Vanya and The Snow Ball, also commended by Time Magazine as "Critics' Voices" selections in 1991; and the world premiere of A.R. Gurney's The Cocktail Hour (1988), which went on to a celebrated run at the Promenade Theatre as well as engagements in Los Angeles and the Kennedy Center.
O'Brien has staged major productions at such theatres as the Ahmanson in Los Angeles, American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, Berkeley Repertory, Hartford Stage Company, Studio Arena Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y., the Huntington Theatre Company, and the St. Louis Repertory Theatre. He directed six movies for PBS's "American Playhouse."
Among his many, many awards: Artserve Michigan 2008 International Achievement Award; 2008 Theatre Hall of Fame Inductee; National Theatre Conference 2007 Person of the Year; 2005 John Houseman Award; 2007 and 2001 Joan Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity; 2002 "Mr. Abbott" Award (SDCF); the Drama League's 2001 Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre and has Honorary Doctorates from the University of San Diego and the University of Michigan.