Trisha Shetty (Editor)

Helen Hayes Award

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Covid-19
Country  United States
Ceremony date  May 15, 2017, 4:30 PM PDT
Instituted  1983
First awarded  1983
Presented by  theatreWashington
Helen Hayes Award httpsstatic1squarespacecomstatic512bbd3ae4b
Awarded for  Excellence in professional theatre in the Washington, D.C. area
Official website  www.theatrewashington.org
Winners  The Welders, The Welders, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Martyna MajokIronbound, Martyna Majok, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Imagination StageWiley and the Hairy Man, Imagination Stage, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing ArtsOnce, The John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Outstanding Visiting Production, Outstanding Visiting Production, Lolita MarieDoubt: A Parable, Lolita Marie, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Helen, Mark JasterIMPOSSIBLE! A Happenstance Circus, Mark Jaster, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Helen, Sabrina MandellIMPOSSIBLE! A Happenstance Circus, Sabrina Mandell, Outstanding Costume Design — Helen, Outstanding Costume Design — Helen, Emily ZicklerAvenue Q, Emily Zickler, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical — Helen, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical — Helen, Jessica Beth RedishSilence! The Musical, Jessica Beth Redish, Outstanding Choreography in a Musical — Helen, Outstanding Choreography in a Musical — Helen, Mabel del PozoYerma, Mabel del Pozo, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Helen, Kevin McAllisterRagtime - The Musical, Kevin McAllister, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical — Helen, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical — Helen, Ramzi ChoukairSalomé, Ramzi Choukair, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Hayes, Dawn UrsulaQueens Girl in the World, Dawn Ursula, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Hayes, Yael FarberSalomé, Yael Farber, Outstanding Director of a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Director of a Play — Hayes, Dani de WaalOnce, Dani de Waal, Outstanding Performer - Visiting Production, Outstanding Performer - Visiting Production, Jon Hudson OdomPassion Play, Jon Hudson Odom, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play — Helen, Maggie WilderRapture - Blister - Burn, Maggie Wilder, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Hayes, Ami ShulmanSalomé, Ami Shulman, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Hayes, Kelly MaxnerOccupied Territories, Kelly Maxner, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Helen, Mollye MaxnerOccupied Territories, Mollye Maxner, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Helen, Flying V Theater, Flying V Theater, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Andrew HinderakerColossal, Andrew Hinderaker, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Imagination StageThe BFG, Imagination Stage, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Tovah FeldshuhGolda's Balcony, Tovah Feldshuh, Outstanding Supporting Performer - Non-Resident Production, Outstanding Supporting Performer - Non-Resident Production, Shakespeare Theatre CompanyBrief Encounter, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Outstanding Visiting Production, Outstanding Visiting Production, Maggie WilderFailure: A Love Story, Maggie Wilder, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Helen, Doug WilderOne Man - Two Guvnors, Doug Wilder, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Helen, Kendra RaiThe Island of Dr Moreau, Kendra Rai, Outstanding Costume Design — Helen, Outstanding Costume Design — Helen, National New Play Network, National New Play Network, Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership, Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership, Miranda MedugnoVisible Language, Miranda Medugno, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical — Helen, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical — Helen, Mark MinnickSpamalot, Mark Minnick, Outstanding Choreography in a Musical — Helen, Outstanding Choreography in a Musical — Helen, Nanna IngvarssonThe Amish Project, Nanna Ingvarsson, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Helen, Alan NaylorJacques Brel is Alive and Well & Living in Paris, Alan Naylor, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical — Helen, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical — Helen, Rick FoucheuxFreud's Last Session, Rick Foucheux, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Hayes, Kimberly GilbertMarie Antoinette, Kimberly Gilbert, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Hayes, Will DavisColossal, Will Davis, Outstanding Director of a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Director of a Play — Hayes, Wayne BennettSeven Guitars, Wayne Bennett, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play — Helen, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play — Helen, Erin WeaverMother Courage and Her Children, Erin Weaver, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Hayes, Christopher d'AmboiseColossal, Christopher d'Amboise, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Hayes, Ben CunisColossal, Ben Cunis, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Hayes, Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Hayes, Pointless Theatre Company, Pointless Theatre Company, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Aaron PosnerStupid Fucking Bird, Aaron Posner, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Woolly Mammoth Theatre CompanyStupid Fucking Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Outstanding Resident Play, Outstanding Resident Play, Ford’s Theatre SocietyHello - Dolly!, Ford’s Theatre Society, Outstanding Resident Musical, Outstanding Resident Musical, Olney Theatre CenterA Chorus Line, Olney Theatre Center, Outstanding Resident Musical, Outstanding Resident Musical, Signature TheatreHello - Dolly!, Signature Theatre, Outstanding Resident Musical, Outstanding Resident Musical, Victor Shargai, Victor Shargai, The Helen Hayes Tribute, The Helen Hayes Tribute, Imagination StageAnime Momotaro, Imagination Stage, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Jessica VaccaroA Chorus Line, Jessica Vaccaro, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Musical, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Musical, Diana HueyMiss Saigon, Diana Huey, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Musical, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Musical, Dawn UrsulaThe Convert, Dawn Ursula, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Play, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Play, Joaquina KalukangoThe Mountaintop, Joaquina Kalukango, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Play, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Play, Mitchell HébertGlengarry Glen Ross, Mitchell Hébert, Outstanding Director - Resident Play, Outstanding Director - Resident Play, Marie WareThe Book of Mormon, Marie Ware, Outstanding Supporting Performer - Non-Resident Production, Outstanding Supporting Performer - Non-Resident Production, Alan PaulA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Alan Paul, Outstanding Director - Resident Musical, Outstanding Director - Resident Musical, James GardinerThe Last Five Years, James Gardiner, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Musical, Erin WeaverCompany, Erin Weaver, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Musical, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Musical, Rick FoucheuxGlengarry Glen Ross, Rick Foucheux, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Play, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Play, Rachel YorkAnything Goes, Rachel York, Outstanding Lead Actress - Non-Resident Production, Outstanding Lead Actress - Non-Resident Production, Karma CampHello - Dolly!, Karma Camp, Outstanding Choreography - Resident Production, Outstanding Choreography - Resident Production, Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue, Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Paul Downs ColaizzoReally Really, Paul Downs Colaizzo, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Folger TheatreThe Taming of the Shrew, Folger Theatre, Outstanding Resident Play, Outstanding Resident Play, Signature TheatreDreamgirls, Signature Theatre, Outstanding Resident Musical, Outstanding Resident Musical, Actors' Equity Association, Actors' Equity Association, The Helen Hayes Tribute, The Helen Hayes Tribute, Imagination StageThe Lion - The Witch & The Wardrobe, Imagination Stage, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Natascia DiazJacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Natascia Diaz, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Musical, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Musical, E Faye ButlerPullman Porter Blues, E Faye Butler, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Play, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Play, Francesca FaridanyStrange Interlude, Francesca Faridany, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Play, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Play, Christopher McElroenInvisible Man, Christopher McElroen, Outstanding Director - Resident Play, Outstanding Director - Resident Play, Christopher SaulHamlet, Christopher Saul, Outstanding Supporting Performer - Non-Resident Production, Outstanding Supporting Performer - Non-Resident Production, Serge SeidenJacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Serge Seiden, Outstanding Director - Resident Musical, Outstanding Director - Resident Musical, Bobby SmithJacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris, Bobby Smith, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Musical, Theresa CunninghamThe Color Purple, Theresa Cunningham, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Musical, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Musical, Priscilla CuellarLegally Blonde the Musical, Priscilla Cuellar, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Musical, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Musical, Steven EppThe Servant of Two Masters, Steven Epp, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Play, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Play, Felicia BoswellMemphis, Felicia Boswell, Outstanding Lead Actress - Non-Resident Production, Outstanding Lead Actress - Non-Resident Production, Joe IsenbergThe Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Joe Isenberg, Outstanding Choreography - Resident Production, Outstanding Choreography - Resident Production, Matthew McGeeTaking Steps, Matthew McGee, Outstanding Supporting Actor - Resident Play, Outstanding Supporting Actor - Resident Play, Cedric NealDreamgirls, Cedric Neal, Outstanding Supporting Actor - Resident Musical, Outstanding Supporting Actor - Resident Musical, Faction of Fools Theatre Company, Faction of Fools Theatre Company, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, Marc AcitoBirds of a Feather, Marc Acito, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Outstanding New Play or Musical, Arena StageRuined, Arena Stage, Outstanding Resident Play, Outstanding Resident Play, Signature TheatreHairspray, Signature Theatre, Outstanding Resident Musical, Outstanding Resident Musical, Kevin Spacey, Kevin Spacey, The Helen Hayes Tribute, The Helen Hayes Tribute, Adventure Theatre MTCCharlotte's Web, Adventure Theatre MTC, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Outstanding Production - Theatre For Young Audiences, Carolyn ColeHairspray, Carolyn Cole, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Musical, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Musical, Gabriela Fernandez-CoffeyAfter the Fall, Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Play, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Play, Erica SullivanVenus in Fur, Erica Sullivan, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Play, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Play, Rena Cherry BrownWit, Rena Cherry Brown, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Play, Outstanding Lead Actress - Resident Play, Aaron PosnerCyrano, Aaron Posner, Outstanding Director - Resident Play, Outstanding Director - Resident Play, Hugo WeavingUncle Vanya, Hugo Weaving, Outstanding Supporting Performer - Non-Resident Production, Outstanding Supporting Performer - Non-Resident Production, Michael BaronA Year With Frog and Toad, Michael Baron, Outstanding Director - Resident Musical, Outstanding Director - Resident Musical, Euan MortonParade, Euan Morton, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Musical, Nova Y PaytonHairspray, Nova Y Payton, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Musical, Outstanding Supporting Actress - Resident Musical, Mitchell HébertAfter the Fall, Mitchell Hébert, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Play, Outstanding Lead Actor - Resident Play, Cate BlanchettUncle Vanya, Cate Blanchett, Outstanding Lead Actress - Non-Resident Production, Outstanding Lead Actress - Non-Resident Production, Irina TsikurishviliKing Lear, Irina Tsikurishvili, Outstanding Choreography - Resident Production, Outstanding Choreography - Resident Production, Ben CunisKing Lear, Ben Cunis, Outstanding Choreography - Resident Production, Outstanding Choreography - Resident Production, Ted van GriethuysenMuch Ado About Nothing, Ted van Griethuysen, Outstanding Supporting Actor - Resident Play, Outstanding Supporting Actor - Resident Play
Nominees (2017)  Convergence Theatre, Convergence Theatre, Nu Sass Productions, Nu Sass Productions, Mosaic Theater Company of DC, Mosaic Theater Company of DC, Rainbow Theatre Project, Rainbow Theatre Project, Suzanne EdgarYou - Or Whatever I Can Get, Suzanne Edgar, Happenstance TheaterMOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater, Stephen SpotswoodGirl In The Red Corner, Stephen Spotswood, Doug WilderYou - Or Whatever I Can Get, Doug Wilder, Gwydion SuilebhanTransmission, Gwydion Suilebhan, Steve PrzybylskiYou - Or Whatever I Can Get, Steve Przybylski, Jason SchlafsteinYou - Or Whatever I Can Get, Jason Schlafstein, Audrey CefalyThe Gulf, Audrey Cefaly, Farrell ParkerYou - Or Whatever I Can Get, Farrell Parker, Vaughn IrvingYou - Or Whatever I Can Get, Vaughn Irving, Imagination StageThe Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Imagination Stage, Adventure Theatre MTCJumanji, Adventure Theatre MTC, Adventure Theatre MTCJames and the Giant Peach, Adventure Theatre MTC, Adventure Theatre MTCThe Lion - The Witch and The Wardrobe, Adventure Theatre MTC, Arena StageMoby Dick, Arena Stage, Arena StageThe Lion, Arena Stage, Olney Theatre CenterThe Mikado, Olney Theatre Center, Studio TheatreThe Object Lesson, Studio Theatre, Teresa CastracaneBroadway Bound, Teresa Castracane, Kashayna JohnsonFor Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/ When the Rainbow is Enuf, Kashayna Johnson, Kari GinsburgWhen the Rain Stops Falling, Kari Ginsburg, Megan GravesRedder Blood, Megan Graves, Justine MoralJourney to the West, Justine Moral, Dallas TolentinoJourney to the West, Dallas Tolentino, Tom PattersonConstellations, Tom Patterson, Matthew J KeenanThe Lonesome West, Matthew J Keenan, Alex VernonMOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Alex Vernon, Ivania StackKing Ubu, Ivania Stack, Erik Reagan TeagueThe Man in the Iron Mask, Erik Reagan Teague, Kendra RaiJourney to the West, Kendra Rai, Teresa DanskeySister Act, Teresa Danskey, Jenna BerkUrinetown, Jenna Berk, Caroline DubberlyNext to Normal, Caroline Dubberly, Noelle RobinsonHairspray, Noelle Robinson, Tiara WhaleyCaroline - or Change, Tiara Whaley, Maggie DonnellyFloyd Collins, Maggie Donnelly, Ilona KessellUrinetown, Ilona Kessell, Lily BalantinczConstellations, Lily Balantincz, Susan Marie RheaAn American Daughter, Susan Marie Rhea, Holly TwyfordBlackberry Winter, Holly Twyford, Jenna SokolowskiRedder Blood, Jenna Sokolowski, Hasani AllenSister Act, Hasani Allen, Matthew HirshCatch Me If You Can, Matthew Hirsh, Christian MontgomeryAmerican Idiot, Christian Montgomery, Sam LudwigMonsters of the Villa Diodati, Sam Ludwig, Jamie SmithsonSense & Sensibility, Jamie Smithson, Evan CaseyThe Flick, Evan Casey, Tom StoryAngels in America - Pt 1 - Millennium Approaches, Tom Story, Liam FordeHand to God, Liam Forde, Alyssa Wilmoth KeeganCat on a Hot Tin Roof, Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, Holly TwyfordCloud 9, Holly Twyford, Staceyann ChinMotherstruck, Staceyann Chin, Margaret ColinThe City of Conversation, Margaret Colin, Erin WeaverA Midsummer Night's Dream, Erin Weaver, Mitchell HébertCat on a Hot Tin Roof, Mitchell Hébert, Joanie SchultzHand to God, Joanie Schultz, Ethan McSweenyMoment, Ethan McSweeny, Felonious MunkBlack Side of the Moon, Felonious Munk, Shawn PfautschThe Mikado, Shawn Pfautsch, Adam LangdonThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Adam Langdon, Darick PeadInto The Woods, Darick Pead, Louis E DavisWord Becomes Flesh, Louis E Davis, Ryan TumultyJourney to the West, Ryan Tumulty, Justin WeaksWord Becomes Flesh, Justin Weaks, Clayton Pelham JrWord Becomes Flesh, Clayton Pelham Jr, Gary Perkins IIIWord Becomes Flesh, Gary Perkins III, Shannon DorseyAn Octoroon, Shannon Dorsey, Nicole KangSense & Sensibility, Nicole Kang, Lisa BirnbaumSense & Sensibility, Lisa Birnbaum, Dorea SchmidtCollective Rage: A Play in Five Boops, Dorea Schmidt, Dearbhla MolloyMoment, Dearbhla Molloy, Dody DiSantoAn Iliad, Dody DiSanto, Kelly KingPhaeton, Kelly King, Alexandra BellerSense & Sensibility, Alexandra Beller, Erika Chong ShuchA Midsummer Night's Dream, Erika Chong Shuch, Tony ThomasWord Becomes Flesh, Tony Thomas, Vato TsikurishviliThe Man in the Iron Mask, Vato Tsikurishvili, Cliff Williams IIIGirl In The Red Corner, Cliff Williams III, Irina TsikurishviliThe Man in the Iron Mask, Irina Tsikurishvili, Ben CunisThe Man in the Iron Mask, Ben Cunis, Casey KalebaThe Lonesome West, Casey Kaleba, Katie McManusCity of Angels, Katie McManus, Eben LoganAmerican Idiot, Eben Logan, Kari GinsburgNext to Normal, Kari Ginsburg, Iyona BlakeCaroline - or Change, Iyona Blake

A Helen Hayes Award is a theater award named for the famed actress Helen Hayes to recognize excellence in professional theater in the Washington, D.C. area since 1983. The awards are named in tribute to Helen Hayes, known as the "First Lady of American theatre." They are presented by theatreWashington (formerly known as the Helen Hayes Awards organization), which is the unified voice of Washington theatre since the 1980s. The organization – led by Amy Austin – works full-time to promote, represent and support all segments of Washington’s professional theatre community as well as strengthen Washington theatre’s powerful economic engine and world class brand.

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Helen Hayes Award Helen Hayes Awards We Love DC

Helen hayes awards 2016


theaterWashington

Helen Hayes Award Alex Mandell Actor Nominated for Helen Hayes Award Outstanding

In the early 1980s, the Washington Theatre Awards Society was founded to recognize and encourage excellence in professional theatre in the Washington region through the presentation of The Helen Hayes Awards. After the first few Helen Hayes Awards presentations, the region and the country understood the quality of theatrical excellence to be found on Washington area stages. Using this prestigious credential, theatres attracted new audiences and support, they invested in programming and infrastructure, and in response, audiences grew and artists came to Washington to do the work they loved.

Helen Hayes Award The 2015 Helen Hayes Award Moving Forward Washington Theatre

The organization launched innovative education and communication programs, but the early success of the Helen Hayes Awards suggested that the organization do business under the name of its most visible program.

Helen Hayes Award theatreWashington Announces Restructuring of Helen Hayes Awards

By building audiences, by introducing students to theatre, by promoting Washington across the nation as a vibrant cultural capital, and with the national and international significance of The Helen Hayes Awards, the organization has helped drive the continually growth of Washington theatre. Now, at the request of the theatre community and the encouragement of a wide range of stakeholders, a stronger and more robust organization has evolved — and with a new name theatreWashington has become a structure that better reflects the breadth and geographic scope of the organization’s realigned activities.

Helen Hayes Award The 2015 Helen Hayes Awards Washington Theatre Guide

Due to criticism of the "one size fits all" philosophy of the awards, in September 2013 theatreWashington announced that effective with the 2015 awards the awards would be split into

Helen Hayes Award Theatre Washington Announces Nominees for 2015 Helen Hayes AwardsThe Helen Group of Awards for non-Equity productions defined to be those that have no more than three equity actors or the equity actors make up less than 51% of the cast. The Hayes Group of Awards for productions employing too many equity actors to qualify for the Helen Group.

These awards will be at the production level, not at the company level.

History of the Awards

The story begins in 1983 on a flight from Chicago back home to Washington D.C.,when Broadway producer Bonnie Nelson Schwartz pondered the state of theatre in her hometown. Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Awards had just been presented. Impressed with the way the Jefferson Awards had galvanized Chicago theatre, Bonnie wondered what could be done to strengthen and cultivate live theatre in Washington.

Together with producing partner Arthur Cantor and Washington Post Critic Emeritus Richard L. Coe, they presented a plan to the first lady of the American theatre and native Washingtonian, Helen Hayes, who wholeheartedly embraced the idea of her namesake awards honoring theatrical excellence in her hometown.

The idea of Washington's own theatre awards program – a signature event that would promote the concept of Washington as a theatre town – was born. The stage was set. As young theatres received Helen Hayes for artistic excellence, they attracted new audiences and support. With greater support, the theatres could invest in their programming and facilities. Audiences grew.

Along with this concept, came to the organization the dream of improving the community by helping artists make a living doing what they love in a place where they had established roots. In order to better serve the growing demand, restaurants and stores opened – more people came. Neighborhoods were revitalized.

The bounty of talent and world-class productions make theatre an essential priority for thousands of Washingtonians each day – to feed their spirit and soul, to help educate their children, to encourage cultural diversity, and to provide a more vibrant quality of life.

Helen Hayes MacArthur: First Lady of American Theatre

Born on October 10, 1900, in Washington, DC, Helen Hayes saw her first play at the National Theatre when she was five years old. At the age of nine, she made her professional debut. Later that same year, she appeared on Broadway for the first time in the play Old Dutch. Perhaps the greatest actress in the history of the American stage, her astonishing career in theatre, film, television, recording, and publishing spanned the 20th century.

Miss Hayes authored eight books and worked extensively in radio for more than half a century. She was the recipient of the first Tony Award for Best Actress, two Oscars, an Emmy Award, a Grammy Award, The Kennedy Center Honors, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was regarded as the "First Lady of the American Theatre".

The Helen Hayes Awards is a vibrant living legacy to her legendary work ethic, standards of excellence, and inspiration to Washington artists who followed in her footsteps. Eighty years after her first visit to the National Theatre, Miss Hayes presided over the inaugural presentation of her namesake awards. She died on March 17, 1993.

Awards categories

With nearly 80 professional theatre companies, Washington, DC, is second only to New York for the number of productions each year. During the 2011 season, 53 theatres produced 192 shows in the January 1 – December 31 judging cycle. From these shows, 153 artists, ensembles, and productions from 26 theatres were nominated for Helen Hayes Awards, which are given for resident and nonresident productions. The awards for acting, directing, design, choreography, productions, and more include:

  • Resident Play
  • Outstanding Director
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress
  • Outstanding Lead Actress
  • Outstanding Ensemble
  • Outstanding Resident Play
  • Resident Musical
  • Outstanding Director
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor
  • Outstanding Supporting Actress
  • Outstanding Ensemble
  • Outstanding Lead Actor
  • Outstanding Lead Actress
  • Outstanding Resident Musical
  • Resident Production
  • Outstanding Set Design
  • Outstanding Lighting Design
  • Outstanding Sound Design
  • Outstanding Musical Direction
  • Outstanding Choreography
  • Outstanding Costume Design
  • Nonresident Production
  • Outstanding Lead Actor
  • Outstanding Lead Actress
  • Outstanding Supporting Performer
  • Outstanding Nonresident Production
  • Special Awards
  • The Charles MacArthur Award – for Outstanding New Play or Musical
  • The Washington Post Award – for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community
  • The John Aniello Award – for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company
  • The James MacArthur Award – for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play
  • The Robert Prosky Award – for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play
  • Outstanding Production – Theatre for Young Audiences
  • The 2012 Recipients

    For more information on the previous years' recipients:

    The nominees and recipients selection method

  • Eight judges from a judging pool, specifically endorsed for the purpose by a panel of Washington-area artistic directors, are dispatched to see each eligible production.
  • Each judge evaluates each artist’s work in the production on a 0-10 graded point scale in each of applicable categories. Ballots must be submitted within 24 hours of the judge’s attendance.
  • Judges have no idea as to the Awards status of any work they have seen and scored until the public does, i.e., when the nominees (and then the recipients) are announced.
  • At the conclusion of the 12-month judging cycle (January–December), the scores from the eight judges who saw each production are tabulated by an independent analysis firm.
  • In all, about 22,000 scores are analyzed annually, using standardized and widely accepted statistical models.
  • The productions, designs, and performances receiving the top-five final scores in each category become the nominees. In the case of tie votes, a tie-breaking system is used, and if the tie still cannot be broken, the number of nominees is simply increased.
  • Following the public announcement of the nominees, the process continues to determine the award recipient in each category. Again, in the case of tie votes, a tie-breaking system is used, and if the tie still cannot be broken, the number of recipients is increased.
  • For more information on the selection process:

    Criticism

    Some critics feel that the Helen Hayes Awards tend to overlook smaller theatres and productions at the expense of rewarding the larger, more established theatres. It has been suggested that the awards be "two-tiered" with separate categories for large and small theatres. This criticism was addressed by the restructuring of the awards into the Helen (nonequity) and Hayes (equity) groups.

    References

    Helen Hayes Award Wikipedia


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