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Washington DC by Susan Berlin

Signature Theatre’s Urinetown Makes Its Mark at 2006 Helen Hayes Awards

Also see Susan's review of The Gigli Concert

Signature Theatre’s production of Urinetown received an unprecedented eight Helen Hayes Awards at the 22nd annual award ceremony, April 17 at the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC. The awards honor the best in Washington theater. The previous record number of awards for a single production, six, was held by two productions at Washington’s Studio Theatre: Indian Ink in 1999 and Bessie’s Blues in 1995.

Urinetown was honored as Outstanding Resident Musical; Outstanding Director-Resident Musical, Joe Calarco; Outstanding Choreography, Karma Camp; Outstanding Musical Direction, Jay Crowder; Outstanding Supporting Actor-Resident Musical, Stephen F. Schmidt as Officer Lockstock; Outstanding Supporting Actress-Resident Musical, Jenna Sokolowski as Little Sally; Outstanding Lead Actor-Resident Musical, Will Gartshore as Bobby Strong, tied with Michael McElroy, who won as Jim in Big River at Ford’s Theatre; and Outstanding Lead Actress-Resident Musical, Erin Driscoll as Hope Cladwell, tied with Meg Gillentine as Lola in Arena Stage’s production of Damn Yankees.

The Clean House at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and Take Me Out at The Studio Theatre tied for Outstanding Resident Play. Franca Barchiesi of The Clean House received the Outstanding Supporting Actress-Resident Play award, and Rick Foucheux, as financial planner Mason Marzac in Take Me Out, tied with Patrick Page as Iago in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of Othello as Outstanding Lead Actor-Resident Play.

The only other productions to receive more than one award were Lady Windermere’s Fan at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, which recognized Simon Higlett for outstanding set design and Robert Perdziola for outstanding costume design, and I Am My Own Wife at The National Theatre, which received the Outstanding Non-Resident Production honor and Outstanding Lead Actor-Non-Resident Production for Jefferson Mays. Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of The Tempest won the outstanding lighting design award for Charlie Morrison.

Starving, a play by S.M. Shepard-Massat that had its premiere at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, received the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical.

In addition to Take Me Out, Studio Theatre also received awards for Joy Zinoman as Outstanding Director-Resident Play for A Number, and Eunice Wong as Outstanding Lead Actress-Resident Play for the Secondstage production of The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow.

Receiving single awards were columbinus at Round House Theatre, honored for Martin Desjardins’ sound design; Bruce R. Nelson as Outstanding Supporting Actor-Resident Play for The Violet Hour at Rep Stage in Columbia, Md.; and Stephanie J. Block, Outstanding Lead Actress-Non-Resident Production for Wicked at the Kennedy Center.

The KPMG Award for distinguished service to the Washington theater community went to American Airlines, and longtime theater supporter and philanthropist Arlene Kogod received the Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community. The Helen Hayes Tribute, sponsored by Gilbert and Jaylee Mead, went to costume designer Jane Greenwood and scenic designer Ming Cho Lee, who admitted that he has worked more in Washington than in New York.

Brad Oscar, a Washington area native and a Helen Hayes nominee as Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees, served as master of ceremonies.

More information about the Helen Hayes Awards can be found at www.helenhayes.org.

Helen Hayes Awards Nominees and Winners (winners are in bold)

Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production
Martin Desjardins, Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Martin Desjardins, columbinus (World Premiere), Round House Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, and United States Theatre Project
Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen, The Tempest, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Dan Murphy, Moby Dick Rehearsed, The American Century Theatre
Darron L. West, Intimations for Saxophone, Arena Stage

Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production
Zack Brown, The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Jess Goldstein, Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Murell Horton, Lorenzaccio, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Anne Kennedy, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Rosemary Pardee, Camille, Round House Theatre
Robert Perdziola, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Shakespeare Theatre Company
James Schuette, Intimations for Saxophone, Arena Stage

Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production
Colin K. Bills, The Clean House, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Dan Covey, Hannah & Martin, Theater J
Allen Lee Hughes, The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Chris Lee, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Charlie Morrison, Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Charlie Morrison, The Tempest, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Charlie Morrison, Oliver!, Olney Theatre Center
Daniel MacLean Wagner, Camille, Round House Theatre

Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production
Scott Bradley, Passion Play, A Cycle, Arena Stage
Tony Cisek, Hannah & Martin, Theater J
Simon Higlett, Lady Windermere’s Fan, Shakespeare Theatre Company
James Kronzer, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
James Kronzer, Oliver!, Olney Theatre Center
James Kronzer, Camille, Round House Theatre
Richard Montgomery, The Violet Hour, Rep Stage
Narelle Sissons, The Clean House, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Walt Spangler, The Tempest, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography, Resident Play or Musical
Kathleen Akerley and the Ensemble, shkspr prjct (World Premiere), Catalyst Theatre Company
Karma Camp, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Ilona Kessell, Beauty and the Beast, Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Irina Tsikurishvili, Dracula (World Premiere), Synetic Theatre
Irina Tsikurishvili, Jason and the Argonauts, Synetic Theatre
Beth Wilmurt, The Death of Meyerhold, The Studio Theatre Secondstage

Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Play or Musical
Jay Crowder, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Nick DeGregorio, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ford’s Theatre
George Fulginiti-Shakar, Damn Yankees, Arena Stage
Jon Kalbfleisch, Pacific Overtures, Signature Theatre
Adam Wernick, Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical
Christopher Bloch, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Lawrence Redmond, Damn Yankees, Arena Stage
Stephen F. Schmidt, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Bobby Smith, A Year with Frog and Toad, Round House Theatre
Harry A. Winter, Pacific Overtures, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical
Jennifer Anderson, Seussical, Imagination Stage
Eleasha Gamble, Once on This Island, Round House Theatre
Rebecca Herron, The Spitfire Grill, Theater Alliance
Joanne Schmoll, The Spitfire Grill, Theater Alliance
Jenna Sokolowski, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Kay Walbye, Damn Yankees, Arena Stage

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical
Christopher B. Corrigan, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ford’s Theatre
Will Gartshore, Pacific Overtures, Signature Theatre
Tie: Will Gartshore, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Tie: Michael McElroy, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ford’s Theatre
Bill O’Brien, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ford’s Theatre
Brad Oscar, Damn Yankees, Arena Stage

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical
Felicia Curry, Aida, Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Tie: Erin Driscoll, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Tie: Meg Gillentine, Damn Yankees, Arena Stage
Montego Glover, Once on This Island, Round House Theatre
Donna Migliaccio, Pacific Overtures,Signature Theatre

Outstanding Director, Resident Musical
Joe Calarco, Urinetown, Signature Theatre
Jeff Calhoun, Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ford’s Theatre
Scot Reese, Once on This Island, Round House Theatre
Eric Schaeffer, Pacific Overtures, Signature Theatre
Molly Smith, Damn Yankees, Arena Stage

Outstanding Resident Musical
Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Ford’s Theatre
Damn Yankees, Arena Stage
Once on This Island,Round House Theatre
Pacific Overtures, Signature Theatre
Urinetown, Signature Theatre

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
Mickey Birnbaum, Big Death & Little Death (World Premiere), Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Stephen Karam, Sean McNall, PJ Paparelli, and Patricia Hersch, columbinus (World Premiere), Round House Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, and United States Theatre Project
Dianne McIntyre, Open the Door, Virginia!, Theater of the First Amendment
Charles Randolph-Wright, Cuttin’ Up (World Premiere), Arena Stage
Sarah Ruhl, Passion Play, A Cycle, Arena Stage
S.M. Shephard-Massat, Starving (World Premiere), Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
David Emerson Toney, Kingdom (World Premiere), The African Continuum Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play
Steve Brady, String Fever, Theater J
Daniel Breaker, The Tempest, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Cameron McNary, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, The Studio Theatre Secondstage
Bruce R. Nelson, The Violet Hour, Rep Stage
Jake Suffian, Take Me Out, The Studio Theatre
Michael Willis, After Ashley, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play
Lindsay Allen, An Experiment with an Air Pump, Journeymen Theater Ensemble
Franca Barchiesi, The Clean House, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Colleen Delany, Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Sarah Marshall, The Clean House, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Polly Noonan, Passion Play, A Cycle, Arena Stage
Marni Penning, After Ashley, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play
Daniel Breaker, The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Robert Cuccioli, Lorenzaccio, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Scott Fortier, Metamorphosis, Catalyst Theater Company
Tie: Rick Foucheux, Take Me Out, The Studio Theatre
Ted van Griethuysen, The Clandestine Marriage, Folger Theatre
Karl Miller, columbinus (World Premiere), Round House Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, and United States Theatre Project
Tie: Patrick Page, Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Felix Solis, Passion Play, A Cycle, Arena Stage
Tom Story, A Number, The Studio Theatre
Mark Sullivan, After Ashley, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play
Suli Holum, Born Yesterday, Arena Stage
Jennifer Mendenhall, You Are Here, Theater Alliance
Jennifer Mendenhall, Sophocles’ Electra, MetroStage
Carolyn Pasquantonio, The Miracle Worker, Olney Theatre Center
Elizabeth Rich, Hannah & Martin, Theater J
Erika Rose, Pretty Fire, The African Continuum Theatre Company
Vivienne Shub, The American Dream, Potomac Theatre Project, as part of the Potomac Theatre Festival
Deidra LaWan Starnes, I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady from Rwanda, The African Continuum Theatre Company
MaryBeth Wise, The Miracle Worker, Olney Theatre Center
Eunice Wong, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, The Studio Theatre Secondstage

Outstanding Director, Resident Play
Jeremy B. Cohen, Hannah & Martin, Theatre J
Lee Mikeska Gardner, After Ashley, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Kirk Jackson, Take Me Out, The Studio Theatre
Michael Kahn, Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company
David Muse, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, The Studio Theatre Secondstage
PJ Paparelli, columbinus (World Premiere), Round House Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, and United States Theatre Project
Joy Zinoman, A Number, The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Resident Play
A Number, The Studio Theatre
columbinus (World Premiere), Round House Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, and United States Theatre Project
Hannah & Martin, Theater J
Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Tie: Take Me Out, The Studio Theatre
Tie: The Clean House, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, The Studio Theatre Secondstage

Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production
Ricky Jay, Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, The Studio Theatre
Jefferson Mays, I Am My Own Wife, The National Theatre
Joe Sears, Red, White and Tuna, The Kennedy Center
Jaston Williams, Red, White and Tuna, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production
Stephanie J. Block, Wicked, The Kennedy Center
Kendra Kassebaum, Wicked, The Kennedy Center
Vanessa Redgrave, Hecuba, The Kennedy Center
Keala Settle, Hairspray,The Kennedy Center
Amy Ziff, Betty Rules, The Exception to the Musical, Theater J

Outstanding Non-Resident Production
Hecuba, The Kennedy Center
I Am My Own Wife, The National Theatre
Red, White and Tuna, The Kennedy Center
Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants, The Studio Theatre
Wicked, The Kennedy Center


-- Susan Berlin


Also see the Current Theatre Season Calendar for D.C.



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