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Washington DC by Susan Berlin

Hairspray, Ruined Take Top Honors at
2012 Helen Hayes Awards

Also see Susan's review of Crown of Shadows: the wake of odysseus

Signature Theatre's production of Hairspray received the most Helen Hayes Awards—five, including Outstanding Regional Musical—at the 28th annual ceremony in Washington, DC. Arena Stage's production of Ruined took the honor for Outstanding Regional Play.

In addition to Outstanding Regional Musical, Hairspray was honored for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical; Jon Kalbfleisch, Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production; Carolyn Cole, Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical; and Nova Y. Payton, Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Production.

Synetic Theater received four Helen Hayes Awards for its silent reimagining of King Lear as a tragic clown show: Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play; Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis, Outstanding Choreography; Andrew F. Griffin, Outstanding Lighting Design; and Irakli Kavsadze and Konstantine Lortkipanidze, Outstanding Sound Design, who tied with Chris Baine for A Bright New Boise at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.

Theater J received three acting awards: for After the Fall, Mitchell Hébert, the Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play, and Gabriela Fernández-Coffey, Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play; and for Parade, a co-production with Ford's Theatre, Euan Morton, Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical.

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? presented at Arena Stage was named Outstanding Non-Resident Production. The Sydney Theatre Company's Uncle Vanya at the Kennedy Center received recognition for Cate Blanchett, Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production, and Hugo Weaving, Outstanding Supporting Performer, Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production. Sahr Ngaujah of FELA! at the Shakespeare Theatre Company received the award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production.

Birds of a Feather by Marc Acito, presented by the Hub Theatre, received the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical. Adventure Theatre's production of Charlotte's Web took the award for Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences. Also at Adventure Theatre, Michael Baron received the Outstanding Director, Resident Musical, award for A Year with Frog and Toad. The Outstanding Director, Resident Play, award went to Aaron Posner for Cyrano at the Folger Theatre.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company's production of Much Ado About Nothing received two awards: for Ted van Griethuysen, the James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play, and Lee Savage, Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production.

Rena Cherry Brown, in the Bay Theatre Company's production of Wit, and Erica Sullivan, in Venus in Fur at the Studio Theatre, tied for Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play. Matthew Delorenzo received the Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical, award for the Studio Theatre 2ndStage production of Pop!

Kendra Rai received the award for Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production, for The Green Bird at Constellation Theatre Company.

Former President Bill Clinton sent a video recognizing Kevin Spacey, recipient of the Helen Hayes Tribute. Jane Lang and Paul Sprenger received the Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community for turning an abandoned movie theater in Northeast Washington into the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Faction of Fools Theatre Company received the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.

More information is available at www.theatreWashington.org.

Helen Hayes Award Nominations and Winners 2012 (winners are in bold)

Outstanding Resident Musical
Follies, The Kennedy Center
Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Liberty Smith, Ford's Theatre
Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Side by Side by Sondheim, Signature Theatre
The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Resident Play
A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Cyrano, Folger Theatre
King Lear, Synetic Theater
Ruined, Arena Stage
Venus in Fur, The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Director, Resident Musical
Matt August, Liberty Smith, Ford's Theatre
Keith Alan Baker, Jennifer Harris, Hunter Styles, Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Michael Baron, A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Toby Orenstein, Lawrence B. Munsey, Chicago, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Eric Schaeffer, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Janet Stanford, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage

Outstanding Director, Resident Play
David Muse, The Habit of Art, Studio Theatre
David Muse, Venus in Fur, Studio Theatre
Aaron Posner, Cyrano, Folger Theatre
Charles Randolph-Wright, Ruined, Arena Stage
Serge Seiden, Charlotte's Web, Adventure Theatre
Paata Tsikurishvili, King Lear, Synetic Theater
John Vreeke, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production
Michael J. Bobbitt, Fabian Barnes, Mirandy and Brother Wind, Adventure Theatre
Brianne Camp, Karma Camp, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Irina Tsikurishvili, Ben Cunis, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Dale Anthony Girard, Cyrano, Folger Theatre
Robb Hunter, The Walworth Farce, Studio Theatre
Susan Shields, STAY, Theater of the First Amendment
Kate Arnold Wernick, A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production
Jay Crowder, Liberty Smith, Ford's Theatre

Jon Kalbfleisch, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
James Moore, Follies, Kennedy Center
Christopher Youstra, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Olney Theatre Center
Christopher Youstra, Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage

Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production
Georgi Alexi-Meskhishvili, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Gregg Barnes, Follies, Kennedy Center
ESosa, Ruined, Arena Stage
Kendra Rai, The Green Bird, Constellation Theatre Company
Chelsey Schuller, A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production
Colin K. Bills, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Michael Gilliam, Ruined, Arena Stage
Andrew F. Griffin, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Andrew F. Griffin, Othello, Folger Theater
Chris Lee, The Hollow, Signature Theatre
Tyler Micoleau, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Thom Weaver, Cyrano, Folger Theater

Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production
Phil Charlwood, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Daniel Conway, Cyrano, Folger Theatre
David Ghatan, Voices Underwater, Rorschach Theatre
Misha Kachman, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
James Noone, The Habit of Art, Studio Theatre
Collin Ranney, A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Lee Savage, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production
Tie: Chris Baine, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Steven Cahill, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Tie: Irakli Kavsadze, Konstantine Lortkipanidze, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Nicole Martin, Voices Underwater, Rorschach Theatre
Neil McFadden, An Almost Holy Picture, Rep Stage
Matt Rowe, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Tom Teasley, The Green Bird, Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production
Lex Ishimoto, Billy Elliot the Musical, Kennedy Center
Tracy Letts, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage
J. Mark McVey, Les Misérables, Kennedy Center
Sahr Ngaujah, FELA!, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Richard Roxburgh, Uncle Vanya, Kennedy Center

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical
Rob McQuay, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage
Euan Morton, Parade, Ford's Theatre and Theater J
Geoff Packard, Liberty Smith, Ford's Theater
Tom Story, Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Alan Wiggins, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Olney Theatre Center

The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play
Mitchell Hčbert, After the Fall, Theater J
Irakli Kavsadze, King Lear, Synetic Theater
James McMenamin, Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo, Arena Stage
Michael Russotto, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Ted van Griethuysen, The Habit of Art, Studio Theatre
Paxton Whitehead, The Habit of Art, Studio Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production
Cate Blanchett, Uncle Vanya, Kennedy Center
Leah Hocking, Billy Elliot the Musical, Kennedy Center
Rozina Kambos, Return to Haifa, Theater J
Melanie Marshall, FELA!, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Amy Morton, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical
Nancy Anderson, Side by Side by Sondheim, Signature Theatre
Jessica Lauren Ball, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center
Carolyn Cole, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Kelly Karbacz, Liberty Smith, Ford's Theatre
Jan Maxwell, Follies, Kennedy Center
Bernardine Mitchell, His Eye Is On the Sparrow, MetroStage

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play
Tie: Rena Cherry Brown, Wit, Bay Theatre Company Inc.
Jenny Jules, Ruined, Arena Stage
Ira Koval, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Mona Martínez, ˇAy, Carmela!, GALA Hispanic Theatre and Acción Sur
Lizan Mitchell, The Trip to Bountiful, Round House Theatre
Tie: Erica Sullivan, Venus in Fur, Studio Theatre
Irina Tsikurishvili, King Lear, Synetic Theater

Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production
Maximilien A. Baud, Billy Elliot the Musical, Kennedy Center
Ben Cook, Billy Elliot the Musical, Kennedy Center
Hayley McElhinney, Uncle Vanya, Kennedy Center
Hugo Weaving, Uncle Vanya, Kennedy Center
Patrick Wetzel, Billy Elliot the Musical, Kennedy Center

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical
Matthew Delorenzo, Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage
Ricardo Frederick Evans, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage
Kevin McAllister, Parade, Ford's Theatre and Theater J
Jobari Parker-Namdar, A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Bobby Smith, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center
Vishal Vaidya, A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Dan Van Why, National Pastime, Keegan Theatre

The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play
Ben Cunis, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Aubrey Deeker, The Walworth Farce, Studio Theatre
Chris Dinolfo, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Philip Fletcher, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Ted van Griethuysen, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical
Tracy Lynn Olivera, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center
Nova Y. Payton, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Kirstin Riegler, A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Lauren Williams, Hairspray, Signature Theatre
Rachel Zampelli, Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play
Mirenka Cechová, King Lear, Synetic Theater
Margaret Daly, The Habit of Art, Studio Theatre
Gabriela Fernández-Coffey, After the Fall, Theater J
Catherine Flye, Pride and Prejudice, Round House Theatre
Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Ruined, Arena Stage
Jennifer Mendenhall, Imagining Madoff, Theater J

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical
A Year with Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Hairspray, Signature Theater
Liberty Smith, Ford's Theater
Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage
The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play
ˇAy, Carmela!, GALA Hispanic Theatre and Acción Sur
Birds of a Feather, Hub Theater
Cyrano, Folger Theater
The Habit of Art, Studio Theatre
King Lear, Synetic Theater
Oedipus el Rey, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Non-Resident Production
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Billy Elliot the Musical, Kennedy Center
Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage
Equivocation, Arena Stage
Uncle Vanya, Kennedy Center

Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences
A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre
Aladdin's Luck, Imagination Stage
Charlotte's Web, Adventure Theatre
Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, Adventure Theatre

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
Marc Acito, Birds of a Feather, Hub Theatre
dog & pony dc, Beertown, dog & pony dc
Michael Hollinger, Aaron Posner, Cyrano, Folger Theatre
David Ives, The Heir Apparent, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Helen Pafumi, Jason Lott, Wonderful Life, Hub Theatre
Duncan Macmillan, Lungs, Studio Theatre
Deb Margolin, Imagining Madoff, Theater J

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company
Faction of Fools Theatre Company


-- Susan Berlin


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



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