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THE BAND'S VISIT, JITNEY, And More Nominated for 2020 Helen Hayes Awards

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THE BAND'S VISIT, JITNEY, And More Nominated for 2020 Helen Hayes Awards

Tonight, at a celebration honoring theatre excellence on stages across the Washington area, theatre artists, administrators, patrons, and special guests gathered in The National Theatre's Helen Hayes Gallery for theatreWashington's announcement of nominees for the 36th Annual Helen Hayes Awards, which will be presented on Monday, May 18 at an event at the Anthem.

theatreWashington President and CEO Amy Austin was joined by some of the region's most celebrated and prolific theatre artists, including Ta??mídaya?? Amay, Regina Aquino, Frank Britton, Allyson Currin, Felicia Curry, Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, Rick Hammerly, Helen Hedman, Sabrina Mandell, and Deidra LaWan Starnes, to welcome the audience and announce the nominations. They will be joined as presenters at the ceremony in May by Justin Weaks, Holly Twyford, Bobby Smith, and Mark Jaster. Felicia Curry (2018 recipient and 2020 nominee) and Naomi Jacobson (13 time nominee and two-time recipient) were announced as co-hosts for the 2020 Awards Ceremony. Austin commented, "Each year I am delighted to usher in the Helen Hayes Awards season with a celebration of the phenomenal work being produced in the Washington, DC region. This year is no exception. There were 185 eligible productions so I am deeply grateful to our panel of judges for their commitment and thoughtful selections."

Recognizing work from 185 eligible productions presented in the 2019 calendar year, 255 nominations were made in 47 categories and grouped in "Helen" or "Hayes" cohorts, depending on the number of Equity members involved in the production. Nominations are the result of 40 carefully vetted judges considering 2,570 individual pieces of work, such as design, direction, choreography, performances, and more. Productions under consideration in 2019 included 46 musicals, 139 plays, and 45 world premieres.

Olney Theatre Center and 1st Stage saw the most number of nominations for a theatre, with 27 and 18 respectively. The most nominated productions include: Little Shop of Horrors at Constellation Theatre Company (with 11), Blood at the Root at Theater Alliance (with 10), A Chorus Line at Signature Theatre (with 9), Cabaret at Olney Theatre Center (with 9), Cyrano de Bergerac at Synetic Theater (with 9), and Into the Woods at Ford's Theatre (with 9).

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company is selected each year by the Emerging Theatre Committee of theatreWashington. This year's eligible companies include 4615 Theatre Company, Angel Rose Artist Collective, Best Medicine Rep, and Theatre Prometheus. Qualifying theatres must produce at least one show per year, with a minimum of nine performances each, for two consecutive years.

Bonnie Nelson Schwartz will receive the 2020 Helen Hayes Tribute Award. Nelson Schwartz is the founder and original producer of the Helen Hayes Awards and is a Broadway and television producer with more than 100 plays, films, television programs and concerts in Washington, DC, New York and London to her credit. Her most recent project, Traveling While Black, was nominated for a 2019 Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.

Named for actor Helen Hayes - a Washington native and legendary First Lady of the American Theatre - the Helen Hayes Awards has honored excellence in professional theatre throughout the Washington region for more than three decades.


2020 Helen Hayes Awards Nominations

Outstanding Choreography in a Musical - Hayes

Grady McLeod Bowman, Singin' in the Rain - Olney Theatre Center

Byron Easley, Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical - Olney Theatre Center

Denis Jones, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Parker Esse, Newsies - Arena Stage

Katie Spelman, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Choreography in a Musical - Helen

Tina Marie DeSimone & Mark Minnick, A Christmas Story - Toby's Dinner Theatre

Ilona Kessell, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

Ashleigh King, Legally Blonde - The Keegan Theatre

Robert Mintz, Singin' in the Rain - NextStop Theatre Company

Luis Salgado, Fame The Musical - GALA Hispanic Theatre

Outstanding Choreography in a Play - Hayes

Tori Tolentino and Dallas Tolentino, Escape from Peligro Island - Imagination Stage

Alice Gosti, 1 Henry IV - Folger Theatre

Orange Grove Dance, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Round House Theatre

Stephanie Paul (Choreographer) & Robb Hunter (Fight Choreographer), Richard the Third - Shakespeare Theatre Company

Tony Thomas, P.Y.G. Or The Mis-Edumaction of Dorian - Belle Studio Theatre

Cliff Williams III, The Royale - Olney Theatre Center & 1st Stage

Outstanding Choreography in a Play - Helen

Robert Bowen Smith, Jonathan Ezra Rubin, & Tiffanie Horner, Crystal Creek Motel -Flying V

Happenstance Theater, Pantheon - Happenstance Theater

Casey Kaleba, Topdog/Underdog - Avant Bard Theatre

Tiffany Quinn, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Jessica Redish, Airness - The Keegan Theatre & 1st Stage

Irina Tsikurishvili, Cyrano de Bergerac - Synetic Theater

Outstanding Musical Direction - Hayes

Laura Bergquist, Newsies - Arena Stage

Jon Kalbfleisch, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Mark G. Meadows, Ain't Misbehavin' - Signature Theatre

William Yanesh, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Christopher Youstra, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Musical Direction - Helen

Marika Countouris, We're Gonna Die - Flying V

Walter "Bobby" McCoy, Legally Blonde - The Keegan Theatre

Walter "Bobby" McCoy, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

Ross Scott Rawlings, A Christmas Story - Toby's Dinner Theatre

Refiye Tappan, On Air - Creative Cauldron

Outstanding Costume Design - Hayes

Tracy Christensen, Love's Labor's Lost - Folger Theatre

Mariah Anzaldo Hale, Nell Gwynn - Folger Theatre

Wade Laboissonniere, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Pei Lee, Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical - Olney Theatre Center

Merrily Murray-Walsh, Jubilee - Arena Stage

Outstanding Costume Design - Helen

Kristen Ahern, Daddy Long Legs - Monumental Theatre Company

Jeanette Christensen, Elephant & Piggie's "We Are In A Play!" - Adventure Theatre MTC

Alison Samantha Johnson, Cyrano de Bergerac - Synetic Theater

AT Jones and Sons, A Christmas Story - Toby's Dinner Theatre

Frank Labovitz, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

Amy MacDonald, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Outstanding Lighting Design - Hayes

Colin K. Bills, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

William D'Eugenio, The Brothers Size - 1st Stage

Adam Honore, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Sherrice Mojgani, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Round House Theatre

Rui Rita, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design - Helen

Johnathan Alexander, Topdog/Underdog - Avant Bard Theatre

Brian S. Allard, Cyrano de Bergerac - Synetic Theater

Lynn Johnson, On Air - Creative Cauldron

Conor Mulligan, columbinus - 1st Stage

Alberto Segarra (Lighting Designer) & Kelly Colburn (Projections/Media Designer), Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Outstanding Set Design - Hayes

Debra Booth, Richard the Third - Shakespeare Theatre Company

Wilson Chin, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

Paul Tate dePoo III, Grand Hotel - Signature Theatre

Milagros Ponce de Leon, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Milagros Ponce de Leon (Set Designer) & Clint Allen (Projections/Media Designer), Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical - Olney Theatre Center

Giorgos Tsappas, The Brothers Size - 1st Stage

Outstanding Set Design - Helen

Nephelie Andonyadis, Topdog/Underdog - Avant Bard Theatre

Jessica Cancino, Daddy Long Legs - Monumental Theatre Company

A.J. Guban, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

David A. Hopkins, A Christmas Story - Toby's Dinner Theatre

Joseph Musumeci, Crystal Creek - Motel Flying V

Johnny Roberston, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Outstanding Sound Design - Hayes

Ryan Hickey, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Kenny Neal, The Royale - Olney Theatre Center & 1st Stage

Kenny Neal, Oil - Olney Theatre Center

Sarah O'Halloran, The Brothers Size - 1st Stage

Andre Pleuss, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Round House Theatre

Matt Rowe, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Sound Design - Helen

e'Marcus Harper-Short, Topdog/Underdog - Avant Bard Theatre

Kenny Neal, columbinus - 1st Stage

Kenny Neal, Airness - The Keegan Theatre & 1st Stage

Tony Starnes, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Tom Teasley, Chao Tian - The White Snake Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Direction in a Musical - Hayes

Peter Flynn, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Matthew Gardiner, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Alan Paul, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

Molly Smith, Newsies - Arena Stage

Jerry Whiddon, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical - The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Direction in a Musical - Helen

Matt Conner, Disney's Beauty and the Beast - Creative Cauldron

Ricky Drummond, Legally Blonde - The Keegan Theatre

Shawn Kettering, A Christmas Story - Toby's Dinner Theatre

Nick Martin, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

Michael Windsor, Daddy Long Legs - Monumental Theatre Company

Outstanding Direction in a Play - Hayes

Vivienne Benesch, Love's Labor's Lost - Folger Theatre

Jose Carrasquillo, The Brothers Size - 1st Stage

Robert Richmond, Nell Gwynn - Folger Theatre

Ryan Rilette, Jared Mezzocchi, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Round House Theatre

Nicole A. Watson, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play - Round House Theatre

Outstanding Direction in a Play - Helen

Raymond O. Caldwell, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Danielle A. Drakes, Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem - Theater Alliance

Rick Hammerly, Agnes of God - Factory 449

Alex Levy, Juan Francisco Villa, columbinus - 1st Stage

DeMone Seraphin, Topdog/Underdog - Avant Bard Theatre

Vato Tsikurishvili, Cyrano de Bergerac - Synetic Theater

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical - Hayes

A Chorus Line, Signature Theatre

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical, The Kennedy Center

Into the Woods, Ford's Theatre

Newsies, Arena Stage

Once, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical - Helen

A Christmas Story, Toby's Dinner Theatre

Disenchanted!, Creative Cauldron

Fame, The Musical, GALA Hispanic Theatre

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Toby's Dinner Theatre

Legally Blonde, The Keegan Theatre

Little Shop of Horrors, Constellation Theatre Company

On Air, Creative Cauldron

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play - Hayes

Nell Gwynn, Folger Theatre

Oil, Olney Theatre Center

The Oresteia, Shakespeare Theatre Company

School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Round House Theatre

Vanity Fair, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play - Helen

Blood at the Root, Theater Alliance

columbinus, 1st Stage

Cyrano de Bergerac, Synetic Theater

Day of Absence, Theater Alliance

Pantheon, Happenstance Theater

Outstanding Performer - Visiting Production

Jayne Atkinson, Ann - Arena Stage

Anthony Chisholm, Jitney - Arena Stage

Sasson Gabay,The Band's Visit - The Kennedy Center

Steven Anthony Jones, Jitney - Arena Stage

Russell Jordan, Vivian's Music 1969 - The Essential Theatre

Pat Kinevane, Silent - Solas Nua

Pomme Koch, The Band's Visit - The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical -Hayes

Christopher Bloch, Assassins - Signature Theatre

Jeff Gorti, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Vincent Kempski, Assassins - Signature Theatre

Bobby Smith, Grand Hotel - Signature Theatre

Jacob Scott Tischler, Singin' in the Rain - Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical - Hayes

Samantha M Gershman, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Jade Jones, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Donna Migliaccio, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

Tracy Lynn Olivera, Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical - Olney Theatre Center

Tracy Lynn Olivera, Assassins - Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical - Helen

Marty Austin Lamar, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

Christian Montgomery, Be More Chill - Monumental Theatre Company

Josh Simon, Disney's Beauty and the Beast - Creative Cauldron

Fashad Tyler, Black Nativity - Anacostia Playhouse

Greg Watkins, Legally Blonde - The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical - Helen

Teresa Danskey, Fame, The Musical - GALA Hispanic Theatre

Susan Oliveras, Fame, The Musical - GALA Hispanic Theatre

Molly Rumberger, Be More Chill - Monumental Theatre Company

Molly Rumberger, Disenchanted! - Creative Cauldron

Alana Thomas, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

Chani Wereley, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play - Hayes

Christopher Dinolfo, Nell Gwynn - Folger Theatre

Juri Henley-Cohn, Oslo - Round House Theatre

Vincent Randazzo, Vanity Fair - Shakespeare Theatre Company

Justin Weaks, BLKS - Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Elan Zafir, Twelve Angry Men - Ford's Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play - Hayes

Moriamo Temidayo Akibu, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play - Round House Theatre

Shannon Dorsey, Fairview - Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Jade Jones School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play - Round House Theatre

Sarah Marshall, Admissions - Studio Theatre

Nancy Robinette, The Heiress - Arena Stage

Kathryn Tkel, A Doll's House, Part 2 - Round House Theatre

James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play - Helen

Aaron Bliden Beep Beep Arts on the Horizon

Brett Cassidy columbinus 1st Stage

Elliott Kashner The Burn The Hub Theatre

Jack Novak Lovers' Vows We Happy Few Productions

Gary Perkins III Airness The Keegan Theatre & 1st Stage

Chris Stezin Airness The Keegan Theatre & 1st Stage

Matt Stover Cyrano de Bergerac Synetic Theater

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play - Helen

Jessica Lefkow, Lovers' Vows - We Happy Few Productions

Chloe Mikala, The Burn - The Hub Theatre

Rebecca Speas, As You Like It - Brave Spirits Theatre

Zoe Walpole, Agnes of God - Factory 449

Gabby Wolfe, The Burn - The Hub Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical - Hayes

Rhett Guter, Singin' in the Rain - Olney Theatre Center

Gregory Maheu, Once - Olney Theatre Center

Daniel J Maldonado, Newsies - Arena Stage

Kevin McAllister, Ain't Misbehavin' - Signature Theatre

Mason Alexander Park, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical -Hayes

Felicia Curry, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical - The Kennedy Center

Nova Y Payton, Ain't Misbehavin' - Signature Theatre

Malinda Kathleen Reese, Once - Olney Theatre Center

Awa Sal Secka, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Erin Weaver, Newsies - Arena Stage

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical - Helen

Kurt Boehm, Daddy Long Legs - Monumental Theatre Company

Juan Luis Espinal, Fame, The Musical - GALA Hispanic Theatre

Christian Montgomery, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

John Poncy, A Christmas Story - Toby's Dinner Theatre

Jonah Schwartz, Huckleberry Finn's Big River Adventure - Theatre MTC

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical - Helen

Tanya DeLeon, Fame, The Musical - GALA Hispanic Theatre

Gabriella DeLuca, Legally Blonde - The Keegan Theatre

Nora Palka, On Air - Creative Cauldron

Eleanor Todd, Disney's Beauty and the Beast - Creative Cauldron

Karen Vincent, Elephant & Piggie's "We Are In A Play!" - Adventure Theatre MTC

Caroline Wolfson, Daddy Long Legs - Monumental Theatre Company

Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play - Hayes

Harrison Bryan, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Round House Theatre

Christian Conn, Doubt, A Parable - Studio Theatre

John Treacy Egan, Ken Ludwig's A Comedy of Tenors - Olney Theatre Center

Zachary Fine, Love's Labor's Lost - Folger Theatre

Gary-Kayi Fletcher, The Brothers Size - 1st Stage

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play - Hayes

Kelley Curran, The Oresteia - Shakespeare Theatre Company

Shannon Dorsey, BLKS - Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Catherine Eaton, Oil - Olney Theatre Center

Kashayna Johnson, School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play - Round House Theatre

Laura C. Harris, The Heiress - Arena Stage

Alison Luff, Nell Gwynn - Folger Theatre

Sarah Marshall, Doubt, A Parable - Studio Theatre

Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play - Helen

Louis E. Davis, Topdog/Underdog - Avant Bard Theatre

Jeremy Keith Hunter, Topdog/Underdog - Avant Bard Theatre

Patrick Joy, columbinus - 1st Stage

Emmanuel Kyei-Baffour, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Vato Tsikurishvili, Cyrano de Bergerac - Synetic Theater

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play - Helen

Felicia Curry, Agnes of God - Factory 449

Dane Figueroa, Edidi Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem - Theater Alliance

Billie Krishawn, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Lolita Marie, God of Carnage - The Keegan Theatre

Maryam Najafzada, Cyrano de Bergerac - Synetic Theater

Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation

Dane Figuerora, Edidi Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem - Theater Alliance

Patrick Flynn, The Velveteen Rabbit Adventure - Theatre MTC

Ellen McLaughlin, The Oresteia - Shakespeare Theatre Company

Matt Minnicino, A Misanthrope - Avant Bard Theatre

Tom Warburton & Mo Willems (Book/Lyrics),

Deborah Wicks La Puma (Music) Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical The Kennedy Center

Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical

Tearrance Chisholm P.Y.G. Or The Mis-Edumaction Of Dorian Belle Studio Theatre

Irma Correa El viejo, el joven y el mar (The Old Man, the Youth, and the Sea) GALA Hispanic Theatre

Ken Ludwig Dear Jack, Dear Louise Arena Stage

Psalmayene 24 Les Deux Noirs: Notes on Notes of a Native Son Mosaic Theater Company of DC

Paul Reisman The Great Commedia Hotel Murder Mystery Faction of Fools Theatre Company

Outstanding Production - Theatre for Young Audiences

Beep Beep, Arts on the Horizon

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! The Musical, The Kennedy Center

From Gumbo to Mumbo, The Keegan Theatre

Squeakers and Mr. Gumdrop, Arts on the Horizon

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, Imagination Stage

Outstanding Visiting Production

The Band's Visit, The Kennedy Center

Hello, Dolly!, The Kennedy Center

Jitney, Arena Stage

Silent, Solas Nua

Twisted Melodies, Mosaic Theater Company of DC

Vivian's Music 1969, The Essential Theatre

Outstanding Production in a Musical - Hayes

Cabaret, Olney Theatre Center

A Chorus Line, Signature Theatre

Into the Woods, Ford's Theatre

Newsies, Arena Stage

Once, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Production in a Musical - Helen

A Christmas Story, Toby's Dinner Theatre

Daddy Long Legs, Monumental Theatre Company

Fame, The Musical, GALA Hispanic Theatre

Legally Blonde, The Keegan Theatre

Little Shop of Horrors, Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Production in a Play - Hayes

The Brothers Size, 1st Stage

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Round House Theatre

Doubt, A Parable, Studio Theatre

Nell Gwynn, Folger Theatre

Oil, Olney Theatre Center

School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Round House Theatre

Outstanding Production in a Play - Helen


Agnes of God, Factory 449

Blood at the Root, Theater Alliance

Cyrano de Bergerac. Synetic Theater

Klytmnestra: An Epic Slam Poem, Theater Alliance

Topdog/Underdog, Avant Bard Theatre

Helen Hayes Tribute

Bonnie Nelson Schwartz

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company

(note: these are eligible companies, not nominees)

4615 Theatre Company

Angel Rose Artist Collective

Best Medicine Rep

Theatre Prometheus




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