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THE BAND'S VISIT Tour Wins Helen Hayes Award for 'Outstanding Visiting Production'

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The Helen Hayes Awards for individual achievements were announced via Zoom.

THE BAND'S VISIT Tour Wins Helen Hayes Award for 'Outstanding Visiting Production'

On September 25, the 36th Annual Helen Hayes Awards concluded, after a series of virtual events celebrating Washington's dynamic and diverse theatre community.

Recognizing 255 Helen Hayes Award nominees and 48 award recipients drawn from 185 eligible productions - including 46 musicals, 139 plays, and 45 world premieres - and 2,570 individual pieces of work from 35 theater companies in 2019.

The Helen Hayes Awards for individual achievements were announced via Zoom with nominees, presenters, and guests from the community from August 31-September 11, 2020.

As a culmination of the 2020 Helen Hayes Awards celebrations, the community enjoyed a celebratory evening of virtual events, including a pre-show red carpet on Instagram live, hosted by DC theatre artists and Helen Hayes Award recipients Rick Hammerly and Felicia Curry and an after party on Zoom, DJ'd and hosted by Edward Daniels, DC actor and owner of Scorpio Entertainment.

The program, streamed live (and now available in full) on YouTube, included a Land Acknowledgement, a recap of the individual Award announcements, a video retrospective of 2019 productions, and a community message from over 30 Washington theatre-makers. Eleven additional Awards were also announced - for outstanding productions, outstanding ensembles, and The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.

Topping the list of 20 theaters receiving Helen Hayes Awards this year was Theater Alliance, which received a total of eight awards for their work, seven for the production of Blood at the Root, including Outstanding Production in a Play-Helen. Signature Theatre received six awards, five for their production of A Chorus Line, including Outstanding Production in a Musical-Hayes. The Brothers Size at 1st Stage also received four awards, including Outstanding Production in a Play-Hayes.

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company was given to 4615 Theatre Company, which produces a blend of classical and contemporary work, inspiring audiences to explore the echoes and resonances of storytelling passed down through the ages and is dedicated to local artists, audience accessibility, and nurturing the next generation of visionaries, troublemakers, multi-hyphenates, and storytellers. Established in 2008, the Aniello Award is named for the late John Aniello Jr., a theatre enthusiast lovingly remembered for his personal support of both emerging and established theatre artists in the Washington area.

Hosting the first virtual Helen Hayes Awards were Washington theater artists and past Helen Hayes Award-recipients Felicia Curry and Naomi Jacobson. Awards were presented by a group of artists and theater professionals including Ta??mídaya?? Amay, Regina Aquino, Frank Britton, Allyson Currin, Dane Figueroa Edidi, Gwen Grastorf, Helen Hedman, Mark Jaster, Sabrina Mandell, Bobby Smith, Deidra LaWan Starnes, Holly Twyford, and Justin Weaks.

The late Victor Shargai, long-time theatreWashington board chair, theater lover, and philanthropist, was honored by his family-his husband Craig Pascal, Eric and Heidi Murkoff, Freda, Evan, and Sara Xing Eisenberg, and Sandee and Tim Hathaway-as the Premiere Sponsor for the awards. Andrew R. Ammerman, a long-time supporter of theatre in the Washington DC region, was the The Helen Hayes Community Sponsor and John and Meg Hauge served as Chairs of the Host Committee. The Share Fund was The Nominee Sponsor.

theatreWashington and the Helen Hayes Awards are also supported in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the DC Office of Cable, Television, Film, Music and Entertainment, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation, and The Revada Foundation.

During the Helen Hayes Awards season, theatreWashington raised money for the Taking Care COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. This Fund, started in March 2020, has surpassed its original goal of $330,000-which was distributed in microgrants to local theater professionals in need during the near shutdown of our industry. Generous community donors and foundations, including Craig Pascal, Holly Hassett, The Gwendolyn and Morris Cafritz Foundation, and the board of directors of theatreWashington pledged $25,000 to be matched by the community, raising an additional $50,000 for this Fund.


2020 Helen Hayes Awards Recipients

Outstanding Choreography in a Musical - Hayes

Parker Esse Newsies Arena Stage

Outstanding Choreography in a Musical - Helen

Ashleigh King Legally Blonde The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Choreography in a Play - Hayes

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

Outstanding Choreography in a Play - Helen

Tiffany Quinn, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Outstanding Musical Direction - Hayes

William Yanesh, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction - Helen

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

Outstanding Costume Design - Hayes

Wade Laboissonniere, Into the Woods - Ford's Theatre

Outstanding Costume Design - Helen

Frank Labovitz, Little Shop of Horrors - Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design - Hayes

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

Outstanding Lighting Design - Helen

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

Outstanding Set Design - Hayes

Paul Tate DePoo III, Grand Hotel - Signature Theatre

Outstanding Set Design - Helen

Nephelie Andonyadis, Topdog/Underdog - Avant Bard Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design - Hayes

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

Outstanding Sound Design - Helen

Tony Starnes, Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Outstanding Direction in a Musical - Hayes

Matthew Gardiner, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Outstanding Direction in a Musical - Helen

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

Outstanding Direction in a Play - Hayes

Jose Carrasquillo, The Brothers Size - 1st Stage

Outstanding Direction in a Play - Helen

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

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical - Hayes

A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical - Helen

Fame, The Musical - GALA Hispanic Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play - Hayes

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

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play - Helen

Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

Outstanding Performer - Visiting Production

Pat Kinevane, Silent Solas - Nua

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical -Hayes

Samantha M Gershman, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Jeff Gorti, A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical - Helen

Molly Rumberger, Be More Chill - Monumental Theatre Company

Greg Watkins, Legally Blonde - The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Play - Hayes

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

Vincent Randazzo, Vanity Fair - Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Play - Helen

Zoe Walpole, Agnes of God - Factory 449

Matt Stover, Cyrano de Bergerac - Synetic Theater

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical -Hayes

Malinda Kathleen Reese, Once - Olney Theatre Center

Mason Alexander Park, Cabaret - Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical - Helen

Nora Palka, On Air - Creative Cauldron

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

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play - Hayes

Alison Luff, Nell Gwynn - Folger Theatre

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

Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play - Helen

Billie Krishawn. Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

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

Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation

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

Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical

Ken Ludwig, Dear Jack, Dear Louise - Arena Stage

Outstanding Production - Theatre for Young Audiences

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

Outstanding Visiting Production

The Band's Visit - The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Production in a Musical - Hayes

A Chorus Line - Signature Theatre

Outstanding Production in a Musical - Helen

Fame, The Musical - GALA Hispanic Theatre

Outstanding Production in a Play - Hayes

The Brothers Size - 1st Stage

Outstanding Production in a Play - Helen

Blood at the Root - Theater Alliance

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company

4615 Theatre Company


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