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30th Annual Helen Hayes Awards to Marry Ceremony and Party on April 21

Washington theatre will celebrate its highest honors for achievement at the 30th Annual Helen Hayes Awards on Monday, April 21, 2013 at the National Building Museum, co-host of the event. This year's Awards will recognize outstanding performances, designs, direction, and productions in 26 categories, as well as present three special awards to those who have made extraordinary contributions to theatre and Washington. But unlike any other Awards event, the 30th Helen Hayes Awards will marry ceremony and party.

"Every year our Washington theatre landscape changes," said theatreWashington President & CEO Linda Levy. "So on the occassion of our It's our 30th anniversary, we're changing, too."

"One significant change is the creation of an affordable ticket, just for theatre audiences." Says Levy, "There is no theatre without an audience. Our audiences are critical to the vibrancy of our theatre community and are an important part of this celebration."

The three-act awards show unite with the party festivities, allowing guests to move freely about the space, enjoying food, drink, and each other's company throughout the evening. Many of Washington's favorite artists will be featured onstage, with a roster including Donna Migliaccio, Edward Gero, Maboud Ebrahimzadeh, Felicia Curry, Will Gartshore, E. Faye Butler, Sam Ludwig, Rachel Zampelli, and Ashleigh King.

This departure from the traditional event formula -- an awards ceremony in a theatre space, followed by a gala hosted elsewhere -- also tests the waters for 2015, at which time the new Awards adjudication system will call for the presentation of nearly double the number of Awards.

"We're not looking to invent breakfast theatre," said Levy. "If this year is as much fun as we anticipate, it could be a good model to adopt for next year's Awards, when there are more categories."

In addition to awards in 26 categories for artistic excellence, three special awards will also be presented:

The prestigious Helen Hayes Tribute, sponsored by the late Jaylee Mead, annually recognizes theatre artists who exemplify excellence and an exceptional commitment to their craft. This year's Tribute will be presented to Victor Shargai, stalwart supporter of Washington theatre and theatreWashington founding chairman. Past recipients include Kevin Spacey, James Earl Jones, Mary Martin, Stephen Sondheim, the Artistic Directors of Washington's professional theatres, Tommy Tune, Edward Albee, and August Wilson, among others.

Adele Robey and Julia Robey Christian will receive The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community. For 28 years, the award has honored the inspired efforts of theatres, directors, local governments, service organizations, and several remarkable individuals, all with imaginative spirits and deep desires to foster Washington theatre. The Robeys join Capital Fringe, Jane Lang and Paul Sprenger, Ford's Theatre Society, arts activist Andy Shallal, Helen Hayes Awards Founder Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, and others in receiving The Washington Post Award.

The 2014 recipient of The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company is Pointless Theatre. Named in memory of a devoted champion of promising talent, The John Aniello Award recognizes emerging theatre companies who have produced a body of work that is both groundbreaking and compelling. Previous recipients of The John Aniello Award include Dizzy Miss Lizzy's Roadside Revue, Faction of Fools Theatre Company, 1stStage, Constellation Theatre Company, Factory 449: a theatre collective, No Rules Theatre Company, and Taffety Punk.

Over 2,000 leaders from the artistic, philanthropic, business, and political communities will come together for one night to honor the outstanding work in Washington professional theatre. Also in attendance will be representatives from corporate sponsors The Washington Post, American Airlines, Ackerman Brown, Bloomberg/BNA, Celebrity Cruises, and Vornado/Charles E. Smith.

The Helen Hayes Awards is a program of theatreWashington, the only organization dedicated to strengthening, representing, and supporting all segments of Washington's professional theatre community - theatres, artists, company members, and diverse audiences of all ages - and our community as a whole. For more information and tickets to the Awards, visit or call 202-337-4572.

theatreWashington is dedicated to promoting, representing and strengthening Washington area theatre companies, artists, professional, and diverse audiences of all ages - and thereby the community as a whole.

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