Ally Theatre Company to Receive the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company at the 2019 Helen Hayes Awards

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The 35th Annual Helen Hayes Awards will take place on Monday, May 13, 2019 at The Anthem, the cultural center of Southwest D.C.'s District Wharf, with a celebratory party to follow.

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company will be awarded to Ally Theatre Company. Founded over two years ago, and based in-residence at Joe's Movement Emporium in Mount Rainier, Maryland, Ally Theatre Company produces theatre designed to engage audiences through acknowledging and confronting systemic oppression in America. They have a mission to place underrepresented populations at the front and center of their organization and productions; take action as allies, opening space to create opportunity; and develop programming that serves and uplifts the community. This season's productions included Rabbit Summer by Tracey Conyer Lee, #poolparty by Jennifer Mendenhall, and The Head That Wears The Crown by Hope Villanueva.

Founding and Producing Artistic Director Ty Hallmark and Managing Director Ivana (Tai) Alexander said in a statement: "We are honored to be the 2019 recipient of the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company. This represents the recognition of our commitment to illuminating unheard voices and unseen spaces in our community and in our world. We are especially grateful to our wonderful partners at Joe's Movement Emporium for their constancy and support from day one. Our neighborhood community in Mount Rainier, the Gateway Arts District, and Hyattsville have welcomed and embraced our company, mission, and ethos. We look forward to working together as we spark urgent, meaningful, and thoughtful conversations through art and community service for years to come."

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company is selected each year by the Emerging Theatre Committee of theatreWashington. Qualifying theatres must produce at least one show per year, with a minimum of nine performances each, for two consecutive years.

theatreWashington President and CEO Amy Austin commented, "This year's Helen Hayes Awards will continue to demonstrate the depth and vibrancy of professional theater in the Washington region. Thousands of theatre artists and administrators work every day to bring challenging, insightful, and important work to our stages. The Helen Hayes Awards are for them. We are proud to honor both those who paved the way and those who stand on their shoulders -- like Ally Theatre Company, the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company recipient. We want everyone in the community to come together on one evening to applaud each other and themselves for an another year of excellence."

The 35th Annual Helen Hayes Awards will take place on Monday, May 13, 2019 at The Anthem, the cultural center of Southwest D.C.'s District Wharf, with a celebratory party to follow. Esteemed Washington theatre artists Felicia Curry, 2018 Helen Hayes Award recipient for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play - Helen Production, and Rick Hammerly, 2018 Helen Hayes Award recipient for Outstanding Direction in a Play - Helen Production, will host an evening showcasing the vibrant and diverse community of professional theatre artists in the Washington region. There are 250 Helen Hayes Award nominations-selected from 208 eligible productions in 2018. Tickets for the event are $100 for reserved seating and $275 for Artist Supporter premium seating, which includes an invitation to the pre-ceremony Nominee & Patron Reception. Reduced-priced tickets are available to artists and administrators in the community at an industry rate, subsidized by Artist Supporter tickets. All tickets are now available for purchase through the theatreWashington website.

Named for actor Helen Hayes - a Washington native, activist, 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. Nominations are grouped in "Helen" or "Hayes" cohorts, depending on the number of Equity members involved in the production. Over the course of 2018, 40 judges evaluated 2,866 individual pieces of work, including acting, directing, choreography, and design. Productions considered in 2018 included 51 musicals, 157 plays, and 54 world premieres. A full list of this year's 250 nominations can be found at: http://theatrewashington.org/content/2019-helen-hayes-awards-nominations

The administration and celebration of the Helen Hayes Awards is just one element of theatreWashington's mission, which is to strengthen, represent, and support all segments of Washington's professional theatre community, including theatre companies, artists, staff, and diverse audiences of all ages. Over more than three decades of support and advocacy, theatreWashington has played a vital role in the transformation of the city's cultural identity, with the resulting revitalization of the whole community.



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