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Helen Hayes Award Winners Announced

The recipients of The 24th Annual Helen Hayes Awards were presented tonight, Monday, April 28, 2008, at one of our nation's most prestigious cultural events.  Nearly 2,000 theatre artists and supporters filled the majestic Warner Theatre in downtown DC for an evening of dazzling entertainment replete with humor, celebration, and great tributes to Washington area professional theatre.

 
Stars of Washington and national stages joined together to present awards in 24 categories for artistic achievement.  It was a night of many surprises with four of the categories resulting in ties.  The 24th Annual Helen Hayes Awards Recipients are:
 

Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production

Irina Tsikurishvili, Macbeth, Synetic Theater

Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production

Jon Kalbfleisch, Merrily We Roll Along, Signature Theatre

and

Christopher Youstra, Titanic The Musical, Toby's Dinner Theatre

Outstanding Director, Resident Musical

Keith Alan Baker with co-directors Matthew Gardiner and Ryan Christie, Reefer Madness: The Musical, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage

and

Eric Schaeffer, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre

Outstanding Director, Resident Play

Paata Tsikurishvili, Macbeth, Synetic Theater

Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production

Neil Patel, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production

Colin K. Bills, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production

Reggie Ray, Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production

Irakli Kavsadze and Paata Tsikurishvili, Macbeth, Synetic Theater

Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production

Caroline Stefanie Clay, Doubt, A Parable, The National Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical

E. Faye Butler, Saving Aimee, Signature Theatre

and

Karlah Hamilton, The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical

Erik Liberman, Merrily We Roll Along, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play

Kate Eastwood Norris, She Stoops to Comedy, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play

Daniel Escobar, She Stoops to Comedy, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

and

Philip Fletcher, Macbeth, Synetic Theater

Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production

Cherry Jones, Doubt, A Parable, The National Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production

Bill Irwin, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical

Heidi Blickenstaff, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical

Marc Kudisch, The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play

Nancy Robinette, Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play

J. Fred Shiffman, Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, The Studio Theatre

The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play or Musical

Hamlet … the rest is silence, Synetic Theater

Outstanding Non-Resident Production

Avenue Q, The Broadway Musical, The National Theatre

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical

Dead Man's Cell Phone, Sarah Ruhl, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Resident Musical

Reefer Madness: The Musical, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage

Outstanding Resident Play

Macbeth, Synetic Theater

In addition, four special awards were presented:

  • The Helen Hayes Tribute sponsored by Gilbert and JayLee Mead to preeminent British classical actor and director Sir Derek Jacobi,
  • The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community to the alliance of Arena Stage, the CrystalCity BID, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Marriott, and ArlingtonCounty Economic Development,
  • The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre to Taffety Punk Theatre Company, and
  • The Governors' Award to Bob Davis and Henry Schalizki.

The Awards show was highlighted by music and dance numbers and a star-studded cast of presenters, including: playwright Karen Zacharias; directors Michael Bobbitt, Keith Bridges, Kasi Campbell, Jennifer Nelson, Blake Robison and Ari Roth; actors Robert Prosky and his son Andrew  Prosky, Felicia Curry, Mitchell Hébert, Kathryn Kelley, Connan Morrissey Jewell Robinson, KenYatta Rogers, Deidra Lawan Starnes, Holly Twyford, Ted Van Griethuysen, Michael Anthony Williams, and Michael Willis; Washington Theatre leaders Janet Griffin, John MacDonald, and Rebecca Medrano; as well as special guests JayLee Mead, James MacArthur, son of Helen Hayes and playwright Charles MacArthur, and Canadian Ambassador, Michael Wilson.

 
The creative team for the 24th Annual Helen Hayes Awards was comprised of a crew of extraordinary theatre artists in their own right.  The show was directed by Jerry Whiddon, written by Renee Calarco, and designed and co-produced by Daniel MacLean Wagner.  Glenn Pearson served as the Musical Director in collaboration with George Fulginiti-ShakarHelen Hayes Awards President and CEO Linda Levy Grossman co-produced the show with Wagner.  The team also included Production Manager Shari Moxley, Production Stage Manager Martha Knight, and Media Producer Jack Stillwell.

 
The evening began at the JW Marriott Hotel with the Chairman's Reception, attended by nominees, celebrities, and special guests.  Immediately following the awards presentation all guests returned to the JW Marriott for the Ovation Gala, Washington's largest cast party, to celebrate the nominees and recipients.

 
In 2007, 67 professional theatres presented 8,050 performances in 454 productions – 20 more productions than in the previous year – attended by 1,908,557 audience members.  This represents the largest amount of theatrical work produced in the Washington area since The Helen Hayes Awards began collecting and recording this data in 1985.  The abundance of works produced in this region stands as testament to Washington's prominence as a theatre community, second to New York City in its breadth and depth of offerings.


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