DC Hayes Winners Include Dead Man's Cell Phone, Macbeth, Reefer Madness, Irwin, Kudisch

News   DC Hayes Winners Include Dead Man's Cell Phone, Macbeth, Reefer Madness, Irwin, Kudisch The world premiere of Dead Man's Cell Phone took the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play in the 24th Annual Helen Hayes Awards on April 28 in Washington.
Marc Kudisch stars in The Wtiches of Eastwick.
Marc Kudisch stars in The Wtiches of Eastwick. Photo by Scott Suchman

The play, seen in 2007 in a staging by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, was one of many titles and artists honored in the biggest night of the year for DC-area professional theatres.

Synetic Theater's Macbeth was named Outstanding Resident Play, and Studio Theatres 2nd Stage's Reefer Madness won Outstanding Resident Musical.

The annual awards were passed out at the Warner Theatre in Washington, DC, on Monday and were followed by a gala.

Avenue Q was named Outstanding Non-Resident Production. Bill Irwin (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Caroline Stefanie Clay (Doubt) and Cherry Jones (Doubt) won in Non-Resident acting categories.

Locally and nationally-known theatre peeople were also recognized: Heidi Blickenstaff (for playing a tough-tender reporter in Meet John Doe), Marc Kudisch (for playing the devil in The Witches of Eastwick), Eric Schaeffer (for directing Meet John Doe at Ford's Theatre), Nancy Robinette (for playing tone-deaf Florence Foster Jenkins in the Studio Theatre's Souvenir), Erik Liberman (for playing Charley in Merrily We Roll Along at Signature) and E. Faye Butler (for her performance in Signature's Saving Aimee), among others. The 24th Annual Helen Hayes Awards honored work seen on DC-area stages between Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2007.

In anticipation of the 24th Helen Hayes Awards, four special awards were announced April 11. They are:

  • The Helen Hayes Tribute, presented to preeminent British classical actor and director Sir Derek Jacobi in recognition of his illustrious career on stage and screen for more than 50 years. The Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Non-Resident Production was given to Jacobi in 1985 for Cyrano de Bergerac and again in 1988 for Breaking the Code. The Helen Hayes Tribute is sponsored by Washington philanthropists Gilbert and Jaylee Mead "to honor outstanding professionals who have enriched our lives and made a profound and lasting contribution to the theatre."
  • The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community, presented to the alliance of Arena Stage, the Crystal City BID, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Marriott and Arlington County Economic Development. "While undergoing major renovations, Arena Stage, Washington's largest not-for-profit producing theatre, has temporarily moved to Crystal City in Arlington County, VA. This was only possible thanks to the arts, businesses, and community working together to create a vibrant urban destination." The Washington Post Award is meant "to honor individuals and organizations leading the way in fostering Washington theatre."
  • The first John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company, to Taffety Punk Theatre Company. Since their debut in 2004, Taffety Punk has "impressed Washington audiences with their unwavering commitment to establish a dynamic ensemble of actors, dancers, and musicians who ignite a public passion for theatre by making the classical and the contemporary exciting, meaningful, and affordable." Established "in memory of John Aniello, a devoted champion of young, promising talent and an avid theatregoer since 1960…The John Aniello Award recognizes and encourages the efforts of companies who are just getting started yet have produced a body of work that is new, daring, and exciting."
  • The Governor's Award, to Bob Davis and Henry Schalizki in recognition of their long-time roles as dedicated audience members for almost 50 years. "In that time, they have rarely missed an opening night and have been cheering on Washington theatre each in their own way — Bob through his loved WGMS-FM broadcasts which ended with his signature send-off, 'See it!,' and Henry as a passionate theatregoer who encouraged others to attend and appreciate the work on the stage." This is only the third time the Governor's Award has been granted. The first went to Arena Stage founder Zelda Fichandler and the second to theatre critic Roger Meersman. The awards are named for the stage and screen star who was born in Washington, DC, and did her first acting there.

    For more information visit www.helenhayes.org.

    Nominees and winners of the 24th Annual Helen Hayes Awards follow: Recipients are indicated by boldface type and an asterisk. Voting in some categories resulted in a tie.

    Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production
    Karma Camp, The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre
    Christopher D'Amboise, The Studio, Signature Theatre
    Matthew Gardiner, Reefer Madness: The Musical, Studio Theatre 2ndStage
    Eric Lucas and Kerry Lucas, Alone It Stands, The Keegan Theatre
    Irina Tsikurishvili, Hamlet ... the rest is silence, Synetic Theater
    *Irina Tsikurishvili, Macbeth, Synetic Theater
    Irina Tsikurishvili, The Fall of the House of Usher, Synetic Theater

    Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production
    Murell Horton, Edward II, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    Jennifer Moeller, Tamburlaine, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    *Reggie Ray, Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, Studio Theatre
    Anastasia Ryurikov Simes, Macbeth, Synetic Theater
    Paul Tazewell, Carnival!, The Kennedy Center

    Outstanding Director, Resident Musical
    *(TIE) Keith Alan Baker, with Matt Gardiner and Ryan Christie, Reefer Madness: The Musical, Studio Theatre 2ndStage
    Lawrence B. Munsey, Titanic The Musical, Toby's Dinner Theatre
    Toby Orenstein, Titanic The Musical, Toby's Dinner Theatre
    *(TIE) Eric Schaeffer, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre
    Eric Schaeffer, The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre
    Molly Smith, The Women of Brewster Place, Arena Stage

    Outstanding Director, Resident Play
    Timothy Douglas, Insurrection: Holding History, Theater Alliance
    Pam MacKinnon, The Unmentionables, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Serge Seiden, Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, Studio Theatre
    Shirley Serotsky, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Rorschach Theatre
    Howard Shalwitz, She Stoops to Comedy, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Rebecca Bayla Taichman, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Rebecca Bayla Taichman, The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    Paata Tsikurishvili, Hamlet ... the rest is silence, Synetic Theater
    *Paata Tsikurishvili, Macbeth, Synetic Theater

    Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production
    Daniel Beaty, Emergence-See!, Arena Stage
    Christopher Cazenove, My Fair Lady, Kennedy Center
    *Bill Irwin, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Kennedy Center
    Robert McClure, Avenue Q, The Broadway Musical, National Theatre
    Chris McGarry, Doubt, A Parable, National Theatre

    Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical
    Will Gartshore, Merrily We Roll Along, Signature Theatre
    *Marc Kudisch, The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre
    Lawrence Redmond, Reefer Madness: The Musical, Studio Theatre 2ndStage
    Bobby Smith, Reefer Madness: The Musical, Studio Theatre 2ndStage
    Bobby Smith, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), MetroStage
    Andrew Sonntag, Reefer Madness: The Musical, Studio Theatre 2ndStage

    Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play
    James Brown-Orleans, My Children! My Africa!, Studio Theatre
    Arnie Burton, I Am My Own Wife, Olney Theatre Center
    Edward Gero, Shining City, Studio Theatre
    Charles H. Hyman, The Unmentionables, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Christopher Innvar, The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    Irakli Kavsadze, Macbeth, Synetic Theater Michael Russotto, She Stoops to Comedy, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    *J. Fred Shiffman, Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, Studio Theatre

    Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production
    *Cherry Jones, Doubt, A Parable, National Theatre
    Karen Kandel, Mabou Mines' Peter and Wendy, Arena Stage
    Lisa O'Hare, My Fair Lady, Kennedy Center
    Kelli Sawyer, Avenue Q, The Broadway Musical, National Theatre
    Janet Suzman, Coriolanus, Kennedy Center

    Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical
    *Heidi Blickenstaff, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre
    Carolee Carmello, Saving Aimee, Signature Theatre
    Jessica Dukes, Spunk, Tribute Productions and African Continuum Theatre Company
    Tina Fabrique, Ella, Arena Stage
    Harriett D. Foy, The Women of Brewster Place, Arena Stage
    Marva Hicks, The Women of Brewster Place, Arena Stage
    Donna Migliaccio, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), MetroStage

    Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play
    Gabriela Fernandez Coffey, References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot, Rorschach Theatre
    Naomi Jacobson, Vigils, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Polly Noonan, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Mary Beth Peil, 33 Variations, Arena Stage
    *Nancy Robinette, Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, Studio Theatre
    Irina Tsikurishvili, Macbeth, Synetic Theater

    Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production
    *Colin K. Bills, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Colin K. Bills, Macbeth, Synetic Theater
    Colin K. Bills, The Unmentionables, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    David Lander, 33 Variations, Arena Stage
    Charlie Morrison, Richard III, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    Rui Rita, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre

    Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production
    *(TIE) Jon Kalbfleisch, Merrily We Roll Along, Signature Theatre
    Jon Kalbfleisch, The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre
    Dan Kazemi, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), MetroStage
    William Foster McDaniel, The Women of Brewster Place, Arena Stage
    *(TIE) Christopher Youstra, Titanic The Musical, Toby's Dinner Theatre

    Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production
    Marie Anne Chiment, I Am My Own Wife, Olney Theatre Center
    James Kronzer, The Unmentionables, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Derek McLane, 33 Variations, Arena Stage
    *Neil Patel, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Lee Savage, Richard III, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    Anastasia Ryurikov Simes, Macbeth, Synetic Theater
    Narelle Sissons, The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    Robin Stapley, Crime and Punishment, Round House Theatre

    Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production
    *Irakli Kavsadze and Paata Tsikurishvili, Macbeth, Synetic Theater
    Jeremy Lee, The Studio, Signature Theatre
    Matthew M. Nielson, Nest, Signature Theatre
    Matthew M. Nielson, The Unmentionables, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Ryan Rumery, Vigils, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Gil Thompson, Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, Studio Theatre


    Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical
    Michael Arnold, Carnival!, Kennedy Center
    Christopher Bloch, Christmas Carol 1941, Arena Stage
    Joel Blum, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre
    Ed Dixon, Saving Aimee, Signature Theatre
    *Erik Liberman, Merrily We Roll Along, Signature Theatre
    Guy Paul, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre

    Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play
    *(TIE) Daniel Escobar, She Stoops to Comedy, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    *(TIE) Philip Fletcher, Macbeth, Synetic Theater
    Rick Foucheux, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Peter Macon, Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    J. Fred Shiffman, Vigils, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Alexander Strain, Pangs of the Messiah, Theater J

    Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical
    *(TIE) E. Faye Butler, Saving Aimee, Signature Theatre
    *(TIE) Karlah Hamilton, The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre
    Monique L. Midgette, The Women of Brewster Place, Arena Stage
    Tracy Lynn Olivera, Merrily We Roll Along, Signature Theatre
    Lauren Williams, Into the Woods, Signature Theatre

    Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play
    Naomi Jacobson, The Unmentionables, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Susan Kellermann, 33 Variations, Arena Stage
    Sarah Marshall, As You Like It, Folger Theatre
    *Kate Eastwood Norris, She Stoops to Comedy, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Salma Qarnain, Macbeth, Synetic Theater
    Regina Marie Williams, Redshirts, Round House Theatre

    Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production
    Justin Bohon, My Fair Lady, Kennedy Center
    *Caroline Stefanie Clay, Doubt, A Parable, National Theatre
    Tim Jerome, My Fair Lady, Kennedy Center
    Lisa Joyce, Doubt, A Parable, National Theatre
    Timothy West, Coriolanus, Kennedy Center

    The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
    Matt August, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre
    Steve Connell, The Word Begins, Signature Theatre
    Andrew Gerle, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre
    Moises Kaufman, 33 Variations, Arena Stage
    Motti Lerner, Pangs of the Messiah, Theater J
    *Sarah Ruhl, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Sekou (tha Misfit), The Word Begins, Signature Theatre
    Eddie Sugarman, Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre
    Dana Yeaton, Redshirts, Round House Theatre

    Outstanding Non-Resident Production
    *Avenue Q, The Broadway Musical, The National Theatre
    Doubt, A Parable, The National Theatre Emergence-See!, Arena Stage
    My Fair Lady, The Kennedy Center
    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Kennedy Center

    Outstanding Resident Musical
    Into the Woods, Signature Theatre
    Meet John Doe, Ford's Theatre
    *Reefer Madness: The Musical, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage
    The Witches of Eastwick, Signature Theatre
    The Women of Brewster Place, Arena Stage
    Titanic, The Musical, Toby's Dinner Theatre

    Outstanding Resident Play
    Dead Man's Cell Phone, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Hamlet … the rest is silence, Synetic Theater
    *Macbeth, Synetic Theater
    Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins, The Studio Theatre
    The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare Theatre Company
    The Unmentionables, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    The Word Begins, Signature Theatre

    The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play or Musical
    Alone It Stands, The Keegan Theatre
    *Hamlet … the rest is silence, Synetic Theater
    Insurrection: Holding History, Theater Alliance
    Scenes from the Big Picture, Solas Nua
    She Stoops to Comedy, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    Vigils, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    The Word Begins, Signature Theatre

  • Naomi Jacobson, Polly Noonan and Sarah Marshall in <i>Dead Man's Cell Phone.</i>
    Naomi Jacobson, Polly Noonan and Sarah Marshall in Dead Man's Cell Phone. Photo by Stan Barouh