Eastwick, Brewster Place, Meet John Doe, Cell Phone Among DC's Helen Hayes Nominees April 28

News   Eastwick, Brewster Place, Meet John Doe, Cell Phone Among DC's Helen Hayes Nominees April 28 It's the biggest night of year for Washington, DC's professional theatre community. The 24th Annual Helen Hayes Awards — celebrating work seen on DC-area stages between Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2007 — will be held April 28 at the Warner Theatre.

Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, the musicals The Women of Brewster Place and The Witches of Eastwick, and Mary Beth Peil, Eric Schaeffer and Christopher Innvar are among Helen Hayes Award nominees this year.

Productions and theatre people nominated for the highest honor in the Washington, DC, theatre community were announced Feb. 25.

The awards recognize resident productions as well as visiting shows and artists (also known as "non-resident"). On the list of nominees, major DC theatre names such as Nancy Robinette, Molly Smith, Will Gartshore, Rick Foucheux and Howard Shalwitz commingle with New York players including Innvar, Peil, Marc Kudisch, Bill Irwin, Heidi Blickenstaff, Cherry Jones, Tim Jerome and Carolee Carmello (though some of these non-resident folk may, in fact, be appearing in "resident" productions.)

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Proving DC is a hotbed for new work, six productions were nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical. The category includes Ford's Theatre's production of the new musical Meet John Doe by Matt August, Eddie Sugarman and Andrew Gerle, and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company's world premiere of Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone, a separate production of which is currently playing Off-Broadway. The category also boasts Redshirts by Dana Yeaton (Round House Theatre), The Word Begins by Steve Connell and Sekou (tha Misfit) (Signature Theatre), Moises Kaufman's 33 Variations (Arena Stage) and Motti Lerner's Pangs of the Messiah (Theater J). Among titles nominated for Outstanding Non-Resident Production are the tours of Avenue Q, Doubt, A Parable, Emergence-See!, My Fair Lady and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

In anticipation of the 24th Helen Hayes Awards on April 28, four special awards were announced April 11.

The 2008 special Helen Hayes awards and recipients 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.

    THE NOMINEES FOR THE 24TH ANNUAL HELEN HAYES AWARDS

    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
    Keith Alan Baker, 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
    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
    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
    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, 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
    Paata Tsikurishvili, Macbeth, Synetic Theater

    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
    Daniel Escobar, She Stoops to Comedy, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
    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
    E. Faye Butler, Saving Aimee, Signature Theatre
    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

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