Helen Hayes-Nominated Crowns, a Hit for DC's Arena Stage, Will Return in Summer

News   Helen Hayes-Nominated Crowns, a Hit for DC's Arena Stage, Will Return in Summer Arena Stage's 2003-04 staging of Crowns, the Regina Taylor play-with-music that just earned a hatful of Helen Hayes Award nominations in Washington, DC, will resurface in summer 2004.

Arena Stage announced that the play (some call it a musical), seen December 2003 to February 2004 in Arena's Kreeger Theater, will return there for three weeks, July 27-Aug. 15. Casting is not yet known, as some performers may have other obligations, but the work will include elements of the earlier run.

More than 40,000 people attended the staging, a gospel infused adaptation of the best-selling book, "Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats," by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry. Regina Taylor wrote the piece and directed it.

The staging in December 2003 was a co-production between Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and The Goodman Theatre in Chicago. The show has been seen regionally, and in New York City at Second Stage Off-Broadway.

"I first saw this glorious musical when I was a literary advisor at the 2002 Sundance Festival, and I immediately knew it was a story right for Washington, DC," Arena artistic director Molly Smith said in production notes. "I'm excited to be working on it with two of America's top-notch theatre companies."

Arena's Crowns was nominated for the following 2004 Helen Hayes Awards: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Resident Musical (Tina Fabrique and Lynda Gravatt), Outstanding Choreography (Dianne McIntyre), Outstanding Actress in a Resident Musical (Bernadine Mitchell), Outstanding Musical Direction (William F. Hubbard), Outstanding Lead Actor in a Resident Musical (John Steven Crowley), Outstanding Director (Regina Taylor) and Outstanding Resident Musical. For information, call (202) 488-3300 or visit www.arenastage.org.


The DC Helen Hayes Award nominations were announced March 8. Awards are handed out at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts May 10.