Natascia Diaz, Paul Downs Colaizzo, E. Faye Butler and More Among DC Helen Hayes Award Winners

By Michael Gioia
and Kenneth Jones
April 9, 2013

The 29th annual Helen Hayes Awards, representing excellence in Washington, DC-area professional theatre, were handed out April 8. Natascia Diaz, Paul Downs Colaizzo and E. Faye Butler are among the winners of the awards focusing on the 2012 calendar season.



The recipient of the 2013 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company was previously announced: It went to Dizzy Miss Lizzie's Roadside Revue, founded in 2009 and drawing on "theatre, rock 'n' roll and the traditions of American music and storytelling to bridge the gap between a night at the theatre and a night at a rock concert."

Other special honors went to Actors' Equity Association (AEA), which received The Helen Hayes Tribute (accepted by president Nicholas Wyman and former president and Oscar, Tony and Emmy-winning actress Ellen Burstyn); and Capital Fringe, which received The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership. The Helen Hayes Tribute was presented on the occasion of the Actors' Equity Association's centennial anniversary.

This year saw 150 individual nominated artists, ensembles and productions in 26 categories. During the 2012 season (January 2012-December 2012) 54 of 84 resident theatres produced 201 productions that met Helen Hayes Awards eligibility requirements. Nearly a quarter of the eligible plays produced in 2012 — 49 of 201 productions — were world premieres.

The 26 category awards were presented by political, media and theatre luminaries, including Helen Hayes and Tony Award-winning actor, singer and choreographer Maurice Hines; radio personality Kojo Nnamdi; DC councilmember David Grosso; Emmy Award-winning journalist Wendy Rieger; and Helen Hayes family members H.B. MacArthur and Juliette Rappaport.

The show was helmed by director Jerry Whiddon, playwright Renee Calarco, choreographer Michael Bobbitt, musical director George Hummel, with Christopher Youstra contributing original songs for the event. 

The awards are named for DC native Helen Hayes, the 20th century actress of Broadway and American stages.

The 29th Helen Hayes Awards ceremony was held at the Warner Theatre and JW Marriott Hotel. For more information, visit theatrewashinton.org.

Here are Helen Hayes Award winners for the theatre year 2012 (winners are in bold, preceded by an asterisk):

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical

Matthew A. Anderson
Seussical
Imagination Stage

Brooks Ashmanskas
1776
Ford's Theatre

James Gardiner
Little Shop of Horrors
Olney Theatre Center

Doug Kreeger
Brother Russia
Signature Theatre

Paul Scanlan
Spring Awakening
The Keegan Theatre

*Bobby Smith
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
MetroStage

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical

Mary Bridget Davies
One Night with Janis Joplin
Arena Stage

*Natascia Diaz
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
MetroStage

Nova Y. Payton
Dreamgirls
Signature Theatre

Dayna Quincy
The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

Erin Weaver
Xanadu
Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical

Christopher Bloch
1776
Ford's Theatre

Michael John Casey
Rapunzel
Imagination Stage

Robert Cuccioli
1776
Ford's Theatre

David Little
The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

*Cedric Neal
Dreamgirls
Signature Theatre

Nicholas Rodriguez
My Fair Lady
Arena Stage

Bobby Smith
Little Shop of Horrors
Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical

*Priscilla Cuellar
Legally Blonde the Musical
Toby's Dinner Theatre

*Theresa Cunningham
The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

Sherri L. Edelen
Xanadu
Signature Theatre

Crystal Joy
Dreamgirls
Signature Theatre

Donna Migliaccio
The Music Man
Arena Stage

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
MetroStage

Josephine Tonight
MetroStage

*The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Imagination Stage

Puerto Rico...
GALA Hispanic Theatre

Rapunzel
Imagination Stage

Spring Awakening
The Keegan Theatre

The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play

Teagle F. Bougere
Invisible Man
The Studio Theatre

*Steven Epp
The Servant of Two Masters
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Larry Marshall
Pullman Porter Blues
Arena Stage

Cody Nickell
The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

Jos_ Joaqu P_rez
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play

Rena Cherry Brown
August: Osage County
The Keegan Theatre

Helen Carey
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Arena Stage

*Francesca Faridany
Strange Interlude
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Lee Mikeska Gardner
Side Man
1st Stage

Kathryn Kelley
The Belle of Amherst
The Bay Theatre Company

Kate Eastwood Norris
The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

Kathleen Turner
Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins
Arena Stage

Holly Twyford
Dirt
The Studio Theatre

The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play

Adam Green A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Adi Hanash
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

*Matthew McGee
Taking Steps
Constellation Theatre Company

Danny Scheie
The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

Bradley Foster Smith
Suite Surrender
1st Stage

Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production

Emily Behny
Disney's Beauty and the Beast
The National Theatre

*Felicia Boswell
Memphis
The Kennedy Center

Mara Davi
Irving Berlin's White Christmas
The Kennedy Center

Ashley Blair Fitzgerald
Come Fly Away
The Kennedy Center

Helen Russell
Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie
Theater J

Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production

Robert Jack
Black Watch
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Julie Johnson
Memphis
The Kennedy Center

Tom Lawrence
Hamlet
Folger Theatre

Adam McNamara
Black Watch
Shakespeare Theatre Company

*Christopher Saul
Hamlet
Folger Theatre

Chris Starkie
Black Watch
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production

Colin K. Bills
Brother Russia
Signature Theatre

Colin K. Bills
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Chuan-Chi Chan
The Servant of Two Masters
Shakespeare Theatre Company

*Mary Louise Geiger
Invisible Man
The Studio Theatre

Keith Parham
Red
Arena Stage

Justin Townsend
One Night with Janis Joplin
Arena Stage

Thom Weaver
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Director, Resident Play

Christopher Bayes
The Servant of Two Masters
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Robert Falls
Red
Arena Stage

Kirsten Kelly
Big Love
The Hub Theatre

*Christopher McElroen
Invisible Man
The Studio Theatre

Ethan McSweeny
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Aaron Posner
The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

John Vreeke
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Michael Kahn
The Government Inspector
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Director, Resident Musical

Kathryn Chase Bryer
Rapunzel
Imagination Stage

Matthew Gardiner
Dreamgirls
Signature Theatre

Toby Orenstein
The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

Lawrence B. Munsey
The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

Mark A. Rhea
Spring Awakening
The Keegan Theatre

Susan Marie Rhea
Spring Awakening
The Keegan Theatre

*Serge Seiden
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
MetroStage

Janet Stanford
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Imagination Stage

Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production

Christopher Baine
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Cliff Eberhardt, Original Music; and Christopher Baine, Sound Design
The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

*Matthew Nielson
The Illusion
Forum Theatre

David Remedios
Invisible Man
The Studio Theatre

Brendon Vierra
Hum
Theater Alliance

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical

Matthew R. Wilson, adaptor; based on the novel by Charles Dickens
A Commedia Christmas Carol
Faction of Fools Theatre Company

Jason Gray Platt
Crown of Shadows: the wake of odysseus
Round House Theatre

Bryony Lavery
Dirt
The Studio Theatre

Kathryn Chase Bryer, David Palmer, Janet Stanford, Septime Webre, concept by; libretto & lyrics by Janet Stanford with additional lyrics by Bari Biern; music by Matthew Pierce
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Imagination Stage

Cheryl L. West
Pullman Porter Blues
Arena Stage

*Paul Downs Colaizzo
Really Really
Signature Theatre

Renee Calarco
The Religion Thing
Theater J

Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production

Parker Esse
The Music Man
Arena Stage

*Joe Isenberg
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Erika Chong Shuch
The Conference of the Birds
Folger Theatre

Rick Sordelet
Sucker Punch
The Studio Theatre

Anwar Thomas
The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

Septime Webre
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Imagination Stage

David Palmer
The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Imagination Stage

Outstanding Production, Theatre For Young Audiences
A Little House Christmas
Adventure Theatre MTC

*The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe
Imagination Stage

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
The Kennedy Center

Rapunzel
Imagination Stage

The Snowy Day
Adventure Theatre

Outstanding Non-Resident Production
 

The Animals and Children Took to the Streets
Studio Theatre

*Black Watch
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Hamlet
Folger Theatre

Memphis
The Kennedy Center

Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie
Theater J

Outstanding Resident Play

A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare Theatre Company

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Invisible Man
The Studio Theatre

Our Class
Theater J

*The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

Outstanding Resident Musical

1776
Ford's Theatre

The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

*Dreamgirls
Signature Theatre

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
MetroStage

Spring Awakening
The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play

*E. Faye Butler
Pullman Porter Blues
Arena Stage

Sarah Marshall
The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

Natalia Payne
Dirt
The Studio Theatre

Nancy Robinette
The Government Inspector
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Holly Twyford
The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production

Michael Benz
Hamlet
Folger Theatre

Ryan Fletcher
Black Watch
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Martin Kaye
Million Dollar Quartet
The Kennedy Center

*David M. Lutken
Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie
Theater J

Christopher Sieber
La Cage Aux Folles
The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play

August: Osage County
The Keegan Theatre

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

The Government Inspector
Shakespeare Theatre Company

*Invisible Man
The Studio Theatre

The Taming of the Shrew
Folger Theatre

Pullman Porter Blues
Arena Stage

Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production

Riccardo Hernandez
Pullman Porter Blues
Arena Stage

Troy Hourie
Invisible Man
The Studio Theatre

*Misha Kachman
The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

*Todd Rosenthal
Red
Arena Stage

Lee Savage
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production

Judith Bowden
My Fair Lady
Arena Stage

Murell Horton
The Government Inspector
Shakespeare Theatre Company

*Frank Labovitz
Dreamgirls
Signature Theatre

Jennifer Moeller
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Shakespeare Theatre Company

Lawrence B. Munsey
The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production

Jenny Cartney
Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris
MetroStage

*Jonathan Tuzman
Mr. Burns, a post-electric play
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Lawrence Goldberg
The Music Man
Arena Stage

Jon Kalbfleisch
Dreamgirls
Signature Theatre

Jake Null
Spring Awakening
The Keegan Theatre

Christopher Youstra
The Color Purple
Toby's Dinner Theatre

Jmichael
Pullman Porter Blues
Arena Stage