A big deal event in the DMV Theater Scene are the annual Helen Hayes Awards, a.k.a. the Tony's of Washington, DC. Named to honor the Grand Dame of American Stage and Theatre, Helen Hayes MacArthur, the awards are giving in all of the typical categories but in two iterations. For productions with no more than 3 equity actors OR a percentage of equity of 49% or lower, the productions are eligible for the Helen Awards, and for productions with 51% equity actors or more, the productions fall into the Hayes Awards categories. Therefore, for every category there are two sets of nominees: the Helen low equity productions and the Hayes high equity productions. I love this distinction, too.
There are also awards for visiting companies, like those national tours that come through venues like the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Warner Theater, the National Theater, Strathmore Center for the Performing Arts, etc.
Some of this year's winners of the Helen (low equity cast) Awards that I saw were:
Um... none! How's that? In the nomination period I saw something like 30 productions, and I have no idea how many were low equity. Two of the shows I attended: "Urinetown" at Constellation Theatre and "Cervantes: El último Quijote" at GALA Hispanic Theatre received multiple nominations, but none of the recognized actors or categories provided either with any winners.
Some of this year's winners of the Hayes (high equity cast) Awards that I saw were:
~ Paul Sportelli for Outstanding Musical Direction "Carousel"
~ Alexandra Beller for Outstanding Choreography, Play "Sense & Sensibility"
~ Eric Tucker for Outstanding Direction, Play "Sense & Sensibility"
~ "Sense & Sensibility" for Outstanding Ensemble in a Play
~ "Sense & Sensibility" for Outstanding Production, Play
~ Christopher Ashley for Outstanding Direction, Musical "Come From Away"
~ "Come From Away" for Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical
~ Jenn Colella for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Musical "Come From Away"
|Jenn Colella from "Come From Away"--also nominated for this award in the Tony's from Broadway|
~ "Come From Away" for Outstanding Production, Musical
ROUND HOUSE THEATRE:
~ Rick Foucheux for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
|Rick Faucheux from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"|
~ Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"
|Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan from "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"|
~ Nick Lehan for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical "Titanic"
|Nick Lehan from "Titanic"|
~ Bobby Smith for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical "La Cage Aux Folles"
|Bobby Smith from "La Cage Aux Folles"|
~ Fiasco Theater Company's production of "Into The Woods" for Outstanding Visiting Production
~ Mosaic Theater Company of DC for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company
Images of the winning actors in the roles for which they won: Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, Bobby Smith, Jenn Colella, Nick Lehan and Rick Foucheux