Past Reviews

Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

Sense & Sensibility, Come From Away, Word Becomes Flesh, Next to Normal
Take Top Honors at 2017 Helen Hayes Awards
Review by Susan Berlin | Season Schedule

Also see Susan's review of Master Class

Sense & Sensibility, at the Folger Theatre, and Come From Away, which played Ford's Theatre before moving to Broadway, were named outstanding play and musical in the Hayes category (majority Equity cast) at the 33rd annual Helen Hayes Awards ceremony, May 15 at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington. Word Becomes Flesh, at Theatre Alliance, and the Keegan Theatre's production of Next to Normal received the top honors in the Helen category for primarily non-Equity productions.

Word Becomes Flesh received the most awards for the year, five: in addition to outstanding play, William K. D'Eugenio, outstanding lighting design; Justin Weaks, the James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play; Psalmayene 24, Outstanding Direction, Play; and Outstanding Ensemble, Play. Sense & Sensibility, Come From Away and Signature Theatre's production of Jelly's Last Jam each received four awards.

The Fiasco Theatre's touring production of Into the Woods, at the Kennedy Center, was named Outstanding Visiting Production. Jack Willis was named Outstanding Performer, Visiting Production, for Sweat, presented at Arena Stage before it opened on Broadway and received the Pulitzer Prize.

The Helen Hayes Tribute went to Ted van Griethuysen, who has received six Helen Hayes Awards over his three decades at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Studio Theatre, where he is currently appearing in The Father. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presented the 82-year-old actor with the honor.

For more information, visit www.theatrewashington.org.

The complete list of Helen Hayes Award nominees follows (winning nominees in bold):

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play-Helen
Teresa Castracane, Broadway Bound, 1st Stage
Kari Ginsburg, When the Rain Stops Falling, 1st Stage
Megan Graves, Redder Blood, The Hub Theatre
Kashayna Johnson, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, Theater Alliance
Justine "Icy" Moral, Journey to the West, Constellation Theatre Company
Soraya Padrao, Cervantes: El último Quijote (The Last Quixote), GALA Hispanic Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play-Hayes
Lisa Birnbaum, Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre
Shannon Dorsey, An Octoroon, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Nicole Kang, Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre
Dearbhla Molloy, Moment, Studio Theatre
Dorea Schmidt, Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography, Musical-Helen
Rachel Leigh Dolan, American Idiot, The Keegan Theatre
Rachel Leigh Dolan, Catch Me If You Can, NextStop Theatre Company
Ilona Kessell, Urinetown, Constellation Theatre Company
Mark Minnick, Hairspray, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Mark Minnick, Sister Act, Toby's Dinner Theatre

Outstanding Choreography, Musical-Hayes
Christopher d'Amboise, Evita, Olney Theatre Center
Kelly Devine, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Parker Esse, Carousel, Arena Stage
Jared Grimes, Jelly's Last Jam, Signature Theatre
Sergio Trujillo, Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation
Ruth P. Watson (Book), Thomas W. Jones II (Book & Lyrics), William Knowles (Music), Blackberry Daze, MetroStage Moisés Kaufman (Book & Lyrics), Eduardo Machado (Book), Arturo O'Farrill (Music), Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical, Olney Theatre Center
Jeffrey Hatcher (The Critic), The Critic & The Real Inspector Hound, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Bridget Carpenter (Book), Tom Kitt (Music), Brian Yorkey (Lyrics), Freaky Friday, Signature Theatre
Sandra Eskin, Michael J. Bobbitt, Jumanji, Adventure Theatre MTC
Jonelle Walker, TAME, WSC Avant Bard
Aaron Posner, District Merchants, Folger Theatre

Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences
Adventure Theatre MTC, James & The Giant Peach
Adventure Theatre MTC, Jumanji
Adventure Theatre MTC, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
The Kennedy Center, OLIVERio: A Brazilian Twist
Imagination Stage, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Outstanding Costume Design-Helen
Sabrina Mandell, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater
Jeffrey Meek, James & the Giant Peach, Adventure Theatre MTC
Kendra Rai, Journey to the West, Constellation Theatre Company
Ivania Stack, King Ubu, Pointless Theatre
Erik Teague, The Man in the Iron Mask, Synetic Theater

Outstanding Costume Design-Hayes
Dede M. Ayite, Jelly's Last Jam, Signature Theatre
Jess Goldstein, The Little Foxes, Arena Stage
Murell Horton, The Critic & The Real Inspector Hound, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Frank Labovitz, Cloud 9, Studio Theatre
William Ivey Long, Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story, Arena Stage

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical-Helen
Matt Dewberry, Urinetown, Constellation Theatre Company
David Landstrom, Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre
Christian Montgomery, Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre
Ethan Van Slyke, Caroline, Or Change, Creative Cauldron
Doug Wilder, You, Or Whatever I Can Get, Flying V/National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical-Hayes Joel Hatch, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Rodney Hicks, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Chad Kimball, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Nick Lehan, Titanic, Signature Theatre
Sam Ludwig, Titanic, Signature Theatre
James Monroe Webb, Jelly's Last Jam, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction-Helen
Robert Eisenstein, The Second Shepherds' Play, Folger Theatre
Karen Hansen, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater
Jake Null, Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre
Jake Null, Urinetown, Constellation Theatre Company
Mike Winch, King Ubu, Pointless Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction-Hayes
Jay Crowder, 110 in the Shade, Ford's Theatre
Ian Eisendrath, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Darius Smith, Jelly's Last Jam, Signature Theatre
Paul Sportelli, Carousel, Arena Stage
Markus Williams, The Christians, Theater J

Outstanding Visiting Production Arena Stage, Moby Dick
Arena Stage, The Lion
The Kennedy Center, Into the Woods
Studio Theatre, The Object Lesson
Olney Theatre Center, The Mikado

Outstanding Lighting Design-Helen
Christopher Annas-Lee, Cervantes: El último Quijote (The Last Quixote), GALA Hispanic Theatre
Colin K. Bills, Journey to the West, Constellation Theatre Company
William K. D'Eugenio, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance
Michael Lincoln, Constellations, Studio Theatre
Kris Thompson, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater

Outstanding Lighting Design-Hayes
Christopher Akerlind, Othello, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Colin K. Bills, The Nether, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Andrew R. Cissna, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Round House Theatre
Dan Covey, The Glass Menagerie, Ford's Theatre
Keith Parham, Hand to God, Studio Theatre
Jen Schriever, Guards at the Taj, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Grant Wilcoxen, Jelly's Last Jam, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical-Helen
Jenna Berk, Urinetown, Constellation Theatre Company
Teresa Danskey, Sister Act, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Noelle Robinson, Hairspray, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Maggie Donnelly, Floyd Collins, 1st Stage
Caroline Dubberly, Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre
Tiara Whaley, Caroline, Or Change, Creative Cauldron

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical-Hayes
Ann Arvia, Carousel, Arena Stage
Kate Rockwell, Carousel, Arena Stage
Jenn Colella, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Kendra Kassebaum, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Q. Smith, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Astrid Van Wieren, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre

Outstanding Choreography, Play-Helen
The Lonesome West, The Keegan Theatre
Sabrina Mandell, Mark Jaster, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater
Tony Thomas II, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance
Irina Tsikurishvili (Choreographer), Ben Cunis & Vato Tsikurishvili (Fight Choreographers), The Man in the Iron Mask, Synetic Theater
Cliff Williams III, Girl in the Red Corner, The Welders

Outstanding Choreography, Play-Hayes
Alexandra Beller, Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre
Dody DiSanto, An Iliad, Taffety Punk Theatre Company
Robb Hunter, An Octoroon, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Kelly King, Phaeton, Taffety Punk Theatre Company
Erika Chong Shuch, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Folger Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble, Musical-Helen
The Keegan Theatre, American Idiot
Adventure Theatre MTC, James & the Giant Peach
The Keegan Theatre, Next to Normal

Outstanding Ensemble, Musical-Hayes
Arena Stage, Carousel
Ford's Theatre, Come From Away
Signature Theatre, Jelly's Last Jam

James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play-Helen
Louis E. Davis, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance
Clayton Pelham Jr., Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance
Gary Perkins III, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance
Justin Weaks, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance
Ryan Tumulty, Journey to the West, Constellation Theatre Company

James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play-Hayes
Philippe Bowgen, Cloud 9, Studio Theatre
Akeem Davis, District Merchants, Folger Theatre
Rick Foucheux, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Round House Theatre
Justin Weaks, The Christians, Theater J
Jon Hudson Odom, Angels in America, Pt 1, Millennium Approaches, Round House Theatre/Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Direction, Play-Helen
José Luis Arellano, Cervantes: El último Quijote (The Last Quixote), GALA Hispanic Theatre
Mark Jaster, Sabrina Mandell, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater
David Muse, Constellations, Studio Theatre
Psalmayene 24, Word Becomes Flesh, Theatre Alliance
Serge Seiden, Jumanji, Adventure Theatre MTC

Outstanding Direction, Play-Hayes
Mitchell Hébert, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Round House Theatre
Michael Kahn, Cloud 9, Studio Theatre
Ethan McSweeny, Moment, Studio Theatre
Joanie Schultz, Hand to God, Studio Theatre
Eric Tucker, Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre

Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical
Stephen Spotswood, Girl in the Red Corner, The Welders
Vaughn Irving & Steve Przybylski (Music), Suzanne Edgar, Vaughn Irving, Farrell Parker, Steve Przybylski, Jason Schlafstein, Doug Wilder (Book & Lyrics), You, Or Whatever I Can Get, Flying V/National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts
Gwydion Suilebhan, Transmission, The Welders
Happenstance Theater, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville
Audrey Cefaly, The Gulf, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play-Helen
Lily Balatincz, Constellations, Studio Theatre
Sabrina Mandell, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater
Susan Marie Rhea, An American Daughter, The Keegan Theatre
Jenna Sokolowski, Redder Blood, The Hub Theatre
Holly Twyford, Blackberry Winter, Forum Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play-Hayes
Margaret Colin, The City of Conversation, Arena Stage
Staceyann Chin, Motherstruck, Studio Theatre
Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Round House Theatre
Erin Weaver, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Folger Theatre
Holly Twyford, Cloud 9, Studio Theatre

Outstanding Direction, Musical-Helen
Michael Baron, James & the Giant Peach, Adventure Theatre MTC
Evan Hoffmann, Catch Me If You Can, NextStop Theatre Company
Mark A. Rhea, Colin Smith, Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre
Jason Schlafstein, You, Or Whatever I Can Get, Flying V/National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts
Allison Arkell Stockman, Urinetown, Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Direction, Musical-Hayes
Christopher Ashley, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Will Davis, Evita, Olney Theatre Center
Matthew Gardiner, La Cage aux Folles, Signature Theatre
Matthew Gardiner, Jelly's Last Jam, Signature Theatre
Molly Smith, Carousel, Arena Stage

Outstanding Sound Design-Helen
Palmer Hefferan, Equus, Constellation Theatre Company
Nick tha 1da Hernandez, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance
Ryan Rumery, Constellations, Studio Theatre
Justin Schmitz, I Call My Brothers, Forum Theatre
Tom Teasley, Journey to the West, Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Sound Design-Hayes
John Gromada, The Glass Menagerie, Ford's Theatre
Palmer Hefferan, Guards at the Taj, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Gareth Owen, Come From Away, Ford's Theatre
Sarah Pickett (Sound Designer & Add'l. Music), Andre Pluess (Composer), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Folger Theatre
Eric Shimelonis, The Flick, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Performer, Visiting Production
Adam Langdon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Kennedy Center
Felonius Munk, The Second City: Black Side of the Moon, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Shawn Pfautsch, The Mikado, Olney Theatre Center
Darick Pead, Into the Woods, The Kennedy Center
Jack Willis, Sweat, Arena Stage

Outstanding Ensemble, Play-Helen
GALA Hispanic Theatre, Cervantes: El último Quijote (The Last Quixote)
Happenstance Theater, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville
Theater Alliance, Word Becomes Flesh

Outstanding Ensemble, Play-Hayes
Signature Theatre, The Flick
Studio Theatre, Hand to God
Folger Theatre, Sense & Sensibility

Outstanding Set Design-Helen
Silvia de Marta (Set Designer), Alvaro Luna (Video Designer), Cervantes: El último Quijote (The Last Quixote), GALA Hispanic Theatre
Regina Garcia, El Paso Blue, GALA Hispanic Theatre
A.J. Guban, Journey to the West, Constellation Theatre Company
Kathryn Kawecki, Proof, 1st Stage
Hana Sooyeon Kim, The Emperor's Nightingale, Adventure Theatre MTC

Outstanding Set Design-Hayes
Daniel Conway, Hand to God, Studio Theatre
Daniel Conway, Jelly's Last Jam, Signature Theatre
Paul Tate dePoo III, Titanic, Signature Theatre
John McDermott, Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre
Meghan Raham, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Round House Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical-Helen
Hasani Allen, Sister Act, Toby's Dinner Theatre Matt Hirsh, Catch Me If You Can, NextStop Theatre Company
Sam Ludwig, Monsters of the Villa Diodati, Creative Cauldron
Christian Montgomery, American Idiot, The Keegan Theatre
Lawrence B. Munsey, Hairspray, Toby's Dinner Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical-Hayes
Brent Barrett, La Cage aux Folles, Signature Theatre
Bobby Smith, La Cage aux Folles, Signature Theatre
Bobby Smith, Titanic, Signature Theatre
J.P. Coletta, Million Dollar Quartet, Infinity Theatre Company
Nicholas Rodriguez, Carousel, Arena Stage

John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company
Convergence Theatre
InterAct Story Theatre
Rainbow Theatre Project
Mosaic Theater Company of DC
Nu Sass Productions

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical-Helen
Iyona Blake, Caroline, Or Change, Creative Cauldron
Kari Ginsburg, Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre
Ashley Johnson, Sister Act, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Eben Logan, American Idiot, The Keegan Theatre
Katie McManus, City of Angels, NextStop Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical-Hayes
Heidi Blickenstaff, Freaky Friday, Signature Theatre
Tie: Felicia Boswell, Jelly's Last Jam, Signature Theatre
Felicia Curry, OLIVERio: A Brazilian Twist, The Kennedy Center
Tie: Tracy Lynn Olivera, 110 in the Shade, Ford's Theatre
Christina Sajous, Carmen: An Afro-Cuban Jazz Musical, Olney Theatre Center

Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play-Helen
Mark Jaster, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater
Matthew J. Keenan, The Lonesome West, The Keegan Theatre
Tom Patterson, Constellations, Studio Theatre
Dallas Tolentino, Journey to the West, Constellation Theatre Company
Alex Vernon, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater

Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play-Hayes
Evan Casey, The Flick, Signature Theatre
Liam Forde, Hand to God, Studio Theatre
Jamie Smithson, Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre
Tom Story, Angels in America, Pt 1, Millennium Approaches, Round House Theatre/Olney Theatre Center
Jack Willis, All the Way, Arena Stage

Outstanding Musical-Helen
The Keegan Theatre, American Idiot
The Keegan Theatre, Next to Normal
NextStop Theatre Company, Catch Me If You Can
Constellation Theatre Company, Urinetown
Toby's Dinner Theatre, Sister Act

Outstanding Musical-Hayes
Arena Stage, Carousel
Ford's Theatre Come From Away
Signature Theatre, Jelly's Last Jam
Signature Theatre, Titanic
Signature Theatre, La Cage aux Folles

Outstanding Play-Helen
Studio Theatre, Constellations
Constellation Theatre Company, Equus
Pointless Theatre, King Ubu
Happenstance Theater, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville
Theater Alliance, Word Becomes Flesh

Outstanding Play-Hayes
Round House Theatre, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Studio Theatre, Hand to God
Studio Theatre, Moment
Studio Theatre, Motherstruck
Folger Theatre, Sense & Sensibility

The Helen Hayes Tribute: Ted van Griethuysen


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