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Regional Reviews: Washington, D.C.

Keegan's Seussical, Olney and Round House's Fela! Top Helen Hayes Award Recipients
Coverage by Susan Berlin | Season Schedule

Also see Susan's reviews of Metamorphoses and Problems Between Sisters

The Keegan Theatre's Seussical received the largest number of Helen Hayes Awards for a single production–six–at TheatreWashington's 40th annual award ceremony, May 20 at The Anthem on the District Wharf in Washington. Fela!, co-presented by Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre, came in second with five awards.

This year's event recognized work in 41 categories from 151 eligible productions presented during calendar year 2023, including 44 musicals, 107 plays, and 36 world premieres. The organization presents awards in parallel tracks ("Hayes," for productions with a larger number of Actors' Equity contracts, and "Helen," for those with fewer Equity contracts); Seussical was honored in the Helen category and Fela! in Hayes, both for Outstanding Musical.

Arena Stage received a total of six awards in the Hayes category for three productions: three for Swept Away, two for Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, and one for Exclusion. The company also received an award for Cambodian Rock Band, a co-production with the Alley Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and ACT Theatre/5th Avenue.

Additional productions receiving top awards include The Jungle from Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Visiting Production; A Year with Frog and Toad from Imagination Stage, Theatre for Young Audiences; La Salpêtrière from Taffety Punk Theatre Company, play, Helen; and My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion from Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater, play, Hayes.

Melody A. Betts, currently appearing on Broadway in The Wiz, received two awards: Outstanding Performer, Visiting Production, for the pre-Broadway run of The Wiz at the National Theatre; and Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical, Hayes, for Fela!. She also performed during the ceremonies.

Peter Marks, who stepped down as theatre critic for The Washington Post in 2023 after a tenure of 21 years, received the Helen Hayes Tribute. He received this recognition for his knowledgeable and thoughtful writing about theater in the DC area, nationally, and internationally.

Following is the complete list of Helen Hayes Award nominees and recipients. Award recipients are designated in bold. For more information, visit www.theatrewashington.org. Outstanding Choreography in a Musical, Hayes
Ashleigh King, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Breon Arzell, Fela! Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre
David Neumann, Swept Away, Arena Stage
Josh Rhodes, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Kennedy Center
Tiffany Quinn, Passing Strange, Signature Theatre
Outstanding Choreography in a Musical, Helen
Ahmad Maaty and Sierra Young, Spring Awakening, Monumental Theatre Company
David Singleton, Ride the Cyclone, NextStop Theatre Company
Kurt Boehm and Ashleigh King, Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
Mark Minnick, Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Stefan Sittig, In the Heights, NextStop Theatre Company
Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Hayes
Ambika Raina, A Nice Indian Boy, Olney Theatre Center
Jonathan Goddard, Robb Hunter, and Sierra Young, King Lear, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Angelisa Gillyard and Latif Schofield, The Hula-Hoopin' Queen, Imagination Stage
Nikki Mirza, Ink, Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center
Tony Thomas, Fat Ham, Studio Theatre
Outstanding Choreography in a Play, Helen
Casey Kaleba, Kill the Ripper, We Happy Few
Irina Tsikurishvili, The Tell-Tale Heart, Synetic Theater
Irina Tsikurishvili, The Golden Fish, Synetic Theater
Rex Daugherty, The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
Tom Story and Shanara Gabrielle, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Adventure Theatre MTC
Outstanding Musical Direction, Hayes
Brian Usifer, Chris Miller, and Will Van Dyke, Swept Away, Arena Stage
John Bell, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Kennedy Center
Marika Countouris, Passing Strange, Signature Theatre
S. Renee Clark, Fela! Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre
Sheilah V. Walker, SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! Ford's Theatre
Outstanding Musical Direction, Helen
Irakli Kavsadze and Koki Lortkipanidze, The Tell-Tale Heart, Synetic Theater
Nathan Beary Blustein, Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
Paige Austin Rammelkamp, Urinetown, Workhouse Arts Center
Rita Gigliotti, Bobby McCoy, Jake Null, and Marci Shegogue, In the Heights, NextStop Theatre Company
Ross Scott Rawlings, Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Outstanding Costume Design, Hayes
Debra Kim Sivigny, A Year with Frog and Toad, Imagination Stage
Erik Teague, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Helen Q. Huang, Pacific Overtures, Signature Theatre
Oana Botez, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Susan Hilferty, Swept Away, Arena Stage
Outstanding Costume Design, Helen
Danielle Preston, Agreste (Drylands), Spooky Action Theater
Erik Teague, The Tell-Tale Heart, Synetic Theater
Evgenia L. Salazar, The Golden Fish, Synetic Theater
Frank Labovitz, The School for Lies, Constellation Theatre Company
Heather Lockard, The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
Outstanding Lighting Design, Hayes
Christopher Akerlind, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
David Lander, Here There Are Blueberries, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Kevin Adams, Swept Away, Arena Stage
Tyler Micoleau, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Venus Gulbranson, My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater
Outstanding Lighting Design, Helen Alberto Segarra, The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
Alberto Segarra, Look Both Ways, The Kennedy Center and Theater Alliance
Brian S. Allard, The Tell-Tale Heart, Synetic Theater
Colin K. Bills, Agreste (Drylands), Spooky Action Theater
Helen Garcia-Alton, How the Light Gets In, 1st Stage
Outstanding Set Design, Hayes
Lee Savage, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Maruti Evans, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Misha Kachman, My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater
Rachel Hauck, Swept Away, Arena Stage
Tony Cisek, Ink, Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center
Outstanding Set Design, Helen
Daniel Pinha, The Tell-Tale Heart, Synetic Theater
Josh Sticklin, Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
Kathryn Kawecki, How the Light Gets In, 1st Stage
Nadir Bey, The Chosen, 1st Stage
Sarah Reed, The School for Lies, Constellation Theatre Company
Outstanding Sound Design, Hayes
Bobby McElver, Here There Are Blueberries, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Fabian Obispo, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
John Shivers, Swept Away, Arena Stage
Matthew M. Nielson, Unseen, Mosaic Theater Company
Michael Kiley, My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater
Outstanding Sound Design, Helen
Brandon Cook, The Tell-Tale Heart, Synetic Theater
Gordon Nimmo-Smith, How the Light Gets In, 1st Stage
Kenny Neal, The Last Match, 1st Stage
Kenny Neal, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Adventure Theatre MTC
Marcus Kyd, La Salpêtrière, Taffety Punk Theatre Company
Outstanding Media/Projection Design, Hayes
David Bengali, Here There Are Blueberries, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Kelly Colburn, My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater
Kelly Colburn, Passing Strange, Signature Theatre
Mona Kasra, Unseen, Mosaic Theater Company
Patrick W. Lord, The Dragon King's Daughter, The Kennedy Center
Outstanding Media/Projection Design, Helen
Hailey LaRoe, Monsters of the American Cinema, Prologue Theatre
Kelly Colburn and Dylan Uremovich, Look Both Ways, The Kennedy Center and Theater Alliance
Kylos Brannon, Night of the Living Dead, Rorschach Theatre
Taylor Verrett, 46 Plays for America's First Ladies, NextStop Theatre Company
Zavier Augustus Lee Taylor, The Wilting Point, The Keegan Theatre
Outstanding Performer, Visiting Production
Ben Turner, The Jungle, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Jeremy Davis, Disney's Frozen, The Kennedy Center
Jonathan Nyati, The Jungle, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Julie Hesmondhalgh, The Jungle, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Lauren Nicole Chapman, Disney's Frozen, The Kennedy Center
Melody A. Betts, The Wiz, Broadway at the National
Nichelle Lewis, The Wiz, Broadway at the National
Rob McClure, Mrs. Doubtfire, Broadway at the National
Stephanie J. Block, Into the Woods, The Kennedy Center
Twana Omer, The Jungle, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical, Hayes
Awa Sal Secka, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Carol Dennis, SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! Ford's Theatre
Dani Stoller, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Felicia Boswell, SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! Ford's Theatre
Karen Vincent, A Year with Frog and Toad, Imagination Stage
Leslie Rodriguez Kritzer, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Kennedy Center
Maria Rizzo, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Matthew Lamb, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Melody A. Betts, Fela! Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre
Michael Urie, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Kennedy Center
Rob McClure, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Kennedy Center
Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Musical, Helen
Ben Ribler, Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Bruni Herring, In the Heights, NextStop Theatre Company
Graciela Rey, In the Heights, NextStop Theatre Company
Jordan B. Stocksdale, Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Justin Calhoun, Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Kaylen Morgan, In the Heights, NextStop Theatre Company
Kenny Carter, Spring Awakening, Monumental Theatre Company
Marina Yiannouris, Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Robert Biedermann, Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Ryan Sellers, Spring Awakening, Monumental Theatre Company
Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Play, Hayes
Billie Krishawn, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Caro Dubberly, Confederates, Mosaic Theater Company
Craig Wallace, August Wilson's Radio Golf, Round House Theatre
Jacob Yeh, King of the Yees, Signature Theatre
Justin Weaks, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Kevin Mambo, August Wilson's Radio Golf, Round House Theatre
Marty Lodge, The Seafarer, Round House Theatre
Megan Hill, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, Arena Stage
Naomi Jacobson, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, Arena Stage
Sarah-Anne Martinez, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, Arena Stage
Susan Rome, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Outstanding Supporting Performer in a Play, Helen
DeJeanette Horne, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, Theater Alliance
Ethan Miller, The Last Match, 1st Stage
Fabiolla Da Silva, The Last Match, 1st Stage
Jacob Yeh, How the Light Gets In, 1st Stage
Joel Ashur, How the Light Gets In, 1st Stage
Kimberly Gilbert, La Salpêtrière, Taffety Punk Theatre Company
Lise Bruneau, The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
Lynette Rathnam, The Last Match, 1st Stage
Matthew Pauli, Love Like Tuesday, Faction of Fools Theatre Company
Rebecca Ballinger, The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
Sasha Olinick, The Chosen, 1st Stage
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical, Hayes
Adrian Blake Enscoe, Swept Away, Arena Stage
Bobby Smith, Fun Home, Studio Theatre
Bryonha Marie, Sweeney Todd, Signature Theatre
Carrie Compere, SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! Ford's Theatre
Deimoni Brewington, A Year with Frog and Toad, Imagination Stage
Erin Davie, The Bridges of Madison County, Signature Theatre
John Gallagher Jr., Swept Away, Arena Stage
Nkrumah Gatling, Ragtime, Signature Theatre
Stark Sands, Swept Away, Arena Stage
Stephanie J. Block, Sunset Boulevard, The Kennedy Center
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Musical, Helen
Aidan Joyce, Spring Awakening, Monumental Theatre Company
Amanda Mason, Urinetown, Workhouse Arts Center
Anna Phillips-Brown, Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Ashton Schaffer, Urinetown, Workhouse Arts Center
Jeffrey Shankle, Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Jordan B. Stocksdale, Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Mel Gumina, Urinetown, Workhouse Arts Center
Michael Innocenti, Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
Patrick Gover, Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville. Toby's Dinner Theatre Sarah Chapin, Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play, Hayes
Cody Nickell, Ink, Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center
Deborah Ann Woll, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Elizabeth Stahlmann, Here There Are Blueberries, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Joe Ngo, Cambodian Rock Band, Arena Stage in association with Alley Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and ACT Theatre/5th Avenue
Marquis D. Gibson, Fat Ham, Studio Theatre
Nick Westrate, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Patrick Page, King Lear, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Phillip James Brannon, The High Ground, Arena Stage
Renea S. Brown, The Mountaintop, Round House Theatre
Suli Holum, My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater
Outstanding Lead Performer in a Play, Helen
Alina Collins Maldonado, JARD├ŹN SALVAJE (Native Gardens), GALA Hispanic Theatre
Brittany Martz, 46 Plays for America's First Ladies, NextStop Theatre Company
Dawn Thomas Reidy, Hazardous Materials, Perisphere Theater
Dylan Toms, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Adventure Theatre MTC
Ethan Miller The Chosen, 1st Stage
Fabiolla Da Silva, La Salpêtrière, Taffety Punk Theatre Company
Irene Hamilton and Anna Walden, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Adventure Theatre MTC
Jonathan Holmes, The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
Kevin Adams, An Irish Carol, The Keegan Theatre
Miss Kitty, Agreste (Drylands), Spooky Action Theater>br> Nicole Halmos, The Cake, Prologue Theatre and NextStop Theatre Company
Outstanding Director of a Musical, Hayes
Ashleigh King, A Year with Frog and Toad, Imagination Stage
Josh Rhodes, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Kennedy Center
Lili-Anne Brown, Fela! Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre
Michael Mayer, Swept Away, Arena Stage
Sammi Cannold, Sunset Boulevard, The Kennedy Center
Outstanding Director of a Musical, Helen
Elena Velasco, In the Heights, NextStop Theatre Company
Kurt Boehm and Ashleigh King, Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
Mark Minnick, Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Mark Minnick, Jimmy Buffett's Escape to Margaritaville, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Megan Bunn, Spring Awakening, Monumental Theatre Company
Outstanding Director of a Play, Hayes
János Szász, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Jason Loewith, Ink, Round House Theatre and Olney Theatre Center
Margot Bordelon, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, Arena Stage
Moisés Kaufman, Here There Are Blueberries, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Taylor Reynolds, Fat Ham, Studio Theatre
Yury Urnov, My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater
Outstanding Director of a Play, Helen
Alex Levy, The Chosen, 1st Stage
Alex Levy, How the Light Gets In, 1st Stage
Danilo Gambini, Agreste (Drylands), Spooky Action Theater
Johamy Morales, This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, Theater Alliance
Matt Torney, The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical Adaptation
Elena Velasco, Arco Iris, Arts on the Horizon
Gloria Bond Clunie, The Hula-Hoopin' Queen, Imagination Stage
James L. Rogers III and Jenny McConnell Frederick, Angel Number Nine, Rorschach Theatre
Julia Izumi, Sometimes the Rain, Sometimes the Sea, Rorschach Theatre
Nathan Weinberger, The Tell-Tale Heart, Synetic Theater
Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
Iris Bahr, See You Tomorrow, Theater J
James Ijames, Good Bones, Studio Theatre
Kelsey Mesa, La Salpêtrière, Taffety Punk Theatre Company
Kenneth Lin, Exclusion, Arena Stage
Leo McGann, The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
Sasha Denisova, My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater
Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical, Hayes
A Year with Frog and Toad, Imagination Stage
Fela! Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre
Monty Python's Spamalot, The Kennedy Center
Ragtime, Signature Theatre
SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! Ford's Theatre
Swept Away, Arena Stage
Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical, Helen
In the Heights, NextStop Theatre Company
Quilters 1st Stage
Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
Spring Awakening, Monumental Theatre Company
Urinetown, Workhouse Arts Center
Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, Hayes
Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Fat Ham, Studio Theatre
Here There Are Blueberries, Shakespeare Theatre Company
King of the Yees, Signature Theatre
POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, Arena Stage
Outstanding Ensemble in a Play, Helen
Agreste (Drylands), Spooky Action Theater
How the Light Gets In, 1st Stage
The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
The Last Match, 1st Stage
The School for Lies, Constellation Theatre Company
This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, Theater Alliance
Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences
A Year with Frog and Toad, Imagination Stage
Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
The Golden Fish
, Synetic Theater
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Adventure Theatre MTC
This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, Theater Alliance
Outstanding Visiting Production
As You Like It, Shakespeare Theatre Company
Disney's Frozen, The Kennedy Center
Into the Woods, The Kennedy Center
Mrs. Doubtfire, Broadway at the National
The Jungle, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
Outstanding Production - Musical, Hayes
Fela! Olney Theatre Center and Round House Theatre
Monty Python's Spamalot, The Kennedy Center
Ragtime, Signature Theatre
SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! Ford's Theatre
Swept Away, Arena Stage
Outstanding Production - Musical, Helen
In the Heights, NextStop Theatre Company
Ride the Cyclone, NextStop Theatre Company
Seussical, The Keegan Theatre
Something Rotten, Toby's Dinner Theatre
Spring Awakening, Monumental Theatre Company
Outstanding Production - Play, Hayes
Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches, Arena Stage
Fat Ham, Studio Theatre
Here There Are Blueberries, Shakespeare Theatre Company
King of the Yees, Signature Theatre
My Mama and the Full-Scale Invasion, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and The Wilma Theater
Outstanding Production - Play, Helen
Agreste (Drylands), Spooky Action Theater
How the Light Gets In, 1st Stage
La Salpêtrière, Taffety Punk Theatre Company
The Honey Trap, Solas Nua
The Last Match, 1st Stage
The Tell-Tale Heart, Synetic Theater