John Michael Higgins, Karen Akers, Will Gartshore, John Glover Among Presenters for 27th Helen Hayes Awards

Alli Houseworth


Washington, DC – The 27th Helen Hayes Awards will be presented at the historic Warner Theatre on Monday April 25. In addition to 156 theatre artists, ensembles and productions nominated in 26 categories, three special awards will be given:

• The Helen Hayes Tribute sponsored by Jaylee Mead;
• The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community; and
• The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company

This year the award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play will be renamed in honor of our friend and board member James MacArthur, who passed away in November, 2010. As Jim distinguished himself as both a dashing leading man and steadfast supporting actor, the Award, in honor of the son of Helen Hayes and Charles MacArthur, will now be called The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play.

The Awards ceremony has also been selected by the United States Postal Service to premiere the First Day-of-Issue Dedication of the Helen Hayes commemorative Forever stamp.

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Celebrities, established stars of Washington stages, and emerging theatre artists will present Awards for artistic excellence in 26 categories.

Presenters will include actors Karen Akers, Ian Armstrong, Faedra Chatard Carpenter, Chris Dinolfo, Danielle Drakes, Parker Drown, Will Gartshore, John Glover, Chris Henley, John Michael Higgins, Rachael Holmes, Jahi Kearse, John Manzari, Leo Manzari, Rob McQuay, Elaine Paige, Casie Platt and Kara-Tameika Watkins; Playwright Ken Ludwig; Musical Director Chris Youstra; Directors Jose Carrasquillo, Michael Dove, Ethan McSweeny and David Muse; and HB MacArthur, wife of James MacArthur.

Philanthropist Jaylee Mead will present this year’s Helen Hayes Tribute Award.

Stephen Hills, President and General Manager of The Washington Post, will present this year’s Washington Post Award.

The evening will be punctuated by a company of some of Washington’s most exciting singers and dancers: Diana Amalfitano, Sandy Bainum, Christopher Bloch, Kurt Boehm, Noah Chiet, Felicia Curry, Glen Howard, Emma Jaster, Raquis Petree, Tuluv Price, Adin Walker and Delores King Williams, along with the musical theatre ensemble “Standing Room Only” from Howard University, under the direction of Darius Smith.

The April 25 event is directed by Jerry Whiddon, former artistic director of Round House Theatre and written by Charles MacArthur Award recipient Renee Calarco. George Hummel is Musical Director with Michael J. Bobbitt serving as Choreographer. Helen Hayes Award nominee and recipient Daniel MacLean Wagner is Producer and Production Designer, in collaboration with Carl Gudenius (Scenic Designer) and Alan H. Perry (Sound Designer). HHA President and CEO Linda Levy Grossman serves as Executive Producer. Other members of the production team include Cary Gillette and Shari Silberglitt Moxley (Production Managers), Martha Knight (Production Stage Manager), and Jack Stillwell (Visual Media Producer).

The 2011 Helen Hayes Awards is made possible by the involvement and generosity of Arlene and Robert Kogod serving as this year’s Honorary Chairmen, as well as:
• American Airlines, The Official Airline of the Helen Hayes Awards
• BNA, Generous Contributors of Helen Hayes Awards Publications for 27 years
• KPMG, Presenting Sponsors of The Helen Hayes Awards
• PNC BANK, Presenting Sponsors of The Helen Hayes Awards
• The Washington Post, Proud Sponsor of the Award for Innovative Leadership

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MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2010

The 27th Helen Hayes Awards
8pm at the Warner Theatre
13th and E Streets, NW
Award presentation honoring excellence in Washington professional theatre

The Ovation Gala
10:30pm at the JW Marriott Hotel
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Celebrating the nominees and recipients at Washington’s largest cast party
Our Namesake
Helen Hayes began her lifelong love affair with theatre at the age of five after seeing her first play at The National Theatre. Her legendary work ethic and standards of excellence earned her the title “First Lady of the American Theatre.” Eighty years after her first visit to The National Theatre, she presided over the inaugural presentation of her namesake awards and continued to inspire the Washington artists that followed in her footsteps. The National Theatre is now operated by the non-profit National Theatre Corporation, and managed by The Shubert Organization.

The Awards
In 1983, Helen Hayes Awards Founder Bonnie Nelson Schwartz recognized that the 14 professional theatres that, at the time made Washington their home, were worthy of great attention and celebration. So when the first Helen Hayes Awards judging cycle began in 1984, the stage was set to cultivate a theatre community that would become the second most prolific theatre town in the country. While the organization takes center stage on one night each year to celebrate Washington area theatre, our work behind the scenes to build audiences, honor excellence, and educate youth continues for 365 nights – and days.

The 27th Annual Helen Hayes Awards will be held on Monday, April 25, 2011 at the Warner Theatre and JW Marriott Hotel. One of our country’s most prestigious cultural events, The Helen Hayes Awards annually honors excellence in professional theatre throughout the Washington metropolitan area. For more information about the Helen Hayes Awards programs and services and tickets to the Awards Gala, go to or call 202-337-4572.

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