theatreWashington Announces Nominees for 28th Helen Hayes Awards

Darlene Taylor


Washington, DC – Tonight before a crowd of 200 theatre makers and theatre lovers, theatreWashington announced the nominees for the 28th Helen Hayes Awards.

The National Theatre’s Helen Hayes Gallery set the scene for the announcement of nominees in 26 categories for artistic excellence and the announcement of the recipient of the 2012 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company. The Helen Hayes Awards is one of the most prestigious honors for artists and theatre companies in Washington’s vibrant theatre scene.

“Washington theatre not only entertains – it transforms,” stated Victor Shargai, Chairman of the theatreWashington Board of Directors. “We congratulate the nominees for the wonderful performances and productions that make Washington one of the top theatre towns in the nation.”

Washington’s theatre community is among the largest and most successful in the nation. With nearly 80 professional theatre companies, Greater Washington is second only to New York for the number of productions produced each year. During the 2011 season, 53 theatres produced 192 productions that met eligibility requirements in the January 1 – December 31 judging cycle. These productions were seen by a pool of 56 Helen Hayes Awards Judges who submitted 23,240 scores for 2,905 pieces of work, 1,543 of which were acting performances alone. From these shows, 153 artists, ensembles and productions from 26 theatres were recognized with Helen Hayes Awards nominations.

The Helen Hayes Awards is a signature program of theatreWashington, the only organization that promotes, supports, and represents Washington area theatres, artists, and diverse audiences of all ages. “This year is especially significant for us as this marks our inaugural year as theatreWashington. We not only continue our 27 year tradition of producing the Helen Hayes Awards, but are thrilled to expand more services to the entire community,” said Linda Levy Grossman, President and CEO of theatreWashington “We are most gratified that the national and international significance of the Helen Hayes Awards continues to build economic strength, growth of Washington theatre, aspirations of theatre professionals, and experiences of audiences throughout the region.”

The complete list of nominees for the 28th Helen Hayes Awards is available at

In addition to the more than two dozen Awards for excellence in Washington professional theatre, Shargai announced that Faction of Fools will be the recipient of the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company. Faction of Fools celebrates the Commedia dell' Arte which began in 16th century Italy. The company is in residence at Gallaudet University and continues Commedia dell’ Arte theatre tradition today in performances in Washington and around the world.

This evening theatreWashington also premiered a video retrospective of Washington theatres that produced work in 2011. The video can be seen on the theatreWashington Youtube channel and at

The Helen Hayes Awards Tribute Sponsored by Jaylee Mead and the Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community will be announced shortly.

theatreWashington will host The Helen Hayes Awards ceremony at the Warner Theatre and the Ovation Gala at the JW Marriott on Monday, April 23, 2012.

About theatreWashington

Building on nearly three decades of service as The Helen Hayes Awards, theatreWashington is the unified voice of Washington area theatre and is the only organization dedicated solely to promoting, representing and supporting all segments of Washington’s professional theatre community – theatres, artists, company members and diverse audiences of all ages. The Helen Hayes Awards is a signature program of theatreWashington.