theatreWashington Hosts the 29th Helen Hayes Awards—Actors’ Equity, Capital Fringe, and Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue Honored

Jen Clements


Washington, DC – Washington theatre will celebrate its highest honors for achievement at the 29th Helen Hayes Awards on Monday, April 8, 2013 at the Warner Theatre and the JW Marriott Hotel. The Awards will recognize outstanding performances, designs, direction, and productions in 26 categories as well as pay tribute to three organizations which have made extraordinary contributions to theatre and Washington.

Oscar, Tony, and Emmy winning actress Ellen Burstyn, song and dance man extraordinaire Maurice Hines, Wendy Rieger, Kojo Nnamdi, and DC Councilmember David Grosso are just a few of the special guests expected to attend.

“The Helen Hayes Awards is the one night of the year when all sectors of Washington theatre come together — artists, professionals, and audience members — to celebrate their collective achievements,” said Linda Levy Grossman, President and CEO of theatreWashington. “Outstanding talent — and enormous commitment — goes into creating the incredible shows audiences enjoy almost every night of the year on Washington stages, and on April 8th we will honor that dedication.”

Over 2,000 leaders from the artistic, philanthropic, business, and political communities will come together for one night to honor the outstanding work in Washington professional theatre. With a show that includes performances, parodies, and tributes to excellence, the Helen Hayes Awards is renowned as the biggest night in Washington theatre.

This year, for the first time, Awards coverage will be webcast live. Hosted by WTOP’s Bob Madigan and WAMU’s Rebecca Sheir. The webcast will include red carpet arrivals, live interviews with presenters and Helen Hayes Award recipients, glimpses behind the scenes, clips from the show, and much more.

On Monday evening April 8, the webcast can be found at

In addition to awards in 26 categories for artistic excellence, three special awards will also be presented:

The prestigious Helen Hayes Tribute, sponsored by the late Jaylee Mead, annually recognizes theatre artists who exemplify excellence and an exceptional commitment to their craft. This year’s Tribute will be presented to Actors’ Equity Association on the occasion of the organization’s 100th Anniversary. Past recipients include Kevin Spacey, James Earl Jones, Mary Martin, Stephen Sondheim, the Artistic Directors of Washington’s professional theatres, Tommy Tune, Edward Albee, and August Wilson, among others.

Capital Fringe will receive The Washington Post Award for Innovative Leadership in the Theatre Community. For 27 years, the award has honored the inspired efforts of theatres, directors, local governments, service organizations, and several remarkable individuals, all with imaginative spirits and deep desires to foster Washington theatre. Since 2006, Capital Fringe has attracted 80,000 audience members, generated over $1.2 million in revenue for participating artists, and premiered over 250 new works through the production of its annual Capital Fringe Festival. The Fringe Training Factory has worked with over 100 underserved DC youth. The Festival and Factory have expanded the breadth and access to new performing art in Washington and have immensely impacted the artistic community. The organization joins Jane Lang and Paul Sprenger, Ford’s Theatre Society, arts activist Andy Shallal, Helen Hayes Awards Founder Bonnie Nelson Schwartz, and others in receiving The Washington Post Award.

The 2013 recipient of The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company is Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue. Named in memory of a devoted champion of promising talent, The John Aniello Award recognizes emerging theatre companies who have produced a body of work that is both groundbreaking and compelling. Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Revue has been a staple at past Capital Fringe Festivals and other venues throughout the area, producing shows that bring together a smattering of literary icons, rock and roll, and vaudeville styling. Previous recipients of The John Aniello Award include Faction of Fools Theatre Company, 1stStage, Constellation Theatre Company, Factory 449: a theatre collective, No Rules Theatre Company, and Taffety Punk.

From 84 eligible producing theatres and 201 award-eligible shows, 59 productions from 25 different theatres were nominated in 26 categories for outstanding theatre. The Awards are open to a ticketed audience only. The live webcast is available to everyone at

The Helen Hayes Awards is a program of theatreWashington, the only organization dedicated to strengthening, representing, and supporting all segments of Washington’s professional theatre community – theatres, artists, company members, and diverse audiences of all ages – and our community as a whole. For more information and tickets to the Awards, please visit or call 202-337-4572.


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.