Justin Weaks accepts the award for supporting actor in a play at the 2017 Helen Hayes Award, for his performance in "Word Becomes Flesh." (Photo by Shannon Finney Photography)

‘Word Becomes Flesh’ Wins 5 Helen Hayes Awards

The other big winners of the evening were Folger Theatre and Signature Theatre.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: On Monday night, the D.C. theatre community gathered to celebrate the 33rd annual Helen Hayes Awards. The theatres that received the most awards were Folger Theatre and Signature Theatre, with six each. And the most-lauded production was Word Becomes Flesh by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, produced by Theatre Alliance. The musical Come From Away received four awards; it had a pre-Broadway run at Ford’s Theatre and is currently nominated for a Tony Award for best musical.

There was also a special appearance that evening: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared onstage to present the Helen Hayes Tribute to longtime D.C. actor Ted van Griethuysen, in recognition for his three-decade career. The other honorary award recipients were the leaders of Mosaic Theater Company of D.C., which received the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company; Jennifer L. Nelson, Ari Roth, and Serge Seiden accepted the honor.

Actors E. Faye Butler and Lawrence Redmond hosted the event, and the American Pops Orchestra, under the leadership of Luke Frasier, accompanied the event at the Lincoln Theatre.

The Helen Hayes Awards is administered by theatreWashington, the service organization dedicated to support D.C.-area theatres. Every awards category has two “tracks”: “Helen” and “Hayes,”  depending on the number of Actors’ Equity members involved in a production. The Helen Hayes judges evaluated 200 productions, and gave awards in 48 categories.

The full winners’ list is below:

Outstanding Choreography, Musical—Hayes
Jared Grimes, Jelly’s Last Jam, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Choreography, Play—Hayes
Alexandra Beller, Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre

Outstanding Choreography, Musical—Helen
Rachel Leigh Dolan, Catch Me If You Can, NextStop Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography, Play—Helen
Cliff Williams III, Girl in the Red Corner, The Welders

Outstanding Musical Direction—Hayes
Paul Sportelli, Carousel, Arena Stage

Outstanding Musical Direction—Helen
Karen Hansen, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater

Outstanding Costume Design—Hayes
Dede M. Ayite, Jelly’s Last Jam, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Costume Design—Helen
Sabrina Mandell, MOXIE: A Happenstance Vaudeville, Happenstance Theater

Outstanding Lighting Design—Hayes
Grant Wilcoxen, Jelly’s Last Jam, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design—Helen
William K. D’Eugenio, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance

Outstanding Set Design—Hayes
Daniel Conway, Hand to God, Studio Theatre

Outstanding Set Design—Helen
Hana Sooyeon Kim, The Emperor’s Nightingale, Adventure Theatre MTC

Outstanding Sound Design—Hayes
Sarah Pickett (Sound Designer & Add’l. Music), Andre Pluess (Composer), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Folger Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design—Helen
Tom Teasley, Journey to the West, Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Direction, Musical—Hayes
Christopher Ashley, Come From Away, Ford’s Theatre

Outstanding Direction, Play—Hayes
Eric Tucker, Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre

Outstanding Direction, Musical—Helen
Mark A. Rhea, Colin Smith, Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Direction, Play—Helen
Psalmayene 24, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical—Hayes
Come From Away, Ford’s Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play—Hayes
Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical—Helen
James & the Giant Peach, Adventure Theatre MTC

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play—Helen
Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance

Outstanding Performer, Visiting Production
Jack Willis, Sweat, Arena Stage

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical—Hayes
Nick Lehan, Titanic, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical—Hayes
Jenn Colella, Come From Away, Ford’s Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical—Helen
David Landstrom, Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical—Helen
Tiara Whaley, Caroline, or Change, Creative Cauldron

James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play—Hayes
Rick Foucheux, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Round House Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play—Hayes
Dorea Schmidt, Collective Rage: A Play in Five Boops, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play—Helen
Justin Weaks, Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play—Helen
Kari Ginsburg, When the Rain Stops Falling, 1st Stage

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical—Hayes
Bobby Smith, La Cage aux Folles, Signature Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical—Hayes
Felicia Boswell, Jelly’s Last Jam, Signature Theatre
Tracy Lynn Olivera, 110 in the Shade, Ford’s Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical—Helen
Matt Hirsh, Catch Me If You Can, Next Stop Theatre Company

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical—Helen
Iyona Blake, Caroline, or Change, Creative Cauldron

Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play—Hayes
Liam Forde, Hand to God, Studio Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play—Hayes
Alyssa Wilmoth Keegan, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Round House Theatre

Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play—Helen
Tom Patterson, Constellations, Studio Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play—Helen
Lily Balantincz, Constellations, Studio Theatre

Outstanding Original Play or Musical Adaptation
Aaron Posner, District Merchants, Folger Theatre

Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical
Stephen Spotswood, Girl in the Red Corner, The Welders

Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences
Jumanji, Adventure Theatre MTC

Outstanding Visiting Production
Into the Woods, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Production, Musical—Hayes
Come From Away, Ford’s Theatre

Outstanding Production, Play—Hayes
Sense & Sensibility, Folger Theatre

Outstanding Production, Musical—Helen
Next to Normal, The Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Production, Play—Helen
Word Becomes Flesh, Theater Alliance

Helen Hayes Tribute
Ted van Griethuysen

John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company
Mosaic Theater Company of DC

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