2015 Helen Hayes Awards Nominees: The whole shebang

Nominees for this year’s coveted Washington, D.C. Helen Hayes Awards for D.C.-area theater plays, actors, performances and other categories.

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Helen Hayes Award Logo.
DC's 2015 Helen Hayes theater awards have been announced.

WASHINGTON, January 27, 2015 – Here’s the complete list of nominees for the 2015 Helen Hayes Awards, which were announced live and via streaming video on Monday evening, January 26, 2015.

In many ways the area equivalent of the Academy Awards, these prestigious local theater awards are named after the famed actress who got her start in Washington, D.C. and are given to D.C.-area dramatic productions, actors, actresses and other theater professionals each year in recognition of their significant accomplishments.

Also announced Monday evening was the 2015 winner of the John Aniello Award for an Emerging Theater Company, which was given to the Flying V Theatre of Montgomery County, Maryland.

This year’s Helen Hayes Award Nominees are, by category, as follows:


Outstanding Performer, Visiting Production

  • Caroline Bowman, “Evita,” The Kennedy Center
  • Bethan Cullinane, “King Lear,” Folger Theatre
  • Tovah Feldshuh, “Golda’s Balcony,” Theater J
  • Joseph Marcell, “King Lear,” Folger Theatre
  • Alex Mugnaioni, “King Lear,” Folger Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Helen Production

  • Bonita Brisker, “Seven Guitars,” No Rules Theatre Company
  • Katy Carkuff, “One Man, Two Guvnors,”1st Stage
  • Maggie Erwin, “Failure: A Love Story,” The Hub Theatre
  • Lisa Hodsoll, “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance
  • Carolyn Kashner “Failure: A Love Story,” The Hub Theatre
  • Irina Kavsadze, “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play — Hayes Production

  • Katie deBuys, “Seminar,” Round House Theatre
  • Sarah Marshall, “Marie Antoinette,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Nancy Robinette, “Tribes,” Studio Theatre
  • Erin Weaver, “Mother Courage and Her Children,” Arena Stage
  • Emily Young, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Folger Theatre

The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play — Helen Production

  • Wayne Bennett, “Seven Guitars,” No Rules Theatre Company
  • Daniel Corey, “One Man, Two Guvnors,” 1st Stage
  • Michael Kevin Darnall, “Failure: A Love Story,” The Hub Theatre
  • Irakli Kavsadze, “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater
  • Alex Mills, “Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog),” Synetic Theater

The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play — Hayes Production

  • Zachary Fine, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Folger Theatre
  • Richard Gallagher, “Tribes,” Studio Theatre
  • Andy Grotelueschen, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Folger Theatre
  • Matthew McGee, “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • Scott Parkinson, “Cock,” Studio Theatre
  • Alexander Strain, “Seminar,” Round House Theatre
  • Michael Anthony Williams, “Two Trains Running,” Round House Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical — Helen Production

  • David James, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • David Jennings, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Nick Lehan, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Darren McDonnell, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Jeffrey Shankle, “Shrek the Musical,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Joshua Simon, “Dani Girl,” Unexpected Stage Company

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical — Hayes Production

  • Matthew A. Anderson. “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Ford’s Theatre
  • George Dvorsky, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Samuel Edgerly, “Ordinary Days,” Round House Theatre
  • Lawrence Redmond, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Bobby Smith, “The Threepenny Opera,” Signature Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical — Helen Production

  • Miranda Medugno, “Visible Language,” WSC Avant Bard
  • Ines Nassara, “Hair,” Keegan Theatre
  • Lynne Sigler, “Memphis, the Musical,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Sarah Anne Sillers, “Visible Language,” WSC Avant Bard
  • Dani Stoller, “Bat Boy: The Musical,” 1st Stage

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical — Hayes Production

  • Natascia Diaz, “The Threepenny Opera,” Signature Theatre
  • Sherri L. Edelen, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Donna Migliaccio, “Sunday in the Park With George,” Signature Theatre
  • Nova Y. Payton, “Elmer Gantry,” Signature Theatre
  • Erin Weaver, “Ordinary Days,” Round House Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical — Helen Production

  • Carlos Henderson, “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • Lee Liebeskind, “Nero/Pseudo,” WSC Avant Bard
  • Jimmy Mavrikes, “Bat Boy: The Musical,” 1st Stage
  • Lawrence B. Munsey, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Alan Naylor, “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well & Living in Paris,” Creative Cauldron
  • Roy Patten Jr., “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • Bradley Foster Smith, “Nero/Pseudo,” WSC Avant Bard

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical — Hayes Production

  • Mitchell Jarvis, “The Threepenny Opera,” Signature Theatre
  • Sam Ludwig, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Kevin McAllister, “Violet,” Ford’s Theatre
  • Charlie Pollock, “Elmer Gantry,” Signature Theatre
  • Matthew James Thomas, “Diner,” Signature Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical — Helen Production

  • Priscilla Cuellar, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Ny’a Johnson, “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • Thomascena Nelson, “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • Krislynn Perry, “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • Barbara Walsh, “Carrie: The Musical,” Studio Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical — Hayes Production

  • Mara Davi, “Beaches,” Signature Theatre
  • Erin Davie, “Side Show,” Kennedy Center
  • Brynn O’Malley, “Sunday in the Park With George,” Signature Theatre
  • Emily Padgett, “Side Show,” Kennedy Center
  • Alysha Umphress, “Beaches,” Signature Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Helen Production

  • Joniece Abbott-Pratt, “Seven Guitars,” No Rules Theatre Company
  • Caroline Stefanie Clay, “Gidion’s Knot,” Forum Theatre and NextStop Theatre Company
  • Karina Hilleard, “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance
  • Nanna Ingvarsson, “The Amish Project,” Factory 449
  • Nanna Ingvarsson, “Terminus,” Studio Theatre
  • Katie Ryan, “Terminus,” Studio Theatre
  • Irina Tsikurishvili, “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play — Hayes Production

  • Bianca Amato, “Private Lives,” Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • Kimberly Gilbert, “Marie Antoinette,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Susan Lynskey, “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • Emily Townley, “The Totalitarians,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Kathleen Turner, “Mother Courage and Her Children,” Arena Stage
  • Holly Twyford, “Sex With Strangers,” Signature Theatre
  • Dawn Ursula, “We Are Proud to Present . . .” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Helen Production

  • Ro Boddie, “Seven Guitars,” No Rules Theatre Company
  • Ben Cunis, “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater
  • Chris Dinolfo, “Stuart Little,” Adventure Theatre MTC
  • Dylan Myers, “Terminus,” Studio Theatre
  • Doug Wilder, “One Man, Two Guvnors,” 1st Stage

The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play — Hayes Production

  • Joseph Carlson, “Colossal,” Olney Theatre Center
  • James Caverly, “Tribes,” Studio Theatre
  • Rick Foucheux, “Freud’s Last Session,” Theater J
  • James Konicek, “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • Alex Mandell, “Bad Jews,” Studio Theatre
  • Ron Rifkin, “Camp David,” Arena Stage
  • Tom Story, “The Wolfe Twins,” Studio Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design — Helen Production

  • Matthew M. Nielson, “Abominable,” Hub Theatre
  • Matthew M. Nielson and Christopher Baine, “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance
  • Thomas Sowers (sound designer) and Konstantine Lortkipanidze (original music), “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” Synetic Theater
  • Thomas Sowers (sound designer) and Konstantine Lortkipanidze (original music), “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater
  • Tom Teasley, “The Love of the Nightingale,” Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Sound Design — Hayes Production

  • Christopher Baine, “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • Christopher Baine, “Colossal,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Lindsay Jones, “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” Arena Stage
  • Roc Lee (sound design) and James Sugg (composer), “Mother Courage and Her Children,” Arena Stage
  • Ryan Rumery, “Tribes,” Studio Theatre
  • Eric Shimelonis, “Marie Antoinette,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design — Helen Production

  • Brian S. Allard, “The Jungle Book,” Adventure Theatre MTC
  • Colin K. Bills, “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater
  • John Burkland, “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance
  • Brittany Diliberto (lighting designer) and Riki K. (multimedia designer), “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” Synetic Theater
  • Heidi Eckwall, “Healing Wars,” Arena Stage
  • Cory Ryan Frank, “La Senorita de Tacna/The Young Lady from Tacna,” GALA Hispanic Theatre

Outstanding Lighting Design — Hayes Production

  • Jason Arnold (lighting designer) and Eric J. Van Wyk (projection designer), “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • Colin K. Bills, “Colossal,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Colin K. Bills (lighting designer) and Jared Mezzocchi (video designer), “The Totalitarians,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Andrew Cissna, “Sex With Strangers,” Signature Theatre
  • Philip S. Rosenberg, “Private Lives,” Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Costume Design — Helen Production

  • Kendra Rai, “Beauty and the Beast,” Synetic Theater
  • Kendra Rai, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” Synetic Theater
  • Kendra Rai, “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater
  • Collin Ranney, “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • Collin Ranney, “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol,” Adventure Theatre MTC
  • Collin Ranney, “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance

Outstanding Costume Design — Hayes Production

  • Helen Huang, “Marie Antoinette,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Frank Labovitz, “The Threepenny Opera,” Signature Theatre
  • Frank Labovitz, “The Totalitarians,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Jeffrey Stolz, “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • Paul Tazewell, “Side Show,” The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Set Design — Helen Production

  • Phil Charlwood, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” Synetic Theater
  • Dan Conway, “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol,” Adventure Theatre MTC
  • Adam Koch, “Bat Boy: The Musical,” 1st Stage
  • Collin Ranney, “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance
  • David Israel Reynoso (set designer) and Kate Freer (media designer), “Healing Wars,” Arena Stage
  • Klyph Stanford, “Stuart Little,” Adventure Theatre MTC
  • Greg Stevens, “The Amish Project,” Factory 449

Outstanding Set Design — Hayes Production

  • Tony Cisek, “Two Trains Running,” Round House Theatre
  • Simon Higlett, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • Misha Kachman, “Marie Antoinette,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • JD Madsen, “Sex With Strangers” Signature Theatre
  • Eric J. Van Wyk, “The BFG,” Imagination Stage

Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Helen Production

  • Jen Bevan, “Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe,” Molotov Theatre Group
  • Liz Lerman and Keith Thompson in collaboration with the performers, “Healing Wars,” Arena Stage
  • Irina Tsikurishvili, “Beauty and the Beast,” Synetic Theater
  • Irina Tsikurishvili (choreographer) and Ben Cunis (fight choreographer), “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” Synetic Theater
  • Irina Tsikurishvili (choreographer) and Ben Cunis (fight choreographer), “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater

Outstanding Choreography in a Play — Hayes Production

  • Ben Cunis, “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • Ben Cunis (fight & movement choreographer) and Christopher D’Amboise (choreographer), “Colossal,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Matthew Gardiner, “Tender Napalm,” Signature Theatre
  • Joe Isenberg, “The Totalitarians,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • Joe Isenberg (fight choreographer) and Paige Hernandez (choreographer), “We Are Proud to Present . . .,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • David Leong, “Mother Courage and Her Children,” Arena Stage
  • Daniel Pelzig, “Private Lives,” Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Choreography in a Musical — Helen Production

  • Michael J. Bobbitt, “Miss Nelson Is Missing,” Adventure Theatre MTC
  • Princess Mhoon, “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • Mark Minnick, “Mary Poppins,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Mark Minnick, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Christen Svingos, “Memphis, the Musical,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Outstanding Choreography in a Musical — Hayes Production

  • Byron Easley, “Five Guys Named Moe,” Arena Stage
  • Parker Esse, “Fiddler on the Roof,” Arena Stage
  • Parker Esse, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller,” Arena Stage
  • Dan Knechtges, “Beaches,” Signature Theatre
  • Susan Stroman, “Little Dancer,” The Kennedy Center
  • Anthony Van Laast, “Side Show,” The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Musical Direction — Helen Production

  • Laura Brady, “Dani Girl,” Unexpected Stage Company
  • e’marcus Harper-Short, “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • Charles W. Johnson, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Landless Theatre Company
  • Jake Null, “Hair,” Keegan Theatre
  • Ross Scott Rawlings, “Memphis, the Musical,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Ross Scott Rawlings, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction — Hayes Production

  • Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Gabriel Mangiante, “Beaches,” Signature Theatre
  • Jay Crowder, “Violet,” Ford’s Theatre
  • Jon Kalbfleisch, “Sunday in the Park With George,” Signature Theatre
  • Gabriel Mangiante, “The Threepenny Opera,” Signature Theatre
  • Christopher Youstra, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Director of a Musical — Helen Production

  • Melissa Baughman, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Landless Theatre Company
  • Christopher Goodrich, “Dani Girl,” Unexpected Stage Company
  • Mark Minnick, “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • Steven Royal, “Bat Boy: The Musical,” 1st Stage
  • Eric Ruffin, “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance

Outstanding Director of a Musical — Hayes Production

  • Bill Condon, “Side Show,” The Kennedy Center
  • Matthew Gardiner, “Sunday in the Park With George,” Signature Theatre
  • Matthew Gardiner, “The Threepenny Opera,” Signature Theatre
  • Jason Loewith, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Eric Schaeffer, “Beaches,” Signature Theatre

Outstanding Director of a Play — Helen Production

  • Matt Bassett, “Failure: A Love Story,” Hub Theatre
  • Colin Hovde and Nathaniel Mendez, “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance
  • Paata Tsikurishvili, “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater
  • Holly Twyford, “The Amish Project,” Factory 449
  • Jerry Whiddon, “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol,” Adventure Theatre MTC

Outstanding Director of a Play — Hayes Production

  • Maria Aitken, “Private Lives,” Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • Jessie Austrian and Ben Steinfeld, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Folger Theatre
  • Kathryn Chase Bryer and Eric J. Van Wyk, “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • Will Davis, “Colossal,” Olney Theatre Center
  • David Muse, “Cock,” Studio Theatre
  • Aaron Posner, “Sex With Strangers,” Signature Theatre
  • Serge Seiden, “Bad Jews,” Studio Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical — Helen Production

  • “Bat Boy: The Musical,” 1st Stage
  • “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • “Hair,” Keegan Theatre
  • “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well & Living in Paris,” Creative Cauldron
  • “Memphis, the Musical,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical — Hayes Production

  • “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Ford’s Theatre
  • “Beaches,” Signature Theatre
  • “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Olney Theatre Center
  • “Side Show,” The Kennedy Center
  • “Sunday in the Park With George,” Signature Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play — Helen Production

  • “Failure: A Love Story,” Hub Theatre
  • “Healing Wars,” Arena Stage
  • “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” Synetic Theater
  • “Seven Guitars,” No Rules Theatre Company
  • “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater
  • “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance

Outstanding Ensemble in a Play — Hayes Production

  • “Bad Jews,” Studio Theatre
  • “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • “Colossal,” Olney Theatre Center
  • “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Folger Theatre
  • “We Are Proud to Present . . .,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical

  • Motti Lerner, “The Admission,” Theater J
  • Andrew Hinderaker, “Colossal,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Liz Lerman (concept); Liz Lerman and Bill Pullman (original text sources curators);
  • Devised text developed in collaboration with the performers, “Healing Wars,” Arena Stage
  • Lauren Gunderson, “I and You,” Olney Theatre Center
  • Steve Yockey, “Pluto,” Forum Theatre
  • Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, “The Totalitarians,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Play or Musical Adaptation

  • Ben Cunis and Peter Cunis, “Beauty and the Beast,” Synetic Theater
  • Patrick McDonnell, Aaron Posner and Erin Weaver; Andy Mitton (music & lyrics), “The Gift of Nothing,” Kennedy Center
  • Nathan Weinberger, “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” Synetic Theater
  • Derek Goldman, “Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog),” Synetic Theater
  • Ken Ludwig and Jack Ludwig, “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol,” Adventure Theatre MTC

Outstanding Visiting Production

  • “Brief Encounter,” Shakespeare Theatre Company
  • “Famous Puppet Death Scenes,” Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company
  • “Golda’s Balcony,” Theater J
  • “King Lear,” Folger Theatre
  • “Pippin,” The National Theatre

Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences

  • “The BFG,” Imagination Stage
  • “Cinderella: The Remix,” Imagination Stage
  • “The Jungle Book,” Adventure Theatre MTC
  • “Pinocchio!” Faction of Fools Theatre Company and NextStop Theatre Company
  • “Stuart Little,” Adventure Theatre MTC
  • “Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol,” Adventure Theatre MTC

Outstanding Musical — Helen Production

  • “Bat Boy: The Musical,” 1st Stage
  • “Black Nativity,” Theater Alliance
  • “Hair,” Keegan Theatre
  • “Memphis, the Musical,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • “Spamalot,” Toby’s Dinner Theatre
  • “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” Landless Theatre Company

Outstanding Musical — Hayes Production

  • “Beaches,” Signature Theatre
  • “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” Olney Theatre Center
  • “Side Show,” Kennedy Center
  • “Sunday in the Park With George,” Signature Theatre
  • “The Threepenny Opera,” Signature Theatre

Outstanding Play — Helen Production

  • “The Amish,” Project Factory 449
  • “Failure: A Love Story,” The Hub Theatre
  • “Healing Wars,” Arena Stage
  • “Twelfth Night,” Synetic Theater
  • “The Wonderful World of Dissocia,” Theater Alliance

Outstanding Play — Hayes Production

  • “Bad Jews,” Studio Theatre
  • “Cock,” Studio Theatre
  • “Colossal,” Olney Theatre Center
  • “Mother Courage and Her Children,” Arena Stage
  • “Tribes,” Studio Theatre
  • “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” Folger Theatre
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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17