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2014 Helen Hayes Awards Nominees Announced
“Stupid F**king Bird” was the judges’ favorite show of the year. By Sophie Gilbert
Roundabout Theatre Company’s Anything Goes at the Kennedy Center was among the award nominees this year. Photograph by Joan Marcus.
Comments () | Published January 28, 2014

It was a good night for one show with an F-bomb in the title but not so much for the other. Woolly Mammoth’s Stupid F**king Bird, a riff on Chekhov’s The Seagull by Aaron Posner, took home eight Helen Hayes Award nominations last night in a ceremony onstage at the National Theatre. Studio Theatre’s The Motherf**ker With the Hat, however, wasn’t so lucky—it failed to claim a single one.

In their last year under the current format before the awards divide into two categories (“Hayes” for primarily Equity shows and “Helen” for predominantly non-Equity productions), the Helen Hayes Awards will still be plenty different this year, with the ceremony moving to the National Building Museum, the awards being presented on two different stages, and the speeches streamlined to a slender 30 seconds (or so TheatreWashington promises). Also new is TheatreWashington board chair Kurt Crowl, who takes over from veteran Victor Shargai after 16 years and almost 30 with the organization.

With all this change afoot, perhaps it’s a relief that the nominations this year, on the 30th anniversary of the awards, are still as intriguing as ever. Posner’s Bird, a critically acclaimed and very funny show, gets top honors with nominations for Outstanding Direction (Howard Shalwitz), resident Play, Outstanding New Play, Ensemble, Lead Actor (Brad Koed), Supporting Actor (Rick Foucheux), and Supporting Actress (Kimberly Gilbert and Kate Eastwood Norris).

Following in its footsteps are Shakespeare Theatre’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which got seven nominations, including Outstanding Musical, Choreography, Direction, Ensemble, and Lead Actor (Bruce Dow); and Round House Theatre’s production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which also scored seven. This year’s nominations, in which Round House picked up eight nods, would appear to be an endorsement of new artistic director Ryan Rilette, since the company scored only one nomination in 2013, two in 2012, and none in 2011.

In terms of institutions, Signature Theatre led the way with 20 nominations, six of which were for its co-production of Hello, Dolly! with Ford’s Theatre. The recent revival of Gypsy scored five, as did Aaron Posner’s production of Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years. Woolly Mammoth followed with 16 nominations, Shakespeare with 15, the Kennedy Center with 12, Arena Stage and Ford’s Theatre with 10, and the Folger Theatre and Studio Theatre tying with 9.

In any year, there will be surprises. I was gratified to see Shakespeare Theatre’s Mies Julie and the Kennedy Center’s Anything Goes rewarded among the “visiting” productions, but surprised to see not a single nomination for Shakespeare’s stellar The Winter’s Tale and only one (in lighting design) for the Folger’s outstanding Henry V. The awards are heavily skewed by nature to favor musicals, which tend to be less frequently produced by companies around town, but Signature’s production of Company, a terrific ensemble production by Eric Schaeffer, only scored a single nomination, for Erin Weaver as Outstanding Supporting Actress (who mightily deserved it, given the syllables she had to spew out in the frantic “Getting Married Today”).

Weaver was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play for her performance in the Folger’s Romeo and Juliet, and Lead Actress, Resident Musical for The Last Five Years, meaning she and her husband, Posner (nominated for his direction of both shows, as well as Stupid F**king Bird), took home more nominations between them than Theater J (one nomination), Forum Theatre (one), and Synetic Theater (two) put together.

What are your thoughts on this year’s Helen Hayes Awards nominations? Peruse the full list below and let us know in the comments.

Outstanding Choreography, Resident Musical

Karma Camp, Hello, Dolly!, Ford’s Theatre and Signature Theatre

Rachel Leigh Dolan, Cabaret, The Keegan Theatre

Maurice Hines, Maurice Hines Is Tappin’ Thru Life, Arena Stage

Josh Rhodes, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Tara Jeanne Vallee, The King and I, Olney Theatre Center


Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production

Mariah Hale, Twelfth Night, Folger Theatre

Murell Horton, Wallenstein, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Helen Huang, The Convert, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Sabrina Mandell, 4th Annual, ALL-NEW Cabaret Macabre, Happenstance Theater

Kendra Rai, The Magic Finger, Imagination Stage

Katie Touart, Peter Pan and Wendy, Imagination Stage

Merrily Murray-Walsh, Mary T. & Lizzy K., Arena Stage


Outstanding Director, Resident Musical

Joe Calarco, Gypsy, Signature Theatre

Thomas W. Jones II, Gee’s Bend, MetroStage

Alan Paul, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Aaron Posner, The Last Five Years, Signature Theatre

Eric Schaeffer, Hello, Dolly!, Ford’s Theatre and Signature Theatre


Outstanding Director, Resident Play

Matthew Gardiner, The Laramie Project, Ford’s Theatre

Mitchell Hébert, Glengarry Glen Ross, Round House Theatre

Robert O’Hara, The Mountaintop, Arena Stage

Aaron Posner, Romeo & Juliet, Folger Theatre

Howard Shalwitz, Stupid F**king Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical

A Chorus Line, Olney Theatre Center

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Shakespeare Theatre Company

The Full Monty, The Keegan Theatre

Gee’s Bend, MetroStage

Hello, Dolly!, Ford’s Theatre and Signature Theatre


Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play

The Apple Family Plays, The Studio Theatre

Glengarry Glen Ross, Round House Theatre

The Laramie Project, Ford’s Theatre

Never the Sinner, 1st Stage

Optimism! or Voltaire’s Candide, Spooky Action Theater

Stupid F**king Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Outstanding Lead Actor, Visiting Production

Mark Evans, The Book of Mormon, The Kennedy Center

Josh Franklin, Anything Goes, The Kennedy Center

Chester Gregory, Sister Act, The Kennedy Center

Bongile Mantsai, Mies Julie, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Christopher John O’Neill, The Book of Mormon, The Kennedy Center


Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical

Bruce Dow, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Shakespeare Theatre Company

James Gardiner, The Last Five Years, Signature Theatre

David Gregory, In the Heights, Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Bryan Knowlton, A Chorus Line, Olney Theatre Center

Paul Scanlan, Cabaret, The Keegan Theatre

Thom Sesma, Miss Saigon, Signature Theatre


Outstanding Lead Actress, Visiting Production

Hilda Cronje, Mies Julie, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Perri Gaffney, The Resurrection of Alice, The Essential Theatre

Andrus Nichols, Bedlam’s Saint Joan, Olney Theatre Center

Rachel York, Anything Goes, The Kennedy Center


Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical

Sherri L. Edelen, Gypsy, Signature Theatre

Diana Huey, Miss Saigon, Signature Theatre

Nancy Opel, Hello, Dolly!, Ford’s Theatre and Signature Theatre

Maria Rizzo, Cabaret, The Keegan Theatre

Jessica Vaccaro, A Chorus Line, Olney Theatre Center

Erin Weaver, The Last Five Years, Signature Theatre

Roz White, Gee’s Bend, MetroStage

Lauren Williams, Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”, The Kennedy Center

Lori Williams, Ladies Swing the Blues, MetroStage


Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play

Johanna Day, Good People, Arena Stage

Tana Hicken, 4000 Miles, The Studio Theatre

Joaquina Kalukango, The Mountaintop, Arena Stage

Susan Lynskey, Ghost-Writer, MetroStage

Nancy Moricette, The Convert, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Holly Twyford, Contractions, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage

Erin Weaver, Romeo & Juliet, Folger Theatre


Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production

Brian S. Allard, Never the Sinner, 1st Stage

Andrew F. Griffin, Henry V, Folger Theatre

Andrew F. Griffin, The Tempest, Synetic Theater

A. J. Guban, 36 Views, Constellation Theatre Company

Rui Rita, The Laramie Project, Ford’s Theatre


Outstanding Movement, Resident Play

Monalisa Arias, Optimism! or Voltaire’s Candide, Spooky Action Theater

Matthew Gardiner, Never the Sinner, 1st Stage

Happenstance Theater, 4th Annual, ALL-NEW Cabaret Macabre, Happenstance Theater

Robb Hunter, Red Speedo, The Studio Theatre

Irina Tsikurishvili, The Three Musketeers, Synetic Theater

Ben Cunis, The Three Musketeers, Synetic Theater


Outstanding Music Direction, Resident Production

Jon Kalbfleisch, Gypsy, Signature Theatre

William Hubbard, Gee’s Bend, MetroStage

William Knowles, Gee’s Bend, MetroStage

Dr. Sherrie Maricle, Maurice Hines Is Tappin’ Thru Life, Arena Stage

James Moore, Hello, Dolly!, Ford’s Theatre and Signature Theatre

William Yanesh, The Last Five Years, Signature Theatre


Outstanding Visiting Production

Anything Goes, The Kennedy Center

Baby Universe: A Puppet Odyssey, The Studio Theatre

The Book of Mormon, The Kennedy Center

Mies Julie, Shakespeare Theatre Company

The Second City Presents America All Better!!, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Outstanding Production, Theatre For Young Audiences

Anime Momotaro, Imagination Stage

Goodnight Moon, Adventure Theatre MTC

The Magic Finger, Imagination Stage

Peter Pan and Wendy, Imagination Stage

Three Little Birds, Adventure Theatre MTC

Winnie the Pooh, Adventure Theatre MTC


Outstanding Resident Musical

A Chorus Line, Olney Theatre Center

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Cabaret, The Keegan Theatre

Gypsy, Signature Theatre

Hello, Dolly!, Ford’s Theatre and Signature Theatre

The Last Five Years, Signature Theatre

The Rocky Horror Show, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage


Outstanding Resident Play

The Convert, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Glengarry Glen Ross, Round House Theatre

Good People, Arena Stage

The Laramie Project, Ford’s Theatre

The Mountaintop, Arena Stage

Romeo & Juliet, Folger Theatre

Stupid F**king Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production

A. J. Guban, 36 Views, Constellation Theatre Company

James Kronzer, Glengarry Glen Ross, Round House Theatre

Elizabeth Jenkins McFadden, The House of the Spirits/La casa de los espirtus, GALA Hispanic Theatre

Clint Ramos, Appropriate, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Clint Ramos, The Mountaintop, Arena Stage


Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production

Christopher Baine, Romeo & Juliet, Folger Theatre

Carla Kihlstedt, Romeo & Juliet, Folger Theatre

Mark Bennett, Coriolanus, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Broken Chord, Appropriate, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Lindsay Jones, The Mountaintop, Arena Stage

Matthew M. Nielson, Carried Away on the Crest of a Wave, The Hub Theatre

Eric Shimelonis, Never the Sinner, 1st Stage


Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical

Matthew Dewberry, The Full Monty, The Keegan Theatre

James Konicek, Peter Pan and Wendy, Imagination Stage

John Loughney, The Full Monty, The Keegan Theatre

Bobby Smith, Spin, Signature Theatre

Edward Watts, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Tobias Young, In the Heights, Toby’s Dinner Theatre


Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical

Jennifer Cordiner, A Chorus Line, Olney Theatre Center

Lora Lee Gayer, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Maria Rizzo, Gypsy, Signature Theatre

Erin Weaver, Company, Signature Theatre

Brittany N. Williams, Three Little Birds, Adventure Theatre MTC


Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play

Starla Benford, The Convert, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Sherri L. Edelen, Romeo & Juliet, Folger Theatre

Kimberly Gilbert, Stupid F**king Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Kate Eastwood Norris, Stupid F**king Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Susan Rome, After the Revolution, Theater J

Dawn Ursula, The Convert, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company


Outstanding Supporting Performer, Visiting Production

Grey Henson, The Book of Mormon, The Kennedy Center

Kevin Mambo, The Book of Mormon, The Kennedy Center

Thoko Ntshinga, Mies Julie, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Edward Staudenmayer, Anything Goes, The Kennedy Center

Samantha Marie Ware, The Book of Mormon, The Kennedy Center


The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical

Happenstance Theater, 4th Annual, ALL-NEW Cabaret Macabre, Happenstance Theater

Matthew R. Wilson, freely adapted from Molière, Don Juan, Faction of Fools Theatre Company

Lucas Hnath, Red Speedo, The Studio Theatre

Aaron Posner, Stupid F**king Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Michael J. Bobbitt, adaptation, based on the book by Cedella Marley, music & lyrics by Bob Marley, additional music & lyrics by Jon. L. Cornelius, II, Three Little Birds, Adventure Theatre MTC


The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play

Louis Butelli, Twelfth Night, Folger Theatre

Rick Foucheux, Stupid F**king Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Ted van Griethuysen, The Apple Family Plays, The Studio Theatre

Mitchell Hebert, How to Write a New Book for the Bible, Round House Theatre

KenYatta Rogers, Glengarry Glen Ross, Round House Theatre

Richard Sheridan Willis, Twelfth Night, Folger Theatre


The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play

Rick Foucheux, Glengarry Glen Ross, Round House Theatre

Brad Koed, Stupid F**king Bird, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Julian Elijah Martinez, 9 Circles, Forum Theatre

Patrick Page, Coriolanus, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Steve Pickering, Wallenstein, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Alexander Strain, Glengarry Glen Ross, Round House Theatre

Brandon Uranowitz, Torch Song Trilogy, The Studio Theatre

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