News & Politics

Highlights From the Helen Hayes Awards

Actor Brad Oscar, director Rebecca Bayla Taichman, Joellen Shiffman, and actor J. Fred Shiffman. Taichman was a double nominee. Shiffman was named outstanding actor in a resident play.

The new kids on the block cleaned up at the Helen Hayes Awards last night. Synetic Theater won five trophies including outstanding director, outstanding choreographer, outstanding ensemble, outstanding supporting actor, and outstanding resident play for its production of Macbeth. Synetic Theater uses movement rather than the spoken word on stage.

All photos by Chris Leaman.

Synetic choreographer Irina Tsikurishvili wore the best dress—a sequinned number with a strappy back.

Longtime Washington actors J. Fred Shiffman and Nancy Robinette won top acting honors for their costarring roles in Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins at Studio Theatre. Studio also received best resident musical for Reefer Madness.

Sir Derek Jacobi graciously accepted a special tribute, explaining that movies and TV offer money and fame but he still prefers theater because the stage requires “no nips and tucks, and doing Hamlet eight times a week keeps you fit.”

Kudos for the campiest presentation goes to presenters of the best-costume-design award, whose fashion commentary was as over-the-top as the costumes themselves.

Kudos also to director Jerry Whiddon, who kept the show down to two hours and 15 minutes.