Did you know there are 84 professional theatres in the Washington area? 84! Tonight, DC area theatre artists, press, Helen Hayes Award judges, and the folks from theatreWashington gathered at The National Theatre to celebrate those 84 theatres, and to announce the nominations for the 29th Annual Helen Hayes Awards.
The evening opened with pictures with Linda Levy Grossman and Victor Shargai followed by some exciting news about new developments at The National Theatre. Look for some impressive changes involving collaboration with local theatres at The National this year as they work on becoming more of a force in the DC theatre scene.
WTOP’s ‘Man About Town’- Bob Madigan – and WAMU’s Rebecca Sheir gave a spirited introduction and let us in on some of the great contributions that theatreWashington makes to local theatre artists and companies. Among many other new contributions, theatreWashington adds an artist and casting database to their website and a video where Linda Levy Grossman explains the specifics of the Helen Hayes Award judging process.
Look at the nominations and you will be reminded that this past season was an exciting one for DC area theatre. The most impressive aspect of Washington theatre is the incredible range of work that we have access to. From black box theatres running on shoestring budgets to multi-million dollar organizations, you are guaranteed to find examples of captivating and moving work all over town.
Only a few theatre artists were nominated tonight, and even fewer will actually take home awards at the Helen Hayes Award ceremony on April 8th. As we celebrate tonight’s nominees, it is also important to remember that for each artist nominated, there are many more who created excellent work in last year’s theatre season.
The spirit of the Helen Hayes Awards is not merely about who gets nominated or who “gets to go home with Helen”, as Linda Levy Grossman said tonight. The awards are a celebration of the amazing artists that choose to make Washington their home.
We are lucky to have such talent in this town. Tonight is a reminder of that talent. It is also a reminder to get out there and see local theatre. As Victor Shargai said this evening: “I urge you to keep producing, take risks, and go to a show.”
If last year was a cathartic and intriguing theatre season, this one promises to be even more enticing. Attend productions at area theatres large and small. You will be surprised at the amount of thought-provoking and gripping artistry that is available to you.
The nominations are listed here.
Congratulations to all of the nominees and to all of the artists who comprise the Washington theatre scene. We will all look forward to discovering who the winners are at the Helen Hayes Award Ceremony on April 8, 2013 at The Warner Theatre.
Now it’s your turn to let us know what you think. What nominations made you smile? Who are you disappointed didn’t make the list? Who do you think will received the awards? Put your comments in the comment box under this article and share your thoughts with our readers.