Ties with 'Oklahoma!' for top musical trophy

“It’s a tie” were the three most frequently uttered words during Monday night’s Helen Hayes Awards presentations, the D.C. theater community’s annual celebration of the preceding year’s legit offerings.

Honors for top resident musical were shared by Arena Stage’s “Oklahoma!” and the Shakespeare Theater Company’s “Candide,” while the year’s top resident play award went to Woolly Mammoth Theater’s “Clybourne Park” and the Folger Theater’s production of “Hamlet.”

“Candide,” the STC’s co-production with Chicago’s Goodman Theater, was the most feted production of the night with five Hayes kudos including for director Mary Zimmerman, set designer Daniel Osting and lead actress Lauren Molina. “Oklahoma!” took four awards including Parker Esse’s choreography and George Fulginiti-Shakar’s musical direction. The tuners again shared honors for outstanding lead actor for Geoff Packard of “Candide” and Nicholas Rodriguez of “Oklahoma!”

Touring play “Thurgood” at the Kennedy Center was judged the year’s top non-resident production, while Laurence Fishburne was named top non-resident actor.

Since the Hayes awards honor productions mounted the preceding year, winners seldom get a direct B.O. boost from them, but this year Arena and Woolly Mammoth have coincidentally scheduled summertime remountings of their popular stagings of “Oklahoma!” and “Clybourne Park.” The racially diverse production of “Oklahoma!” is said to have attracted interest as a possible Broadway transfer, while the gentrification theme of Pulitzer-winner “Park” has struck a chord with D.C. auds.

“Park” was staged by Woolly a.d. Howard Shalwitz, who shared the director award with Paata Tsikurishvili at Scenetic Theater. In addition, Graham Hamilton’s perf of Hamlet at the Folger earned him a shared award for actor in a resident play with Johnny Ramey of “Superior Donuts” at the Studio Theater.

An annual lifetime tribute segment feted performer-director-choreography Tommy Tune.

Also at the ceremony, a U.S. Postal Service exec unveiled a commemorative stamp in honor of D.C. native Hayes. The Hayes org will rebrand itself slightly in June, including a new name, in an effort to emphasize its numerous non-awards activities including promotion, education, advocacy and professional development. Name of the annual awards event will not be changed, per a Hayes spokesman.

This year’s Helen Hayes award winners are:

Choreography, Resident Play
Parker Esse, “Oklahoma!,” Arena Stage

Costume Design, Resident Play
Anastasia Ryurikov Simes, “Othello,” Synetic Theater

Director, Resident Musical
Mary Zimmerman, “Candide,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Director, Resident Play
Howard Shalwitz, “Clybourne Park,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company
Paata Tsikurishvili, “Othello,” Synetic Theater

Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production
Laurence Fishburne, “Thurgood,” Kennedy Center

Lead Actor, Resident Musical
Geoff Packard, “Candide,” Shakespeare Theater Company
Nicholas Rodriguez, “Oklahoma!,” Arena Stage

Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production
Caroline Sheen, “Mary Poppins,” Kennedy Center

Lead Actress, Resident Musical
Lauren Molina, “Candide,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Lead Actress, Resident Play
Erika Rose, “In Darfur,” Theater J

Lighting Design, Resident Production
Colin K. Bills, “The Master and Margarita,” Synetic Theater

Musical Direction, Resident Production
George Fulginiti-Shakar, “Oklahoma!,” Arena Stage

Set Design, Resident Play
Daniel Ostling, “Candide,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Sound Design, Resident Play
Tom Teasley, “The Ramayana,” Constellation Theater Company

Supporting Actor, Resident Musical
Ed Dixon, “Sunset Boulevard,” Signature Theater

Supporting Actress, Resident Musical
Hollis Resnik, “Candide,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Supporting Actress, Resident Play
Naomi Jacobson, “Richard II,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production
Josh Lamon, “Hair,” Kennedy Center

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical
“The Liar,” David Ives, Shakespeare Theater Company

The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play
Louis Butelli, “Henry VIII,” Folger Theater

The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play
Johnny Ramey, “Superior Donuts,” Studio Theater

Ensemble, Resident Musical
“Sycamore Trees,” Signature Theater

Ensemble, Resident Play
“Othello,” Synetic Theater

Non-Resident Production
“Thurgood,” Kennedy Center

Production, Theater for Young Audiences
“If You Give a Pig a Pancake,” Adventure Theater

Resident Musical
“Candide,” Shakespeare Theater Company and “Oklahoma!,” Arena Stage

Resident Play
“Clybourne Park,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company and “Hamlet,” Folger Theater

The John Aniello Award for Emerging Theater Company
No Rules Theater Company and Factory 449: a Theater collective

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