D.C. stagings of 'Hairspray,' 'Ruined' score big

Signature Theater’s revival of tuner “Hairspray” and Arena Stage’s production of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize winner “Ruined” won top honors Monday at the Helen Hayes Awards, D.C. theater’s annual awards fest.

Among nonresident productions, Steppenwolf Theater’s revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at Arena won the main prize, while the Sydney Theater Company’s visit of “Uncle Vanya” at the Kennedy Center drew acting kudos for Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving.

No single theater or production dominated this year’s event, although the local troupe Synetic Theater nabbed four awards for its wordless version of “King Lear” including ensemble, choreography (Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Curtis), lighting (Andrew Griffin) and sound (Konstantine Lortkipanidze and Irakli Kavsadze). Seven members of its “Lear” cast drew acting noms, although none won.

The Hayes Awards, now in their 28th year, salute the D.C. area’s resident and nonresident theater during the preceding calendar year. The latest winners were selected from among 192 productions by 53 professional theaters. The event’s producing org recently expanded its scope and renamed itself TheaterWashington.

Resident play lead actor trophy went to Mitchell Hebert for Theater J’s revival of Arthur Miller’s “After the Fall,” with the lead actress award was shared by Erica Sullivan for Studio Theater’s “Venus in Fur” and Rena Brown for “Wit” at Bay Theater Company. Among resident musicals, Carolyn Cole won actress for Signature Theater’s “Hairspray,” and Euan Morton took the actor prize for “Parade,” a co-production of Ford’s Theater and Theater J.

Kevin Spacey was saluted with the annual Helen Hayes Tribute for his contributions to the theater community. Among those conspicuously missing from the winners’ circle was the Kennedy Center’s acclaimed revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies,” which jumped to Broadway following its SRO run at the Eisenhower Theater.

Other coveted Hayes awards included director honors for Aaron Posner for Folger Theater’s “Cyrano” and Michael Baron for “A Year With Frog and Toad” at Adventure Theater. The Charles MacArthur Award for a new play or musical went to playwright Marc Acito for “Birds of a Feather” at Hub Theater.

Complete list of winners:

Resident Play

“Ruined,” Arena Stage

Resident Musical

“Hairspray,” Signature Theater

Production, Theater for Young Audiences

“Charlotte’s Web,” Adventure Theater

Lead Actress, Resident Play

Erica Sullivan, “Venus in Fur,” Studio Theater; Rena Brown “Wit,” Bay Theater Company

Lead Actor, Resident Play

Mitchell Hebert, “After the Fall,” Theater J

Lead Actress, Resident Musical

Carolyn Cole, “Hairspray,” Signature Theater

Lead Actor, Resident Musical

Euan Morton, “Parade,” Ford’s Theater and Theater J

Non-Resident Production

“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” Arena Stage

Ensemble, Resident Play

“King Lear,” Synetic Theater

Ensemble, Resident Musical

“Hairspray,” Signature Theater

Supporting Actress, Resident Play

Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey, “After the Fall,” Theater J

Supporting Actor, Resident Play

Ted van Griethuysen, “Much Ado About Nothing,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production

Sahr Ngaujah, “FELA!,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production

Cate Blanchett, “Uncle Vanya,” Kennedy Center

The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theater Company

Faction of Fools Theater Company

Supporting Actress, Resident Musical

Nova Payton, “Hairspray,” Signature Theater

Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production

Hugo Weaving, “Uncle Vanya,” Kennedy Center

Supporting Actor, Resident Musical

Matthew Delorenzo, “Pop!,” Studio Theater 2ndStage

Costume Design, Resident Production

Kendra Rai, “Green Bird,” Constellation Theater Company

Choreography, Resident Production

Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Curtis, “King Lear,” Synetic Theater

Musical Direction, Resident Production,

Jon Kalbfleisch, “Hairspray,” Signature Theater

Sound Design, Resident Production

Chris Baine, “A Bright New Boise,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company; Konstantine Lortkipanidze and Irakli Kavsadze, “King Lear,” Synetic Theater

Lighting Design, Resident Production

Andrew Griffin, “King Lear,” Synetic Theater

Set Design, Resident Production

Lee Savage, “Much Ado About Nothing,” Shakespeare Theater Company

Director, Resident Play

Aaron Posner, “Cyrano,” Folger Theater

Director, Resident Musical

Michael Baron, “A Year With Frog and Toad,” Adventure Theater

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical

Marc Acito, “Birds of a Feather,” Hub Theater

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