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Synetic wins big at Hayes Awards

Theater troupe nabs six prizes

Synetic Theater was the top winner at the Helen Hayes Awards in Washington, D.C., on Monday. The local troupe, which specializes in wordless, movement-based legit productions, scored six honors, including play.

Synetic’s staging of “Macbeth” nabbed five honors, while the company’s revival of “Hamlet … the Rest Is Silence” took the Canadian Embassy award for resident ensemble. Six-year-old troupe rode “Macbeth” to kudos for play, direction, choreography and sound design.

In its 24th edition, the Hayes Awards honored resident and nonresident professional theater perfs staged during the previous calendar year. More than 65 area theaters vied for honors at the black-tie event held at the Warner Theater.

Among other winning orgs were Studio Theater and Woolly Mammoth, which received five awards each. Studio’s two-hander “Souvenir” picked up lead actor and actress awards for J. Fred Shiffman and Nancy Robinette, and its second stage production of “Reefer Madness: The Musical” was tapped for resident tuner.

Woolly’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” won the Charles MacArthur Award for new play as well as awards for set design (Neil Patel) and lighting (Colin K. Bills). Woolly’s production of “She Stoops to Comedy” drew supporting actress kudos for Kate Eastwood Norris.

In the nonresident category, the “Avenue Q” tour earned top production honors for its stop at the National Theater. Lead thesp trophies went to Bill Irwin for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at the Kennedy Center and Cherry Jones for “Doubt” at the National.

Annual Helen Hayes Tribute, a lifetime achievement award, was presented to Derek Jacobi.

Arlington, Va.’s Signature Theater also picked up a handful of laurels. Marc Kudisch took lead actor for Signature’s production of “The Witches of Eastwick,” while Erik Liberman drew the supporting actor nod for the org’s “Merrily We Roll Along.” Hayes judges awarded a tie in the supporting actress category to E. Faye Butler (“Saving Aimee”) and Karlah Hamilton (“Witches”), and Signature a.d. Eric Schaeffer won musical helmer honors for the Ford’s Theater revival of “Meet John Doe.”

And the winners of the 24th annual Helen Hayes Awards are:

Resident Play:
“Macbeth,” Synetic Theater.

Resident Musical:
“Reefer Madness: The Musical,” Studio Theater 2ndStage.

Director, Resident Play:
Paata Tsikurishvili, “Macbeth,” Synetic Theater.

Director, Resident Musical:
Keith Alan Baker with Matt Gardiner and Ryan Christie, co-directors, “Reefer Madness: The Musical,” Studio Theater 2ndStage; and Eric Schaeffer, “Meet John Doe,” Ford’s Theater.

Non-Resident Production:
“Avenue Q,” National Theater.

Lead Actor, Resident Play:
J. Fred Shiffman, “Souvenir, a Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins,” Studio Theater.

Lead Actress, Resident Play:
Nancy Robinette, “Souvenir, A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins,” Studio Theater.

Lead Actor, Resident Musical:
Marc Kudisch, “The Witches of Eastwick,” Signature Theater.

Lead Actress, Resident Musical:
Heidi Blickenstaff, “Meet John Doe,” Ford’s Theater.

Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production:
Bill Irwin, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” Kennedy Center.

Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production:
Cherry Jones, “Doubt, a Parable,” National Theater.

Supporting Actor, Resident Play:
Daniel Escobar, “She Stoops to Comedy,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company; and Philip Fletcher, “Macbeth,” Synetic Theater.

Supporting Actress, Resident Play:
Kate Eastwood Norris, “She Stoops to Comedy,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company.

Supporting Actor, Resident Musical:
Erik Liberman, “Merrily We Roll Along,” Signature Theater.

Supporting Actress, Resident Musical:
E. Faye Butler, “Saving Aimee,” Signature Theater; and Karlah Hamilton, “The Witches of Eastwick,” Signature Theater.

Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production:
Caroline Stefanie Clay, “Doubt, a Parable,” National Theater.

Choreography, Resident Production:
Irina Tsikurishvili, “Macbeth,” Synetic Theater.

Musical Direction, Resident Production:
Jon Kalbfleisch, “Merrily We Roll Along,” Signature Theater; and Christopher Youstra, “Titanic,” Toby’s Dinner Theater.

Set Design, Resident Production:
Neil Patel, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company.

Lighting Design, Resident Production:
Colin K. Bills, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” Woolly Mammoth Theater Company.

Costume Design, Resident Production:
Reggie Ray, “Souvenir, a Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins,” Studio Theater.

Sound Design, Resident Production:
Irakli Kavsadze and Paata Tsikurishvili, “Macbeth,” Synetic Theater.

The Canadian Embassy Award for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play or Musical:
“Hamlet . . . the rest is silence,” Synetic Theater.

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical:
“Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” Sarah Ruhl, Woolly Mammoth Theater Company.

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