Theatre Washington announces nominees for 2024 Helen Hayes Awards

Nominations in 41 categories were announced at the Atlas Performing Arts Center. The awards ceremony will be May 20 at The Anthem.

Monday night January 22 at a celebration honoring outstanding theater on stages across the Washington area, theater artists, administrators, patrons, and special guests gathered at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street NE for Theatre Washington’s announcement of nominees for the 40th Helen Hayes Awards, which will be presented on Monday, May 20, at an event at The Anthem and hosted by beloved DC-area artists Felicia Curry, Rayanne Gonzales, Maria Rizzo, and Tom Story. The nominations are for productions in the Washington, DC, region in the 2023 calendar year.

Victor Salinas, Fran Tapia, Felicia Curry, Tom Story, Ryan Sellers, and Sarah Anne Sillers, who announced nominees for the 2024 Helen Hayes Awards. DCTA photo.

Hosts of the 2024 Helen Hayes Awards, Felicia Curry and Tom Story, welcomed the audience and Washington, DC-area performers Victor Salinas, Ryan Sellers, Sarah Anne Sillers, and Fran Tapia joined them to announce the nominations. Amy Austin, President & CEO of Theatre Washington, said, “This is going to be a great Helen Hayes Awards. It’s the 40th year of celebrating the extraordinary work on DC-area stages. It’s important to recognize that we have made it through some very tough years together. And our community remains robust, vibrant, and essential to cultural life in our region.

Recognizing work from 151 eligible productions, nominations were announced in 41 categories and grouped in “Helen” or “Hayes” cohorts, depending on the number of Equity members involved in the production. Nominations are the result of 49 carefully vetted judges considering 2,005 individual pieces of work, such as design, direction, choreography, performances, writing, and more. Productions under consideration in 2023 included 44 musicals, 107 plays, and 36 world premieres.

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theatre and Signature Theatre saw the most nominations, with 32 and 20, respectively. The most-nominated productions include Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches at Arena Stage (with 12), Swept Away at Arena Stage (with 12), Ragtime at Signature Theatre (with 11), and The Honey Trap at Solas Nua (with 10).

Peter Marks, former theater critic at the Washington Post, will receive the 2024 Helen Hayes Tribute Award. Marks recently stepped down at the end of the year after serving in this role for 21 years. This award appreciates and honors Marks’ decades of knowledgeable and thoughtful writing about the DC-area, national, and international theater landscape. He offered nuanced theater criticism and reporting with respect, relish, and generosity. His work contributed immensely to the artistic vibrancy of our region.

Named for actor Helen Hayes — a Washington native and legendary First Lady of the American Theatre — the Helen Hayes Awards has honored excellence in professional theater throughout the Washington region for four decades.

Full lists of nominations are downloadable here.

View all nominations by category.
View all nominations by production.
View all nominations by theater.

About Theatre Washington
Through collaborative partnerships, advocacy, and programs, Theatre Washington supports the Washington, DC, area’s professional theater community to celebrate artistic achievement, strengthen the theatrical workforce, support institutional growth and advancement, and cultivate collective action. Theatre Washington’s core programs include the Helen Hayes Awards, Theatre Week, Theatre Work, and the Taking Care Fund.


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