Lots of hugs, high-fives, free drinks, and great blintzes!
A picture speaks a thousand words, so I will be brief and let you look at some of the photos I snapped at the party at the J. W. Marriott Hotel after the Helen Hayes Awards ceremony ended Monday night.
I saw the elation of young local actors still in shock – beaming in the after-glow of winning their prestigious awards, and veteran actors happy that they still “got it”, and thrilled to be recognized by their peers.
In other pictures, you will see the backbone of our thriving theatre community – patrons, volunteers, ushers, Helen Hayes Board members, and a husband-and-wife acting team that has a mantle of Helen Hayes Awards.
Two veteran playwrights, long-time friends – and as we learned, once partners – whose works are being performed all around the world, and who are still writing new plays. In fact, one of them has three of his works, including a new one, playing right now at The Kennedy Center.
Everyone was so happy to be getting together in the same place for an early breakfast, some incredible cheese blintzes, and a free open bar. Here were many generations of actors and designers and directors swapping stories and wishing each other well. It was a sight to behold.
Personally, I was elated when Parker Drown won for his heart-breaking and loving performance as Angel in Rent, and overjoyed when Keegan Theatre’s Rent and Synetic Theater’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream ensembles both walked away with awards. As you all know, I have been writing a series of Scene Stealers articles, where many talented young local actors are featured. Most of these actors have received their stage experience in our local community theatres, and are introduced to our theatre community through these articles. I’m proud to say that many of these formerly-unknown actors are now working in many of our local professional productions.
To see many of them walk onto the Warner Theatre stage to be honored with a Helen Hayes Award, well, it was so wonderful, and at the same time tear-filled. But nothing compared to searching out these newbie winners and finally finding them in the sea of hungry thespians, and congratulating them, hugging them, patting them on the back, and high-fiving them. Mazel Tov and L’Chaim to this year’s Helen Hayes Award winners. May you keep gracing our local stages with your talent for many years to come.
See more photos from the party on my Facebook page.
DCPlace’s red carpet video captures all the glamour and excitement of the night