theatreWashington just announced that the Helen Hayes Tribute Award, the centerpiece to the 28th Helen Hayes Awards ceremony, will be presented to Oscar and Tony Award winning actor and arts advocate Kevin Spacey on Monday, April 23, 2012.
The Helen Hayes Tribute, sponsored by Jaylee Mead, annually recognizes theatre artists who exemplify excellence and great commitment to their craft. “Kevin Spacey is a master performer,” said Victor Shargai, Chairman of the theatreWashington Board of Directors. “But, even more, he is a man who understands that theatre is a transforming experience.”
“As an artist and advocate for the arts”, Linda Levy, President and CEO of theatreWashington added, “Kevin Spacey makes us realize the tragedy we would face if there were no theatre.” In a career that spans some thirty years on both stage and screen, Spacey has earned the reputation as one of the hardest working and respected actors of his generation. He has worked as a director, screenwriter, producer, and singer and is Artistic Director at the Old Vic, one of the oldest theaters in London. He is the winner of two Oscars, a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award as well as the London Critics Circle, London Evening Standard and Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for best Actor.
Past honorees have included Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach, Derek Jacobi, James Earl Jones, Mary Martin, Angela Lansbury, Jason Robards, Stephen Sondheim, Chita Rivera, Lynn Redgrave, August Wilson and, of course, Helen Hayes.
During the 2011 season, 53 theatres produced 192 productions that met eligibility requirements for the 2012 Helen Hayes Awards in the January 1 – December 31, 2011 judging cycle. From these shows, 153 artists, ensembles and productions from 26 theatres were nominated for the Helen Hayes Awards.
Previously announced: the DC-based Commedia dell’Arte company Faction of Fools will receive this year’s John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.
The Helen Hayes Awards will be presented April 23, 2012 at The Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street, NW in downtown Washington, DC following which all guests walk the few blocks to the The Ovation Gala at the JW Marriott Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue to party the night away.