The annual Helen Hayes Awards show makes good fun out of the business of recognizing Washington-area theatre artists for their creative achievements over the past year. But the awards ceremony itself is only half the fun of the evening, and it’s clear from the excited flood of people that cross the street a little after 10pm — from the Warner Theatre to the after-party at the JW Marriott conference center next door — that the drinks, dancing, and unfiltered fun that follows make up a main event unto itself.
“Drama prom” is a fitting moniker for this enormous shindig, which hums on into the early hours of the morning. Performers, designers, administrators, and patrons all dress to impress at the event, organized and presented by theatreWashington. And while at moments the party can feel daunting in its size and sprawl, there turns out to be something for everyone: live DJ, loud dance floors, quiet corners, dinner and snack options, numerous open bars, and opportunity aplenty to make new friends.
DC Theatre Scene was there snapping photos of the festivities. Only some theatre artists went home with awards. But in a town both intimate and diverse in its arts population, it’s never been easier to share a sense of accomplishment.
– We are greatly indebted to photographer Ryan Maxwell for these photos.
(Note: All photos are captioned from left to right.)