`Quills' Tops Nominations for Helen Hayes Awards

By Butters, Patrick | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), March 20, 1997 | Go to article overview

`Quills' Tops Nominations for Helen Hayes Awards


Butters, Patrick, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Floyd King's tour-de-force turn as the wicked Marquis de Sade in Doug Wright's "Quills" earned him and the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company seven nominations for the 13th annual Helen Hayes Awards, topping the list of 115 designees in 20 categories announced in a ceremony last night at the Canadian Embassy. Canadian Ambassador Raymond Chretien and his wife, Kay, were hosts of the event.

"Quills" shared an outstanding-resident-play nomination with Arena Stage's "Arcadia," the Shakespeare Theatre's "Henry VI," the Studio Theatre's "Two Trains Running" and the African Continuum Theatre Company's "Torn From the Headlines."

Four productions - Arena Stage's "Candide," Interact Theatre Company's "The Mikado," Signature Theatre's "Passion" and the Shakespeare Theatre's "Volpone" - earned six nominations for the distinguished awards, which honor outstanding achievement in Washington professional theater.

Five nominations went to Arena Stage's "Dance of Death," the Studio Theatre's "Hip 2: Birth of the Boom" and Signature Theatre's "The Rink."

In the outstanding-resident-musical category, nominations went to "Candide," "Hip 2: Birth of the Boom," "The Mikado," "Passion," "The Rink" and "Torn From the Headlines." For outstanding nonresident production, top nods went to Woolly Mammoth's "A Huey P. Newton Story"; the Kennedy Center's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Damn Yankees" and the Disney production of "Beauty and the Beast"; the center's and the Crossroad Theatre Company's "Nomathemba"; and the Warner Theatre's "Stomp."

While the Arena Stage's 20 nominations gives it the most per theater, the Kennedy Center, with 18, competes against itself for best nonresident production with four of six nominees: "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Damn Yankees," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Nomathemba" (which it produced with the Crossroads Theatre Company).

In the category of outstanding supporting performer, nonresident, all five nominees came from Kennedy Center plays: Desmond Barrit, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; Andrea McArdle, "State Fair"; Laila Robins, "Mrs. Klein"; Joseph Shababla, "Nomathemba"; and Scott Wise, "State Fair."

The center's "Nomathemba" won the most nominations for nonresident productions, with four. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Damn Yankees" earned three each.

There also was plenty of room for dual nominees within categories: the Signature Theatre's Eric Schaeffer for "Passion" and "The Rink," best director, resident musical; Nancy Robinette for Round House Theatre's "Better Living" and Woolly Mammoth's "The Obituary Bowl," outstanding lead actress, resident play; Howard Shalwitz for directing "Quills" and starring in Woolly Mammoth's "The Gigli Concert"; and Wallace Acton for the Shakespeare Theatre's "Volpone" and "Henry VI," outstanding supporting actor, resident play. …

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