Mark G. Meadows (Jelly Roll Morton) and Felicia Boswell (Anita) in Jelly's Last Jam, directed by Matthew Gardiner, at Signature Theatre.
Mark G. Meadows (Jelly Roll Morton) and Felicia Boswell (Anita) in Jelly's Last Jam, directed by Matthew Gardiner, at Signature Theatre.
(© Christopher Mueller)

The nominees for the 2017 Helen Hayes Awards were announced on February 6 at the National Theatre's Helen Hayes Gallery, with nominations awarded in 47 categories for artistic excellence. Also announced were the theater companies eligible for the 2017 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company and the recipient of the Helen Hayes Tribute. The annual awards recognize and celebrate excellence in professional theater throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

Nominations are the result of a year-long process in which judges attended 200 eligible productions, including 41 world premieres. Recognizing work produced in the 2016 calendar year, nominations are made in "Helen" or "Hayes" cohorts, depending on the number of Equity members involved in a production. The 2017 Helen Hayes Awards ceremony will be held May 15 at the Lincoln Theatre and the 9:30 Club.

Signature Theatre led the pack again this year with a total of 25 nominations, including ten nods for Jelly's Last Jam and several for its productions of Titanic, The Flick, Freaky Friday, and La Cage aux Folles. In addition, the Broadway-bound musical Come From Away received 14 nominations, with Christopher Ashley recognized for Outstanding Direction and the production nominated for best of the season. The new musical also received three Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical nods and five for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical.

Other notable nominees include costume designer William Ivey Long for Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story at Arena Stage and Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith for her direction of Carousel, which received a total of eight nominations. Actor Ted van Griethuysen was selected as the recipient for the Helen Hayes Tribute Award. Eligible companies for the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company are Convergence Theatre, InterAct Story Theatre, Mosaic Theater Company of DC, Nu Sass Productions, and Rainbow Theatre Project.

For a full list of nominations, click here.