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Cate Blanchett, Jan Maxwell, Sahr Ngaujah, Hugo Weaving Among Helen Hayes Award Nominees

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh
in Uncle Vanya
(© Lisa Tomasetti)
The nominations for the 28th annual Helen Hayes Awards have been announced. The prizes will be presented in a ceremony to be held on Monday, April 23, 2012.

The most highly recognized production has been Synetic Theatre's King Lear, which has received a total of 15 nominations, including one for Outstanding Resident Play. The production also earned nominations for director Paata Tsikurishvili and one in the Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play. In addition, lead performers Irakli Kavsadze and Irina Tsikurishvili as well as supporting performers Mirenka Cechová, Ben Cunis, Chris Dinolfo, and Philip Fletcher.

Among the other nominated Outstanding Resident Plays, all with multiple nominations, are Arena Stage's Ruined, Folger Theatre's Cyrano, Studio Theatre's Venus in Fur, and Woolly Mammoth's A Bright New Boise.

In non-resident, non-musical categories, the Sydney Theatre Company's revival of Uncle Vanya has received five nominations including ones for lead actress Cate Blanchett and lead actor Richard Roxburg, as well as one for supporting performers Hayley McElhinney and Hugo Weaving.

In musical categories, Signature Theatre's Hairspray has received nine nominations, including one for director Eric Schaeffer and one for choreographers Karma Camp and Briana Camp. The show's company has been nominated in the Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical category and performers Carolyn Cole, Nova Y. Payton, and Lauren Williams have received individual nominations.

Along with Hairspray, the other nominees for Outstanding Resident Musical are another from Signature, Side by Side by Sondheim, along with Ford's Theatre's Liberty Smith, Studio Theatre's Pop!, Olney Theatre Center's The Sound of Music, and the Kennedy Center's Follies, which also received a nomination for leading actress Jan Maxwell, musical director Jason Moore, and costume designer Greg Barnes.

Among the other nominees are Tracy Letts and Amy Morton, for their work in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Euan Morton for Parade, Sahr Ngaujah for Fela!, Leah Hocking for Billy Elliot the Musical, Nancy Anderson for Side by Side by Sondheim, and Ted van Griethsen and Paxton Whitehead for The Habit of Art,

In addition to the competitive awards, Faction of Fools has been named the recipient of the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.

Click here for more information about the Helen Hayes Awards.