The Catholic University of America

Jan. 30, 2013

Music and Drama Students and Alumni Nominated for Helen Hayes Awards

A number of Benjamin T. Rome School of Music students and alumni have received nominations for the 29th Helen Hayes Awards for their performances and work on Washington, D.C.-area productions.

Senior musical theatre major Paul Scanlan was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical, for “Spring Awakening” at D.C.’s Keegan Theatre.

“Spring Awakening” was also nominated for Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical. Alumnus Kurt Boehm (2005) was the choreographer and assistant director. Cast members included junior Alex Alferov, seniors Vincent Kempski and Maria Rizzo, and alumni Sean Burns (2012), Emily Dey (2009), Gannon O’Brien (2011), and Nora Palka (2012).

Junior Olivia Reed and alumna Melissa Victor (2012) were among the actors in “The Color Purple” at Toby’s Dinner Theatre in Maryland, which was nominated for Outstanding Resident Musical.

“We are thrilled that our students and alumni did so well in this year’s Helen Hayes nominations and are happy that they continue to be a vibrant part of the fabric of the D.C. theater community,” said N. Thomas Pedersen, head of the music school’s Musical Theatre Division. “What better place for young actors to grow up professionally than D.C.?”

The Department of Drama announced two alumni have received nominations.

Michael John Casey, M.F.A. Acting 1998, was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical, for his role in Imagination Stage’s “Rapunzel.”

Lee Mikeska Gardener, M.F.A. Acting 2011 and current CUA drama department lecturer, was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play, for her role in 1st Stage’s “Side Man.”

Last year's nominations included a win. Alumnus Andrew Griffin, B.A. 2006, was nominated twice in his category Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production, for “Othello” at the Folger Theatre and “King Lear” for Synetic Theatre for the 2012 Helen Hayes Awards, the only lighting designer last year to be nominated for more than one show. He won the award for “King Lear.”

The annual Helen Hayes Awards, named for the “First Lady of the American Theatre,” recognize outstanding achievement in plays and musicals in the more than 80 professional theaters in the D.C. area. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at The Warner Theater on Monday, April 8.



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