What—and Who—is theatreWashington


First, “WHAT” is TheatreWashington?

  • TheatreWashington is more than a name — for it’s a designation that accurately reflects our organization’s programmatic and geographic scope.
  • TheatreWashington is more than a new organization — because it’s built on the 27 year foundation and reputation of The Helen Hayes Awards.
  • TheatreWashington is more than the next chapter for The Helen Hayes Awards – because theatre leaders asked us to be the unified voice to build and strengthen Washington theatre – as a community, as a workforce, as a cultural center, and as a brand.
  • TheatreWashington is the only organization dedicated solely to promoting, representing, and supporting Washington theatres, artists, and audiences of all ages.

And HOW is that going to happen? Read on . . .

  • TheatreWashington will promote Washington theatre with research and dynamic marketing initiatives; will help bring critical arts education services to area children by serving as a clearinghouse for the region’s 130+ theatre education programs; and will honor excellence on area stages with the annual presentation of the Helen Hayes Awards.
  • TheatreWashington will represent Washington theatre with proactive and reactive advocacy services — as we recently did to eliminate the threat of a District ticket tax- to help progress important issues and quell those that could be damaging.
  • TheatreWashington will support Washington actors, designers, technicians, administrators, production personnel and board members with personal and professional resources such as peer networking, learning opportunities that address the growing economic, technological, and logistical complexities of the theatre, web-based communication systems for directors and artists, and making connections between theatre leaders and prospective funders.


Yes, The Helen Hayes Awards - the organization - is changing its name and scope. But the Helen Hayes Awards — the celebration of excellence on Washington stages will always be THE HELEN HAYES AWARDS and an important component of our overall mission. Now, the new organizational vision will better support all TheatreWashington programs including the continued growth in value, credibility, and recognition of The Helen Hayes Awards. To ensure its ongoing purpose and integrity, the entire Helen Hayes Awards process will now be overseen by its own separate Board of Governors.

And finally, “WHO” is TheatreWashington?

Absolutely, TheatreWashington is:

  • a dedicated staff of theatre professionals;
  • a board of directors, who are committed to our community and the role Washington theatre plays in it; and
  • a board of Helen Hayes Awards Governors who care deeply about the relevance and credibility of the Awards program

BUT – and this is the interesting part . . .

  • if you make theatre, TheatreWashington is you.
  • if you attend a theatre, TheatreWashington is you.
  • If you’re reading this blog, TheatreWashington is you.

Because TheatreWashington is much more than an organization.

  • it’s a community
  • It’s a collaborative
  • it’s a partnership

And we very much hope you will be a part of it. Please pass this along to your colleagues and always, feel free to ask questions, share thoughts and make suggestions below or at tellhelen@helenhayes.org

We'll see you at the theatre!