The prestigious Helen Hayes Tribute – presented every year at the Washington’s annual celebration of professional theatre, The Helen Hayes Awards – will be presented to Actors’ Equity Association, the union that serves and protects professional actors and stage managers nationwide, on the occasion of the organization’s 100th Anniversary. The Helen Hayes Tribute, sponsored by the late Jaylee Mead, annually recognizes distinguished theatre professionals who exemplify great commitment to the professional theatre.
Former AEA President – and Oscar, Tony, and Emmy winning actress Ellen Burstyn – will be on hand, along with a host of other luminaries, to accept the Tribute at the Helen Hayes Awards ceremony on April 8 at the Warner Theatre.
Founded in 1913, Actors’ Equity ensures that professional workplace standards are upheld, and individuals are fairly compensated, adequately insured, provided a secure retirement and protected from discrimination of any sort. Representing nearly 50,000 members across the country, Actors’ Equity serves the heart and soul of professional live theatre throughout America.
“Actors’ Equity provides a vital service to so many of our nation’s professional working actors, and so many of those who work and reside right here in the Washington area.” said Linda Levy Grossman, President & CEO of theatreWashington. “As staunch advocates for the welfare and enduring success of theatre artists, Actors’ Equity exhibits qualities of organizations that are vital to the continued cultural life of art and theatre.”
Imagination, innovation, and uncompromising commitment are hallmarks of the careers and legacies of previous Tribute recipients. Past honorees include Kevin Spacey, James Earl Jones, Mary Martin, Angela Lansbury, Tommy Tune, Edward Albee, Derek Jacobi, the Artistic Directors of Washington’s professional theatres, Stephen Sondheim, and August Wilson, among others. “Live theatre is such an integral part of American history,” said Actors Equity Association President Nick Wyman. “It is a portal to our past, a mirror to our present, and a crystal ball to our future. In countless ways, the professionals who join with audiences nationwide to create each singular live stage experience have contributed to and influenced our culture and lives significantly over the past century.”
“On behalf of the 900 AEA actors and stage manages in the Greater Baltimore/Washington area, as well as 49,000 Equity members nationwide, I am deeply honored to have theatreWashington choose Actors’ Equity for a special Helen Hayes Awards Tribute,” said Wyman. “On April 8, let us celebrate the magnificent collaboration that is theatre as we continue to entertain, educate, and enlighten our audiences for the next 100 years.”
The 29th Helen Hayes Awards will be held on Monday, April 8th at the Warner Theatre and JW Marriott Hotel. A signature program of theatreWashington, the Helen Hayes Awards will celebrate 150 nominated artists and productions along with the recipients of three special awards (The Helen Hayes Tribute, The Washington Post Award, and The John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company). For more information and tickets to the Awards, please visit theatreWashington.org or call 202-337-4572.
Actors’ Equity Association (“AEA” or “Equity”), founded in 1913, is the labor union that represents more than 50,000 Actors and Stages Managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote, and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans, for its members. Actors’ Equity is a member o the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.