TFA Wins Ninth Helen Hayes Award

Posted: May 15, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Last week’s presentation of the Helen Hayes Awards at the Kennedy Center netted George Mason University’s Theater of the First Amendment (TFA) its ninth award.

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play went to local playwright Karen Zacarias’s The Sins of Sor Juana, produced by the Theater of the First Amendment in November 1999. The play, which received its world premiere at George Mason, is based on the life of Juana Ines Ramirez de Asbaje, a 17th-century Mexican woman who renounced her glamorous life at the royal court to become a nun and write on feminist and humanist subjects. During its run, local critics called the drama “emotionally absorbing,” “a visual feast,” and “a deliciously lyrical story.”

The awards were given at the Kennedy Center Opera House in a ceremony hosted by S. Epatha Merkerson–last year’s Outstanding Actress in a Resident Play for Studio’s The Old Settler.

More than 200 productions at more than 60 theaters were eligible for consideration in various categories, and the winners were selected by a panel of five judges from a slate chosen by a committee of several dozen nominators.

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