The Birchmere hosts WATCH Awards honoring the best volunteer work of local community theater

WTOP's Jason Fraley recaps the WATCH Awards (Part 1)

The Helen Hayes Awards famously honor the work of local professional theater companies in the D.C. area, but what about the hardworking creatives who enthusiastically serve as unpaid volunteers of community theater?

Enter the Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH) Awards, which held its annual awards ceremony Sunday night at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia.

The top prize of Outstanding Musical went to “Avenue Q” by the Reston Community Players, defeating “Putting It Together” by the Colonial Players of Annapolis, “Young Frankenstein” by Little Theatre of Alexandria, “Sondheim on Sondheim” by Silhouette Stages and “Singin’ in the Rain” by The Arlington Players.

The other top prize of Outstanding Play went to “Don’t Dress for Dinner” by the Providence Players of Fairfax, defeating “Clybourne Park” by the City of Fairfax Theatre Company, “Tartuffe” by the Colonial Players of Annapolis and “Wit” by the Colonial Players of Annapolis.

Chris Maulden won Best Actor in a Musical as Lola/Simon in “Kinky Boots” by Rooftop Productions, while Sheron LaSha won Best Actress in a Musical as Celie in “The Color Purple” by the St. Mark’s Players.

Brian Donohue won Best Actor in a Play for as Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” by the Port Tobacco Players, while Maura Suilebhan won Best Actress in a Play as Vivian Bearing in “Wit” by the Colonial Players of Annapolis.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria earned the most total nominations with 28, followed by The Port Tobacco Players with 25, The Colonial Players of Annapolis with 24, The Reston Community Players with 22, Silhouette Stages with 22 and The Arlington Players with 18.

Judges considered 94 productions (36 musicals and 58 plays) from 26 community theaters.

See all of the nominees and winners here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley recaps the WATCH Awards (Part 2)


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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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