BSU Theater Professors Score Nods for Helen Hayes AwardsFebruary 6, 2019
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(BOWIE, Md.) – Two Bowie State University theater professors with extensive playwriting credits are being honored for outstanding productions of their plays with six nominations apiece for the prestigious Helen Hayes Awards, honoring theater excellence on stages across the Washington, DC, area.
Adjunct professor Greg Morrison, known as Psalmayene 24, received six nominations for his play "The Frederick Douglass Project," including the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical. The play, which he wrote with Irish playwright Deirdre Kinahan, was commissioned to commemorate Douglass’s 1845 voyage to Ireland and the bicentennial of his birth. Produced on a pier overlooking Douglass’s historic Washington, DC, home, it featured live music and dancing in a blend of African-American and Irish culture. Psalmayene 24 previously took home a Helen Hayes Award in 2017 for directing “Word Becomes Flesh” at the Theater Alliance in Washington, DC.
Associate Professor Bob Bartlett also received six nominations for “Swimming with Whales,” including Best Production of a Play. "Swimming with Whales" tells a story of healing, compassion and renewal when an unlikely communion with an injured whale awakens a 15-year-old boy’s forgotten childhood and his connection with the sea. The play’s month-long run at 1st Stage in Tysons, Virginia, opened to rave critical reviews. Professor Bartlett is a founding member of the Washington, DC-based playwright collective, The Welders, which won a Helen Hayes Award in 2016.
The winners will be announced at the Helen Hayes Awards ceremony on Monday, May 13 at The Anthem in Washington, DC.