Do you have a plan to vote?

Let us tell you the information you need to register and cast a ballot in D.C.

Well, now we know you can’t spend your way to a Helen Hayes Awards sweep. The biggest musical on a D.C. stage last year, the Kennedy Center’s new production of Follies, may have cost $7.3 million to mount, featured of retinue of Broadway leading ladies, and transfered to the Great White Way, but last night it only walked away with four nominations at a short ceremony at the National Theatre. Consider, in contrast, that Synetic Theater’s radical reimagining of King Lear nabbed 15.

The 28th annual Helen Hayes Awards—-the annual prizes honoring theater in the D.C. area——takes place April 23 at the Warner Theatre, and this will be the first year they’re hosted under the aegis of an expanded parent organization, TheatreWashington. But there weren’t too many surprises at last night’s rollout of the 2011 nominees. Among the prizes for resident productions, Studio and its subordinate Studio 2ndStage earned the most nominations (19), partially on the strength of a handful of plays that addressed theatermaking itself, like Venus in FurThe Habit of Art, and, kinda,The Walworth Farce. Maybe the Helen Hayes are having their Artist year, and looking inward. Following Studio, Synetic walked away with 15 nods, followed by the kids-focused Adventure Theatre, which earned 13.

I didn’t notice many other obvious snubs—-though I would’ve given Rick Foucheux a leading actor nod for Imagining Madoff—-and the mood at the National Theatre was pretty noncompetitive. The Helen Hayes Awards are as much about hobnobbing as they are about handing out prizes—-which is evident every year, when a remarkable number of categories produce ties. No one is the best at the Helen Hayes Awards—-they’re “outstanding,” maybe—-but everyone is a winner.

Not that these prizes and their constituency aren’t self-aware. When TheatreWashington head Linda Levy Grossman read out the name of Cate Blanchett as a nominee for outstanding lead actress, non-resident production, for her role in Uncle Vanya at the Kennedy Center, the room burst into laughter. The Hollywood star is a good bet to win the category, but an even better bet is that she’ll no-show.

The Helen Hayes Awards, I’m fairly sure, will manage.

Here are the nominees:

Outstanding Director, Resident Play David Muse, The Habit of Art, Studio Theatre David Muse, Venus in Fur, Studio Theatre Aaron Posner, Cyrano, Folger Theatre Charles Randolph-Wright, Ruined, Arena Stage Serge Seiden, Charlotte’s Web, Adventure Theatre Paata Tsikurishvili, King Lear, Synetic Theater John Vreeke, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company

Outstanding Director, Resident Musical Matt August, Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre Keith Alan Baker, Hunter Styles, and Jennifer Harris; Pop!; Studio Theatre 2ndStage Michael Baron, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre Toby Orenstein and Lawrence B. Munsey, Chicago, Toby’s Dinner Theatre Eric Schaeffer, Hairspray, Signature Theatre Janet Stanford, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage

Outstanding Choreography, Resident Production Michael J. Bobbitt and Fabian Barnes, Mirandy and Brother Wind, Adventure Theatre Karma Camp and Brianne Camp, Hairspray, Signature Theatre Dale Anthony Girard, Cyrano, Folger Theatre Robb Hunter, The Walworth Farce, Studio Theatre Susan Shields, STAY, Theater of the First Amendment Irina Tsikurishvili and Ben Cunis, King Lear, Synetic Theater Kate Arnold Wernick, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre

Outstanding Musical Direction, Resident Production Jay Crowder, Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre Jon Kalbfleisch, Hairspray, Signature Theatre James Moore, Follies, The Kennedy Center Christopher Youstra, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Olney Theatre Center Christopher Youstra, Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage

Outstanding Set Design, Resident Production Phil Charlwood, King Lear, Synetic Theater Daniel Conway, Cyrano, Folger Theatre David Ghatan, Voices Underwater, Rorschach Theatre Misha Kachman, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company James Noone, The Habit of Art, Studio Theatre Collin Ranney, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre Lee Savage, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Lighting Design, Resident Production Colin K. Bills, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Michael Gilliam, Ruined, Arena Stage Andrew F. Griffin, King Lear, Synetic Theater Andrew F. Griffin, Othello, Folger Theatre Chris Lee, The Hollow, Signature Theatre Tyler Micoleau, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company Thom Weaver, Cyrano, Folger Theatre

Outstanding Costume Design, Resident Production Georgi Alexi-Meskhishvili, King Lear, Synetic Theater Gregg Barnes, Follies, The Kennedy Center ESosa, Ruined, Arena Stage Kendra Rai, The Green Bird, Constellation Theatre Company Chelsey Schuller, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre

Outstanding Sound Design, Resident Production Chris Baine, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Steven Cahill, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company Irakli Kavsadze and Konstantine Lortkipanidze, King Lear, Synetic Theater Nicole Martin, Voices Underwater, Rorschach Theatre Neil McFadden, An Almost Holy Picture, Rep Stage Matt Rowe, Hairspray, Signature Theatre Tom Teasley, The Green Bird, Constellation Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Play Miřenka Čechová, King Lear, Synetic Theater Margaret Daly, The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre Gabriela Fernández-Coffey, After the Fall, Theater J Catherine Flye, Pride and Prejudice, Round House Theatre Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Ruined, Arena Stage Jennifer Mendenhall, Imagining Madoff, Theater J

The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Play Ben Cunis, King Lear, Synetic Theater Aubrey Deeker, The Walworth Farce, Studio Theatre Chris Dinolfo, King Lear, Synetic Theater Philip Fletcher, King Lear, Synetic Theater Ted van Griethuysen, Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare Theatre Company

Outstanding Supporting Actress, Resident Musical Tracy Lynn Olivera, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center Nova Y. Payton, Hairspray, Signature Theatre Kirstin Riegler, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre Lauren Williams, Hairspray, Signature Theatre Rachel Zampelli, Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage

Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical Matthew Delorenzo, Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage Ricardo Frederick Evans, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage Kevin McAllister, Parade, Ford’s Theatre and Theater J Jobari Parker-Namdar, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre Bobby Smith, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center Vishal Vaidya, A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre Dan Van Why, National Pastime, Keegan Theatre

Outstanding Supporting Performer, Non-Resident Production Maximilien A. Baud, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center Ben Cook, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center Hayley McElhinney, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center Hugo Weaving, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center Patrick Wetzel, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Play Rena Cherry Brown, Wit, The Bay Theatre Company, Inc. Jenny Jules, Ruined, Arena Stage Ira Koval, King Lear, Synetic Theater Mona Martínez, ¡Ay, Carmela!, GALA Hispanic Theatre Lizan Mitchell, The Trip To Bountiful, Round House Theatre Erica Sullivan, Venus in Fur, Studio Theatre Irina Tsikurishvili, King Lear, Synetic Theater

The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Play Mitchell Hébert, After the Fall, Theater J Irakli Kavsadze, King Lear, Synetic Theater James McMenamin, Edward Albee’s At Home at the Zoo, Arena Stage Michael Russotto, A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Ted van Griethuysen, The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre Paxton Whitehead, The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Lead Actress, Resident Musical Nancy Anderson, Side By Side By Sondheim, Signature Theatre Jessica Lauren Ball, The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center Carolyn Cole, Hairspray, Signature Theatre Kelly Karbacz, Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre Jan Maxwell, Follies, The Kennedy Center Bernardine Mitchell, His Eye is On the Sparrow, MetroStage

Outstanding Lead Actor, Resident Musical Rob McQuay, Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage Euan Morton, Parade, Ford’s Theatre and Theater J Geoff Packard, Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre Tom Story, Pop!, The Studio Theatre 2ndStage Alan Wiggins, Joseph and the AmazingTechnicolor Dreamcoat, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Lead Actress, Non-Resident Production Cate Blanchett, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center Leah Hocking, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center Rozina Kambos, Return to Haifa, Theater J Melanie Marshall, FELA!, Shakespeare Theatre Company Amy Morton, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage

Outstanding Lead Actor, Non-Resident Production Lex Ishimoto, Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center Tracy Letts, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage J. Mark McVey, Les Misérables, The Kennedy Center Sahr Ngaujah, FELA!, Shakespeare Theatre Company Richard Roxburgh, Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Play ¡Ay, Carmela!, GALA Hispanic Theatre Birds of a Feather, The Hub Theatre Cyrano, Folger Theatre The Habit of Art, The Studio Theatre King Lear, Synetic Theater Oedipus El Rey, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company The Walworth Farce, The Studio Theatre

Outstanding Ensemble, Resident Musical A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre Hairspray, Signature Theatre Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Non-Resident Production The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Billy Elliot the Musical, The Kennedy Center Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Arena Stage Equivocation, Arena Stage Uncle Vanya, The Kennedy Center

Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences A Year With Frog and Toad, Adventure Theatre Aladdin’s Luck, Imagination Stage Charlotte’s Web Adventure Theatre Dr. Dolittle, Imagination Stage Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Adventure Theatre

The Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical Beertown, devised by dog & pony dc, dog & pony dc Birds of a Feather, by Marc Acito, The Hub Theatre Cyrano, by Edmond Rostand, translated by Michael Hollinger, adapted by Michael Hollinger and Aaron Posner, Folger Theatre The Heir Apparent, adapted by David Ives from the comedy by Jean-François Regnard, Shakespeare Theatre Company Imagining Madoff, by Deb Margolin, Theater J Lungs, by Duncan Macmillan, The Studio Theatre Wonderful Life, adapted by Helen Pafumi and Jason Lott, The Hub Theatre

Outstanding Resident Musical Follies, The Kennedy Center Hairspray, Signature Theatre Liberty Smith, Ford’s Theatre Pop!, Studio Theatre 2ndStage Side By Side By Sondheim, Signature Theatre The Sound of Music, Olney Theatre Center

Outstanding Resident Play A Bright New Boise, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company Cyrano, Folger Theatre King Lear, Synetic Theater Ruined, Arena Stage Venus in Fur, The Studio Theatre