BEST PRODUCTION OF A DRAMA (1999)

Casey Stangl and her Eye of the Storm were probably the best company in town when it came to tackling Paula Vogel's 1997 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, bringing a sharp sense of staging to the playwright's intellectual journeys. Vogel's story of a woman looking back on an affair with her uncle that spanned her teen years upsets all the traditional tropes of abuse narratives. Stangl's direction added an extra layer of theatricality: The miming of props and the minimalist sets infused the narrative with the testy and fleeting spirit of the past. Larissa Kokernot gave us a girl wise beyond her years as a teenager and emotionally stunted as a woman, and Beth Gilleland showed off her range with a comic--and then despairing--portrayal of the woman's aunt. The first local version of the play, Eye of the Storm's production is bound to remain the definitive one for Twin Cities theatergoers.