Best Actress (2009)

Christiana Clark

Capable of shifting tone from the otherworldly to the earthy within the reading of a single line, Clark continues carving out a rich and distinctive body of work. In Bulrusher at Pillsbury House, she played the title character, a young foundling with psychic gifts in a weird, mythic California past (delivering Bulrusher as a combination of seer and hopeless innocent). For a new adaptation of Animal Farm at the Southern, her Boxer the Work Horse did a great deal of the heavy lifting. As the true believer who ended up dying for revolution, Clark delivered a physical, breathy performance full of credulity. Always lending unforeseen angles to her characters, Clark seems just the sort of actress for whom playwrights love to scribble.

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