Best Actor - 2009
Kris L. Nelson
Nelson's list of local and national acting credits suggests a performer who doesn't have much trouble finding work in any year, but in 2008 he shone most in a pair of performances upstairs at the Guthrie's Dowling Studio. In The Ugly One he played the irredeemably ugly Lette, who became an unrepentant ladies' man after plastic surgery (Nelson maintained his normal appearance throughout, adding to the absurdity). Then, in Harold Pinter's The Caretaker, Nelson lent depth and ambiguity to his portrait of a quiet man in a rundown house who took in a homeless boarder (for strange, almost unknowable reasons). Always a solid ensemble player, Nelson also delivers ample impact when all eyes are on him alone.