Best Actress Minneapolis 2013 - Christina Baldwin
Christina Baldwin's work over the past year has taken her to stages both large and small, but each time she has been riveting, whether as the Mother in Park Square Theatre's Ragtime, the lover to the sad hero in the Moving Company's Werther and Lotte, or the inquisitive housewife in the Jungle Theater's In the Next Room. The first two allowed Baldwin to showcase her impressive vocal chops, which added considerable weight to Ragtime's "What Kind of Woman" and "Back to Before" and provided one of the year's music highlights, her performance of Tom Waits's "The Briar and the Rose" in Werther and Lotte. She even provided a rare ray of sunshine in the Guthrie's otherwise dire Roman Holiday, playing saucy singer Francesca, who, unlike the stiff characters arrayed around her, seemed to enjoy life. Baldwin's triumph in 2012, however, didn't involve any singing. In The Next Room, Sara Ruhl's examination of sexuality and pleasure (the show is subtitled The Vibrator Play), Baldwin played a new mother struggling with depression in a high-class but emotionally stilted Victorian home. Her awakening to the pleasures of her body — and the possibilities of a deeper love — led to the show's brilliant, heartfelt, and above all, sexy ending.