Best Actor: Dawn Ursula

As a member of Everyman Theatre’s Resident Acting Company, Dawn Ursula has delivered some unforgettable performances—as a Hollywood maid in “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” as an apprentice conjurer in “Gem of the Ocean” and as a beleaguered wife in “A Raisin in the Sun”—but she hit a new peak in this year’s “Ruined” as the owner of a bar/brothel in the war-torn Congo. Mama Nadi churns with fondness and horror as rape victims and soldiers from various factions pass through her doors, but she has to keep those emotions under control if her business is to survive. Ursula used her body as much as her voice to reveal both the turbulent feelings and the struggle to keep the lid on. It was as if she were playing two characters—the outer Mama Nadi and the inner—and she captured both of them perfectly.

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