Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wisey Best Supporting Actor: Heald and Haugen

The nominees for best supporting actor for 2008 were:

Matthew Ahrens as Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night. Green Stage.
Michael Elich as Aufidius in Coriolanus. Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Anthony Heald as Steven in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Jonathan Haugen as Patrick in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The Wisey goes to Anthony Heald and Jonathan Haugen.

To give a single Wisey to either actor would be like giving an award to Rosencrantz and snubbing Guildenstern. Heald and Haugen played Steven and Patrick, two stereotypical gay characters modeled after The Boys in the Band, in The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler at OSF. They are beautifully drawn characters marvelously acted, providing lots of wit, bitchy commentary, and a substantial dose of the play's wisdom as well. Prancing around in their pastel bell-bottoms and vests, Patrick and Steven help the characters in their quest to break out of their stereotypical molds. Several succeed, though the duo does not because, while roaming the mind of their creator, they were sidetracked by an open bar.

Ahrens was marvelously besotted as Sir Toby in Green Stage's Twelfth Night. He may have won the Wisey if he hadn't nearly spilled our wine! The characters often took refuge in the audience in this Shakespeare in the park performance. Elich was a menacing and athletic Aufidius in the seldom-performed Coriolanus.

But Heald and Haugen were shining stars giving memorable performances in a great play and take home the Wisey for best supporting actor.

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