Monday, January 18, 2010

Wisey Best Supporting Actress: Hana Lass

The nominees for best supporting actress are:

LaChrista Borgers, The Best Daddy, Balagan Theatre
Kjerstine Rose Anderson, The Servant of Two Masters, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Hana Lass, The Tempest, Seattle Shakespeare Company
Nicole Vernon, Titus Andronicus, GreenStage
Allison Strickland, Elephant's Graveyard, Balagan Theatre
Ellen McLain, A Confederacy of Dunces, Book-It

The Wisey for best supporting actress for 2009 goes to Hana Lass, who was marvelous as Ariel in the Seattle Shakespeare Company production of The Tempest.

This was a tough call with some wonderful actresses turning in super performances. In the end, we fell back on the four words any theater reviewer should remember: Hana Lass kicks ass.

Lass combined an enormous singing voice, that amazing costume, and a marvelous presence on stage to create a memorable Ariel in The Tempest, perhaps the best show that didn't get a best play nomination this year (despite the fact that it got best actor, supporting actor, supporting actress, and clown nominations, and a best actress nominee was in it as well, though that nomination was for a different play). Lass and Michael Winters as Prospero were an incredibly electric duo. It wasn't a factor in the decision, but Lass was also great in the 14/48 play A Mess of Badgers. That's her as Ariel at right in a Seattle Shakes photo by John Ulman.

Lass won the vote by a bustle over Allison Strickland, fantastic as Ballet Girl in Elephant's Graveyard at Balagan Theatre, and Ellen McLain, who was a great foil as mom opposite Brandon Whitehead as Ignatius Reilly in A Confederacy of Dunces at Book-It. We also have to do shout-outs for LaChrista Borgers, memorable in the incredibly sick The Best Daddy, part of the first Death/Sex at Balagan, and Nicole Vernon, who kept in character through all of that blood in the GreenStage indoor production of Titus Andronicus. Kjerstine Rose Anderson is one of the great utility players at OSF. She was hilarious in its production of Servant.

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