Best Actor: Creating principled characters
L. Peter Callender
Although he's capable of playing baddies note his recent bloodthirsty turns in As You Like It and World Music Callender's wicked characters are smart and principled, even if those principles include "It's alright to banish your brother to the wilderness" or "Go ahead and take a machete to your neighbor." And when he plays more sympathetic characters, they're always people you'd like to know better, from the head of a traveling theatrical family in CalShakes' Nicholas Nickleby to the embattled museum director in the Aurora's triumphant Permanent Collection. Indeed, we're hard-pressed to find anything he can't do with tremendous warmth, gravitas, intelligence, and generosity (CalShakes' Twelfth Night audiences may remember his passing the hat right after 9/11 for the families affected by the tragedy). He also occasionally plays
funny if only more directors used him this way with a wonderful vocal range and evocative physical gestures to carry along his transfixed audience. A powerful performer, Callender is actively engaged in creating a better community in his choice of roles that kindle discussion and debate.