Best Actor: Energetically eating up the stage
Bruce McKenzie's audacious Iago, Charles Dean's tender turn in The Price, Clive Worsley swooping from a noble Cyrano to a complex Cabaret emcee: 2005 was a banner year for male bravura. But for all-around brio, it was hard to beat Ron Campbell, who seemed to be everywhere (and everyone) at once, clowning through The Thousandth Night at the Aurora and The Tempest at CalShakes. It's not surprising that he is nimble; according to Theater Bay Area magazine, he holds a black belt in iaido, the Japanese martial art of drawing the sword. Iaido requires complete focus if you don't want to accidentally lop something off, a quality evident in every moment Campbell spends onstage, especially in The Thousandth Night, a one-man journey through both wartime France and the human imagination at the Aurora. He portrayed an actor playing for time in a train station, trying to convince the gendarmes to let him slip away from the Nazis. Scheherazade in a beret, his character used little more than a scarf to represent 37 characters from viziers to serving girls. But the shenanigans concealed a deeper story, which Campbell portrayed with as much emotional adroitness as he did sheer physical control.