Stunningest Actress 

Beth Donohue

She disappeared on us for a while, choosing to focus her considerable energy elsewhere, creating an appreciable vacuum on Shotgun's stage and in the East Bay theater experience. While last year's shows were full of great performances, including Lura Dola's powerful Queen Atossa in The Persians; a light and quizzical turn from Maria Dizzia in Eurydice; the stately double-threat of Ellen McLaughlin, who wrote one play and starred in another; and the arrival of stunning newcomer Skyler Cooper (Macbeth and Othello for Impact), there was one whose return was a delight to see. Some actors take the stage: Beth Donohue owns it. Whether she's busking her way through a post-apocalyptic wasteland (Dog Act) or building bombs in a bedroom (The Just), her characters are vivid, moving, and intensely felt. With her hand-organ voice and her grounded presence, she gives every character she portrays -- from a spoiled kid to a nervous revolutionary -- gravity and a can't-rip-your-eyes-off-them magnetism. Welcome back, Beth.

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