Most Valuable Players

A Guide to Austin Stage Actors

Most Valuable Players
Photo By Bret Brookshire

Janelle Buchanan

On the scene since: "the late Seventies"

MVP for: State Theater Company

Recent roles: Ruth, Virtual Devotion, State, 2000; Bess, Abundance, Zachary Scott Theatre, 2000; Miss Metcalfe, Dark of the Moon, State, 2000; Aunt Lila, Spring Storm, Actors Repertory of Texas, 1999; Reba, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Zach, 1998; Clara, I'm Not Rappaport, State, 1998; Claire, A Delicate Balance, State, 1997.

Honors: Payne nomination, Abundance; Payne & Critics Table nominations, Spring Storm; Payne & Critics Table nominations, The Last Night of Ballyhoo; Payne award & Critics Table nomination, A Delicate Balance.

In the West. Need we say more? Legendary show for Big State Productions, that Buchanan co-founded. Or how about Big State's Our Town? Well, even if you missed those shows, something of Big State and that true Western sensibility remains imbedded in Buchanan, who brings an earthy reality to all her characters. In Abundance, Buchanan turned in a tour-de-force portrayal as an abused mail-order bride captured by Indians and set loose again. Buchanan has utilized that down-homeness to great effect in plays from Dark of the Moon and Spring Storm to Steel Magnolias and A Texas Romance, though she's just as comfortable in sophisticated roles in plays such as Edmond, Top Girls, and A Delicate Balance. Down-home often comes with downright brilliant comedic touches; Buchanan has that natural comic ability that makes actors seem really good whether they're doing out-and-out comedy or more serious work.

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