Most Valuable Players

A Guide to Austin Stage Actors

Dan Dietz in <i>Terminal Hip</i>
Dan Dietz in Terminal Hip

Dan Dietz

On the scene since: 1995

MVP for: Salvage Vanguard Theater

Recent roles: Robert, Wallpaper Psalm, SVT, 2001; ensemble, American Demons, SVT, 2000; Mysterion, The Intergalactic Nemesis, SVT, 2000; The Man, Terminal Hip, SVT, 2000; Alex Urban, Altamont Now, SVT, 1999; When You Know What It Is You're Doing, SVT, 1999; Santa Anna, Centaur Battle of San Jacinto, SVT, 1997.

Honors: Critics Table nomination, Wallpaper Psalm; Critics Table award & Payne nomination, Terminal Hip; Critics Table award & Payne nomination, Centaur Battle of San Jacinto.

In 1997, Dietz galvanized audiences for the Salvage Vanguard production of Ruth Margraff's Centaur Battle of San Jacinto with his magnetic portrayal of Santa Anna: just the first of many roles the young man from Georgia would turn into sizzling vectors of audience focus. "Intense" became an understatement, especially during his solo performance of Mac Wellman's Terminal Hip: an hour of often desperately expressed, seemingly vital yet semantically impermeable information, the power of which lies mainly in its presentation. Watching this actor, whose polished good looks and bearing bring to mind nothing so much as an upright and mostly hairless Doberman Pinscher, we wondered if Wellman's inspired nonsense might actually mean something. And Dietz, embodying the concierge in Margraff's nightmarish Wallpaper Psalm, shifting from smooth human to faltering automaton in the wink of an eyebeam: as stunning as some of the scripts he writes himself.

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