Most Valuable Players

A Guide to Austin Stage Actors

Lana Lesley in <i>Lipstick Traces</i>
Lana Lesley in Lipstick Traces

Lana Lesley

On the scene since: 1996

MVP for: Rude Mechanicals

Recent roles: Thyona, Big Love, Rudes, 2001; Katherine, Requiem for Tesla, Rudes, 2001; various, Virtual Devotion, State Theater Co., 2000; Dr. Narrator, Lipstick Traces, Rudes, 2000, 1999; Secretariat, WAR, Rudes, 2000; Jinx/Shy Little Miss, In the House of the Moles, Rudes, 2000; Norma, The Cry Pitch Carrolls, Salvage Vanguard, 1999.

Honors: Payne nomination, Virtual Devotion; Payne nomination, WAR; Payne & Critics Table nomination, In the House of the Moles; Critics Table award, Lipstick Traces; Critics Table & Payne nominations, The Cry Pitch Carrolls; Critics Table award, curst & Shrewd.

That so combustible a force could rage from so petite an actress is really not all that surprising given Lesley's drive to pursue theatre that is as physically demanding as it is intellectually challenging. A founding member of the red-hot Rude Mechanicals, Lesley has gone on several theatrical rants lately: as Dr. Narrator in the seminal Lipstick Traces, in which she told the entire history of the 20th century in about eight minutes; and as Thyona in the Rudes' Big Love, where she ignited a hilarious diatribe against the male of the species. This is an actress with plenty of onstage attitude, channeling it -- with equal amounts of confidence and flair -- into all her roles. Lesley occasionally permits her softer side to shine, too; then audiences can glimpse the vulnerable, pretty girl that shares the fiery frame of this incisive actress.

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