Most Valuable Players

A Guide to Austin Stage Actors

Janis Stinson in <i>The America Play</i>
Janis Stinson in The America Play

Janis Stinson

On the scene since: the Eighties

MVP for: Zachary Scott Theatre Center

Recent Roles: Audrey II, Little Shop of Horrors, Zach, 2001; Miss Mamie, Jelly's Last Jam, Zach, 2001; various, Mahalia!, Austin Playhouse, 2001; Eunice, A Streetcar Named Desire, Zach, 2001; Chorus, Evita, Zach, 2000; ensemble, Tapestry: The Words and Music of Carole King, Zach, 2000; Lucy, The America Play, Zach, 2000; Mama Noah, Children of Eden, St. Matthew's Episcopal, 1999.

Honors: Payne award, Streetcar Named Desire; Payne nomination, Jelly's Last Jam; Best Voice of Authority, Chronicle Best of Austin 2000; Payne award, Children of Eden; Critics Table nomination, The America Play; Payne award & Critics Table nomination, Blues in the Night; Payne & Critics Table nominations, Ruthless! The Musical; Payne & Critics Table nominations, The Gospel at Colonus.

You've heard the expression "the real deal"? Well, they don't get much more real than this full-throated, big-hearted Zach regular. Onstage, Stinson is never less than authentic, no matter if she's grinding her way through some raunchy blues, as in Jelly's Last Jam, or singing of redemption, as in The Gospel at Colonus. Between her low and husky voice, ripe with experience, and the way she plants herself so solidly on a stage, Stinson seems almost to be a part of the earth. And yet she can sing you up to Paradise -- and you'll be hard-pressed to decide which side of her is better: the sacred or the profane.

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