1) JESÚS I. VALLES IN BALA.FRUTA./BULLET.FRUIT. (FuturX) Valles' pained musings on El Paso's Walmart massacre echoed FuturX's overarching message: Shut up and listen.
2) SAMUEL GRIMES IN MARY SHELLEY'S FRANKENSTEIN (Different Stages) A dynamic cast brought Frankenstein to life, but when Grimes' menacing Creature broke his silence, nobody dared answer back.
3) KHALI MCDUFF-SYKES IN THE VINEYARD (Heartland Theatre Collective) A seemingly homeless McDuff-Sykes snapped, "I don't want your fucking money," revealing nothing was what it seemed in this far-out one-act.
4) CHANEL IN THE BALLAD OF KLOOK AND VINETTE (Zach Theatre) Covered in blood, her panicked expression revealed that nothing – not even love – lasts forever.
5) HUCK HUCKABY IN THE BOOK OF WILL (Austin Playhouse) Sitting in solemn reverence seemed the second-best option to personally consoling Huckaby's grieving John Heminges.
6) THE CYRANO DE BERGERAC ENSEMBLE (Archive Theater Company) A soundboard hiccup left the Gascony cadets frozen – mid-battle – in an artfully framed theatrical still life.
7) MARTINIQUE DUCHENE-PHILLIPS IN MÁS CARA (Vortex Repertory Company/Teatro Vivo) Her husband's gun pointed at her face, Duchene-Phillips' Alma stared back, unmoved.
8) BABS GEORGE IN THE WAVERLY GALLERY (Alchemy Theatre) George's visceral portrait of Alzheimer's made me wish quiet reflection – not applause – was the norm following plays.
9) LIZ BECKHAM IN THE DUCHESS OF MALFI (Hidden Room Theatre) This sensational performance, brutally cut short by an executioner's garrote, is something I couldn't stand watching again. Bravo.
10) KIMBERLY BECKER IN DRACULA (Zach Theatre) What's scarier than a vampire (possibly) hiding behind your curtains? Becker milking that tension for all it was worth.
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