Best Actress

Ruth Cordell

Cordell, a veteran TV and stage actress, recently returned to the Middle Tennessee area. She could've gained this honor solely for her appearance in The Goat at Tennessee Rep. As the aggrieved wife of a man who's taken a goat for a lover, she masterfully navigated a thicket of pain and betrayal, offering a sharp-edged, precise performance that earned audience sympathy while effectively conveying her character's combativeness and indignation. Cordell also turned in a lovely portrayal of a pliant and vulnerable Portia in Naked Stages' production of The Merchant of Venice. A total pro, with totally pro chops. —MARTIN BRADY

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