Best Actress Orange County 2012 - Jessica Lamprinos
Under director (and OC Weekly arts writer) Dave Barton's direction, every character in Mark Ravenhill's wickedly funny pool (no water) carried his or her own bright torch. But the one who shined the brightest in this Monkey Wrench Collective production at South Coast Repertory was Lamprinos, in the lead role of a successful visual artist whose fame drives her once-close-knit friends bat-shit crazy. Lamprinos was mesmerizing throughout, but probably most so when she didn't say a word. For much of the play, her character was in a medically induced coma while being brutalized by her friends in the supposed interest of art. When she finally came to and realized the horror her friends had inflicted on her, her rage and, surprisingly, mercy were palpable.