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Best Actress San Francisco 2012 - Caitlyn Louchard

Charisma is tricky to define in a performer. It's a forceful, captivating presence — you can't look away — and it moves you, often without the performer having to say anything. Whatever it is, Caitlyn Louchard positively exuded it in the Cutting Ball's production of Maurcie Maeterlinck's symbolist drama Pelléas and Mélisande. It's a difficult script, dominated by otherworldly dread and unnatural-sounding lines. But Louchard made every word vital and hypnotic. And when she wasn't speaking, she seemed to be carrying the entire world of the play on her shoulders, at once ready to break with the weight of it and somehow bearing it mightily, even forcefully.

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