Best Stage Actress

René Augesen

As the curtain rises on Harold Pinter's 1964 play The Homecoming, we find ourselves in a North London house full of men brimming with unexamined rage. Enter Ruth, returning to England after a few years' absence in America. She places the men under her spell even as she surrenders to their need for sexual conquest — and by play's end, she becomes both den mother and whore. Only an actress of remarkable depth can handle one of modern theater's most enigmatic roles, and René Augesen has proven herself up to the task. In A.C.T.'s 2011 production of The Homecoming, she celebrates her 10th year as a core company member by delivering a quiet, sexy, haunting portrayal of a woman who seems to understand men far better than she understands herself. It's a rare actress who can make that kind of opacity compelling — and Augesen simply nails it.


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