Best Of 2006

Best New Theater Company: Cruciverbalist Collective

Playing at Gulfport’s Art Village Courtyard, this wildly-named group gave us Neil LaBute’s autobahn, a group of interesting one-acts in a sturdy production, featuring solid acting and directing. There were two powerful sketches: autobahn itself, in which two foster parents (Susan Demers and Rand Smith) who had just returned their son to a Boy’s Home, tried with difficulty not to feel like failures; and the chilling road trip, in which a man and a young girl (Smith again and Leah Radel) on the way to a secluded location, turned out not to be father and daughter. Autobahn was only the Cruciverbalists’ second production, and it was better than most early works by new troupes. So now: Let’s see more.