click to enlarge Ned Averill-Snell in Chesapeake, BEST - ACTOR - photo Beth Reynolds - BETH REYNOLDS
Ned Averill-Snell in Chesapeake, BEST ACTOR
photo Beth Reynolds

Ned Averill-Snell

Since coming to the Tampa Bay area a few years ago, Ned Averill-Snell hasn't stopped growing as an actor. And with the 2003-04 season, his full talent finally flowered. This was first obvious in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten at American Stage. As doomed, conflicted James Tyrone, Averill-Snell was at one moment the debonair man-about-Broadway, at another a self-despising drunk whose behavior was only intermittently within his own control. It's no easy task to play a man at war with himself, but Averill-Snell managed, and illuminated O'Neill's play with his stirring performance. Then there was his role in Lee Blessing's Chesapeake, a one-man tour de force about Kerr, a performance artist who dies and is reincarnated in a dog named Lucky. Here Averill-Snell turned in a near-perfect performance, one as variegated and unpredictable as it was persuasive and ingratiating. Averill-Snell played Kerr as an art-obsessed idealist with a good sense of humor, a strong conviction of personal dignity, and, after the transformation, a growing enjoyment of life as a dog. Finally, Averill-Snell charmed us as Gus Bailey in Alley Cat Players' Mollie Bailey's Traveling Family Circus Featuring Scenes From The Life of Mother Jones; here was a husband truly infatuated with his wife. Averill-Snell hasn't reached his peak yet — he could have taken his role in Jobsite Theater's American Buffalo much further — but he's coming mighty close. This is a top-notch, charismatic actor who makes local theater worth watching.


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