With a lanky, Buscemi-like demeanor, young Drew Wall became an actor worth watching this year, first in Second Thought Theatre's staging of Martin McDonagh's A Skull in Connemara, then as a rich, disaffected teenager in Upstart's production of Kenneth Lonergan's This Is Our Youth. If he's in the cast, go see the show.
Dallas theater newcomer Diana Sheehan was part of Lyric's revival of Moss Hart and Irving Berlin's As Thousands Cheer, then scored the female lead of the year in WaterTower Theatre's spectacular local premiere of the Tony-winning musical Grey Gardens. But Sheehan's "Little Edie" would have been considerably smaller had it not been for the magnificence of Pam Dougherty as her bed-bound mother, "Big Edie" Beale.
And if there's one performance that critics and audiences won't forget for years to come, it was Elias Taylorson as Barry Champlain in Upstart and Project X's incendiary production of Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio this fall. As the Stern-like shock jock suffering an on-air breakdown, Taylorson was a ranting, quivering, raw nerve ending—the art of acting at its most intense.