Gold Winner Rhys Bevan-John
Silver Winner Jeremy Webb
Bronze Winner Stewart Legere
“Playing Hamlet was like hosting a foreign dignitary, I had to do some renovations,” says Rhys Bevan-John of his prep for the part that what was quite possibly the performance of summer. “I've had a lot of emotional turning points in my life, and Hamlet was another big one. I had to do physiological, psychological work to host that character.” Bevan-John—who’s been acting since he was 10—says playing the famous character with Shakespeare by the Sea changed him, but it changed us too—leaving a serious imprint every audience and setting a new bar for local theatre.
Taking on the ever-intense Hamlet wasn’t the only impressive notch on Bevan-John’s belt this year, the rekindling of an old creative relationship with fellow-winner Bill Wood also played a huge role in making this a banner year for the actor. After not working together for 10 years, the high school buddies and one-time comedy duo put their over-active brains together to form Misery Loves Theatre Company, which brought us the collectively created (not to mention acclaimed) Perfection of Man and the recent success The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.
“It’s been really satisfying to work with Bill Wood,” says Bevan-John. “It’s made it very clear to us, we just have to do this. We bring out the best in each other, together we have super powers.” Those powers are already on to the next thing, currently planning their Gonzo New Years party, an immersive theatre performance and killer celebration that’ll catapult you into 2014 (stay tuned for more on that). “This year has been artistically wildly fulfilling, and financially ruinous,” laughs Bevan-John, reflecting on his busy 2013. We know it’s not much, Rhys, but can we repay you with gold?