Best Emerging Actress
Cat Brindisi comes from acting stock — her father has been in charge of Chanhassen Dinner Theatres for many years, while her mother has been featured on stages throughout the Twin Cities — and she is quickly building her own reputation. Her featured performances have come via Theatre Latte Da, starting with the 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee and continuing this year with a starring role in Aida. In between, Brindisi was key in the success of the company's production (with the University of Minnesota) of Spring Awakening. She played Wendla, a young woman on the cusp of puberty who falls for the school's bad boy, Melchior. Their love has unexpected repercussions for both, ending in tragedy. Brindisi's journey as Wendla was striking to watch, while her singing — such as the character's signature song, "Mother Who Bore Me" — was tremendous throughout. Just a few years out of school, Brindisi is bringing the goods that could thrill audiences for years to come.