Best of Boston

2012 Best Actor

Jason Bowen

The Huntington Theatre Company had a lot to crow about with this spring’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which marked the company’s completion of all 10 plays in August Wilson’s legendary Century Cycle series, about the African-American experience in the 20th century. TV and Broadway star Yvette Freeman played titular blues diva Ma Rainey, but it was Roslindale’s own Jason Bowen who stole the show. His roiling, titanic performance as Levee, Rainey’s trumpeter, perfectly captured the unbridled ambition that led to his character’s violent downfall. Combine that with his sweet performance last fall as the lovestruck Duke Orsino in the Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s Twelfth Night, and Bowen is well on his way to stardom.