Best Supporting Actor in a Drama - 2012
Cory Michael Smith
Elder Thomas is a nineteen-year-old Mormon missionary who visits the dying protagonist in The Whale, Samuel D. Hunter's play that premiered at the Denver Center Theatre Company this season. Through him, we learn a lot about the pull of Mormonism for some young people, and also quite a bit about how Mormonism operates. Elder Thomas returns several times to visit Charlie, both when he's welcome and when he's less so — and we discover that although he himself is brimful with concern and compassion, his faith remains punitive and judgmental. Cory Michael Smith showed both innocence and conviction in his performance, giving us a character who was no religious caricature, but a complex youngster with a troubled past.