Inga Wilson

Russel Dyball Find on Twitter. 

Storm Kennedy 

Inga Wilson, our readers’ choice this year for Best Actor/Actress in town, got her start on stage because she was born a redhead. “I did a whole lot of Annie stuff,” she says, starting as a kid growing up in Minnesota. “At my school, in every talent show, I would sing ‘The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.’”

She kept performing through middle school and high school, and soon was studying theater — with a minor in journalism — at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

After college, life took her to a series of big cities — Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles among them. And theater led to a number of movie roles. Perhaps her favorite was in A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, where she worked alongside Kal Penn — who would go on to play a doctor in the TV series House and a real-life role in the Barack Obama White House. “Kal Penn is just an incredible human being,” she says.

Wilson, now 46, moved to Eugene six years ago and has appeared in or directed half a dozen shows at Oregon Contemporary Theatre — the only union house in town where she can appear, as a member of both Actors Equity and the Screen Actors Guild. In 2016, an EW reviewer noted her “Katharine Hepburn chemistry” in an onstage romance in OCT’s Silent Sky. She directed Tiny Beautiful Things last year at OCT when the theater returned to live performance after a pandemic hiatus. 

While teaching classes at OCT, Wilson expects to direct a show — yet to be announced — in the coming OCT season.