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August: Osage County

August: Osage County
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Tracy Letts
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 103
Pub. Date: 2009
ISBN-10: 0822223007
ISBN-13: 9780822223009
Cast Size: 7 female, 6 male

About the Play:

August: Osage County has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues.

August: Osage County is a full-length dark comedy by Tracy Letts. A portrait of a dysfunctional American family at its finest – and absolute worst. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed. August: Osage County is a dramatic tour-de-force filled with incredible roles and powerful dialogue.

August: Osage County has been described as fiercely funny and bitingly sad. A vanished father. A pill-popping sharp-tongued mother. Three sisters harbouring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. Mix in Violet, the drugged-up, scathingly acidic cancer patient matriarch, and you've got a major play that unflinchingly – and uproariously – exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family. One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent Broadway history, August: Osage County combines epic tragedy with black comedy, dramatizing three generations of unfulfilled dreams, leaving not one of its 13 characters unscathed or any audience member unmoved.

August: Osage County premiered in 2007 at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. It opened the same year on Broadway at the Imperial Theater, transferred to the Music Box Theatre in 2008 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. It was first staged in the UK in 2008 at the National Theatre. It has since enjoyed successful runs at theatres around the world.

Cast: 7 female, 6 male

What people say:

"I'd bet the farm that no family has ever been as unhappy in as many ways – and to such sensationally entertaining effect – as the Westons of August: Osage County, fraught, densely plotted saga of an Oklahoma clan in a state of near-apocalyptic meltdown. Sensationally entertaining...Tracy Letts' fiercely funny and bitingly sad… turbo-charged tragicomedy is, flat-out, no asterisks and without qualifications, the most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years." — New York Times

"In Tracy Letts' ferociously entertaining play, the American dysfunctional family drama comes roaring into the twenty-first century with eyes blazing, nostrils flaring and fangs bared, laced with corrosive humor so darkly delicious and ghastly that you're squirming in your seat even as you're doubled-over laughing. A massive meditation on the cruel realities that often belie standard expectations of conjugal and family accord – not to mention on the decline of American integrity itself." — Variety

"Tracy Letts, in his Broadway debut, creates a hugely ambitious, highly combustible saga that will leave you reeling. August: Osage County may make you think twice about going home for the holidays … it's a great big exhilarating gift." — New York Daily News

"Something special... a dramatic tour de force, first smouldering and then blazing with acrimony, appalling behaviour and vicious home truths." — The Telegraph (UK)

"Packed with unforgettable characters and dozens of quotable lines, August: Osage County is a tensely satisfying comedy, interspersed with remarkable evocations on the cruelties and (occasional) kindnesses of family life." — New York Sun

"This is a play that will leave us laughing and wondering, shuddering and smiling, long after the house lights come back on." — New York Newsday

"Letts has written a grand, old three-act family drama of epic scale and ambition, replete with numerous nods to Eugene O'Neill and Lillian Hellman." — Chicago Tribune

"This original and corrosive black comedy deserves a seat at the dinner table with the great American family plays." — Time Magazine

About the Playwright:

Tracy Letts is an American actor and writer for the stage, television and movies who has received major awards for both vocations, including the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play August: Osage County. He is a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where August: Osage County premiered.

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