Minnesota Theatre Alliance Executive Director Leah Cooper, in her Park Square debut, directs this gripping dark comedy that lit Broadway on fire in 2007.
Park Square’s presentation of “Osage County” will mark the first local production of Tracy Letts’ play, which is brimming with smart dialogue, beautiful poetry, fascinating characters and a totally compelling story.
When their alcoholic patriarch disappears, the extended Weston family returns to their Oklahoma homestead to confront unspoken truths and secrets.
Violet, the acid-tongued, pill-popping matriarch of the clan is the center of a family storm that includes adultery, suicide, animosity, guilt and denial.
“I was drawn by the razor-sharp writing,” says director Leah Cooper. “It’s simultaneously the most tragic of family dysfunction — Americana gone wrong — and also wickedly, uproariously funny.
“It definitely resonates for me as a Gen X-er in the middle of this generational drama and as a child of crazy people from out West,” Cooper continues. “But with three distinctly American generations represented so recognizably, I think it will resonate with everyone.
“By the end, it’s a deeply moving realization of how each generation learns from — and survives — the last.”
Park Square Artistic Director Richard Cook agrees. “There’s no doubt that this play is full of tough material. It takes you on a wild ride and suddenly drops you in a new place.
“It’s also a powerful woman’s story — I knew immediately I wanted a woman to direct it. And Leah Cooper has certainly assembled a crew of actors who can blow us away on stage, including Barbara Kingsley and Stephen D’Ambrose who understudied the leads for the Broadway tour.”
“August: Osage County” opens Friday, Sept. 16, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 2, at Park Square Theatre, 20 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul.
MinnPost’s Book Club Club is giving away 10 tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance of “August: Osage County” on Friday, Sept. 30, 2011.
If you are a registered BCC club, enter to win tickets by email bookclubclub [at] minnpost [dot] com by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. Please include your full name and the name of your registered book club.
The winning club will be notified the evening of Sept. 16; tickets will be reserved at will call.
To register your book club, click here or use the link on the righthand column of this page.