The current production of the Mountain Community Theater “ain’t for sissies” to paraphrase Betty Davis. Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County, winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, explodes on stage with a dysfunctional family three generations deep.
Letts’ smash hit has been compared to other American dramatists like Edward Albee and Tennessee Williams. In the family’s desolate Oklahoma farmhouse, where the ever-blowing wind swallows up humanity, one of the characters observes, “This is not the Midwest. All right? Michigan is the Midwest, God knows why. This is the Plains: a state of mind, right, some spiritual affliction, like the blues.”
The feeling is reminiscent to one of Albee’s characters in “A Delicate Balance” “Everything becomes... too late, finally… you can see the dust, and hear the cries, and the steel... but you wait…When you do go, sword, shield... finally... there's nothing there... save rust; bones; and the wind.”
When the play opens, the alcoholic patriarch has disappeared and we meet Violet, an acid-tongued, pill-popping matriarch. Confrontations, unspoken truths and astonishing secrets are revealed in the dark comedy.
“We covered this around Year Three, Bill: that you're the Master of Space and Time and I'm a spastic Pomeranian,” says Violet, who is involved in all three.
In the recent movie adaptation of August: Osage County, Meryl Streep, who played Violet, and Julia Roberts garnered Academy Award nominations.
Directed by MTN veteran Peter Gelblum., the large cast includes stage alumni and debuting actors Chad Davies, Karin Babbitt, Suzanne Schrag, Steven Capasso, Davis Banta, MarNae Taylor, Andrew Singleton, Dahlela Hennig, Daria Troxell, Ann McCormick, Marty Lee Jones, Megan Parle, and Michael LaMere.
The dynamic play promises surprises and fireworks, including the innovative set design featuring three levels, a first for the Ben Lomond Park Hall.
August: Osage County opened May 30 and continues through Sunday, June 15. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday matinee is at 2 p.m. General Admission tickets are $20. Students and Seniors are $17. The performance contains adult language and subject matter that is not suitable for young children.
Mountain Community Theater (MCT) is Santa Cruz County’s longest continuously running community theater company. MCT is a member-run non-profit organization that derives its support primarily from performance proceeds and charitable donations. Park Hall is located at 9400 Mill Street in Ben Lomond, just 17 minutes away from downtown Santa Cruz.