Theatre Downtown doing “August: Osage County”

Well, this is news. Theatre Downtown, which lately has been coasting along on broad comedy and tried-and-true classics, will be the first local theater to produce Tracy Letts‘ Pulitzer Prize-winning August: Osage County.

The 2007 epic dark comedy, about the dark secrets of an extended Midwestern family, will go up at Theatre Downtown Feb. 25-March 19.

Another show to be announced will be presented in January and February, between A Christmas Carol and August: Osage County.

Letts, a Chicago actor and playwright, also wrote Killer Joe, which was a local hit in 2001, and Superior Donuts, which Mad Cow presented last spring.

Want details? Go to theatredowntown.net.

7 responses to “Theatre Downtown doing “August: Osage County”

  1. Michael Marinaccio

    That is amazing news!! Congrats to Frank, Franny and the whole Theatre Downtown gang!! I love this play, and I cannot wait to see it done here in town.

  2. Agreed with Mike! Awesome news!

  3. While I’m happy that local theatres are producing new and challenging work, and that there is an increase in the amount of theatre being done, I don’t believe the general populace can even imagine the depth of frustration that AEA (Actor’s Equity) members feel about not being able to audition for these shows.
    While I grant you that joining AEA was our choice (and one I made 40 years ago and have not regretted for a moment), I wish –and would encourage–even small local theatres to at least investigate the possibility of employing an AEA actor or two under a special appearance or guest artist contract. It’s a small (and I do mean small $$) investment in the local AEA community and could have many benefits for the smaller, local theatre. Plus, we local AEA actors would love to have a shot at some of these wonderful plays!

  4. There’s only one problem with this awesome (sorry!*) local theater news. What’s gonna happen when the show plays to sold out houses? What will become of the argument that local groups don’t produce new work because local audiences don’t support new work?

    *Betsey is a little tired of the words “awesome” and “fabulous.”

  5. Well, as you said, Bob, it was your choice to join AEA. I believe that theaters like Theatre Downtown are able to provide a community service and opportunities to actors who perform merely for the love of theatre. To offer monetary compensation, even a small one, to a single actor above others sends a message that only their talent was worth paying for. Shows can, and have been cast, to amazing levels without the help of AEA actors. If equity venues are not able to produce the kinds of untested shows that non-equity venues can, then it stands to reason that a theater is unable to support those levels of actor wages from these kinds of productions. Having to wait for smaller theaters to prove the viability of various shows before being able to perform in them seems a small price to pay for the benefits a union entails.

  6. So this show in Tulsa, OK. Very powerful yet hilarious script. No doubt Fran and Frank will have sell out shows on this one. Good for them – they need them!
    Now: when are auditions? “I am all in.”

  7. That is big news! The first in the region to produce. Congratulations Frank and Franny.