Whitney Hale


College: Fine Arts

'August: Osage County' a Family Affair for UK Theatre

Published: Feb 20, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 20, 2012) − The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre family will come together to present the Pulitzer Prize winning dark comedy "August: Osage County." The play, which follows a dysfunctional family through tragedy and the airing of their dirty laundry, brings together a "family" of UK theatre students and alumni on the Guignol Theatre stage. "August: Osage County" runs from Feb. 23 through March 4.


One of the most successful Broadway plays in several years, Tracy Letts’ "August: Osage County" follows a tragically dysfunctional family after the death of their patriarch. Three generations of dirty laundry airs in the family affair.


The character at the heart of all the drama is Beverley Weston, a man who has receded into the shadows of addiction following his career as a famous poet. The play tracks his life through the month of August while he lives with his family in Oklahoma. After Beverley disappears, his wife, Violet Weston, spirals even further into her pill addiction as the troubled family eventually comes together to make funeral arrangements.


The resulting action in the play follows the meltdown of the family as each member has personal difficulties that they are unable to resolve. Written with a strong sense of humor, "August: Osage County" earned Letts widespread acclaim. The play has since been converted into a screenplay and is being reimagined as a film that will be produced by Harvey Weinstein and Jean Doumanian. The movie version will star critically acclaimed actresses Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in the main roles and will be directed by John Wells.


Returning to Lexington to direct this production is Vic Chaney, former artistic director of Actors Guild of Lexington and UK theatre alumnus, now based in San Francisco.


Heading up the cast is graduate student Erin Chandler as the abusive family matriarch at the center of the storm, Violet Weston. Chandler, granddaughter of two-time Kentucky Governor Albert B. Chandler and cousin of Congressman Ben Chandler, recently moved back to Lexington from Los Angeles to continue her studies. She has acted alongside such Hollywood heavyweights as Johnny Depp in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and John Ritter in "Dead Husbands," as well as developed a motion picture with Nick Cassavetes, writer/director of "The Notebook." The film, based on her memoir "June Bug Versus Hurricane," is the subject of Cassavetes’ screenplay-adaptation "Kentucky Rhapsody."


Chandler will complete her master's degree this May and plans to pursue a master's degree in creative writing at Spalding University beginning in the fall. Chandler’s writing has been published in Public Republic Magazine, More Magazine and read on air on the "Accents - A Radio Show for Literature, Art and Culture" on WRFL.


Several alumni talents will also be featured in the cast. Teresa Willis and Brad Wills, who have graced screens and stages across the country from Los Angeles to Broadway, will return to the Guignol stage for UK's production of "August: Osage County."


To see a trailer for UK's production of "August: Osage County," visit YouTube at http://youtu.be/Yh5PxzqgsJE


UK has added two performances of "August: Osage County" to their regular run. The play will take the stage 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23-25 and March 1-3, and 2 p.m. Feb. 26, March 3 and March 4. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students with a valid ID. To reserve tickets, call the Singletary Center for the Arts ticket office at (859) 257-4929, visit online here, or buy in person.


The Main Stage Season at UK Theatre is made possible with support from sponsor Whole Foods Market.


UK Department of Theatre at UK College of Fine Arts has played an active role in the performance scene in Central Kentucky for more than 100 years. Students in the program get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from a renowned professional theatre faculty. The liberal arts focus of their bachelor's degree program is coupled with ongoing career counseling to ensure a successful transition from campus to professional life.


For more information on "August: Osage County," contact the UK Department of Theatre at (859) 257-3297 or uktheatre@uky.edu




MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu


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