To Recover Lost Strike Weeks, Broadway Run of August Is Extended

News   To Recover Lost Strike Weeks, Broadway Run of August Is Extended Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced on Nov. 20 plans to extend its Broadway production of August: Osage County by three weeks "to help recover lost dates from the strike by Local One stagehands."

Deanna Dunagan (seated) and Amy Morton in August: Osage County.
Deanna Dunagan (seated) and Amy Morton in August: Osage County.

The ongoing strike has prompted August: Osage County to indefinitely postpone its Nov. 20, 2007, opening at the Imperial Theatre. The show had played a handful of performances before the Nov. 10 strike began.

The added performances will extend August's Broadway run through March 9, 2008.

"We sympathize with our talented New York company and the many theatre fans affected by this unfortunate labor dispute," stated David Hawkanson, Steppenwolf's executive director. "We hope this extension will allow August to realize its full potential in New York and afford Broadway theatregoers the opportunity to experience this extraordinary production."

The praised new American play by Pulitzer Prize finalist and Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts (Bug, Killer Joe) was to make its Broadway premiere direct from a sold-out engagement at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. August: Osage County began Broadway previews on Oct. 30.

The buzz from earlier Chicago reviews (and from crowds who saw Broadway previews) indicates that the play is one of the most exciting American dramas to emerge in recent years. Observers predict it will be in the running for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. The three-act, three-and-a-half-hour drama is billed this way: "When their patriarch vanishes, the Weston clan must return to their three-story home in rural Oklahoma to get to the heart of the matter. With rich insight and brilliant humor, Letts paints a vivid portrait of a Midwestern family at a turning point."

August: Osage County is directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro (The Pain and the Itch, Iron). The design team includes Todd Rosenthal (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Ann Wrightson (lights), Richard Woodbury (sound) and David Singer (original music).

Most of the cast from the original Steppenwolf production reprise their roles for the Broadway run: Ian Barford, Deanna Dunagan, Kimberly Guerrero, Francis Guinan, Dennis Letts, Mariann Mayberry, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Jeff Perry, Rondi Reed and Troy West. Joining the Broadway cast are Brian Kerwin and Madeleine Martin.

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company production of August: Osage County is produced on Broadway by Jeffrey Richards, Jean Doumanian, Steve Traxler, Jerry Frankel, Ostar Productions, Jennifer Manocherian, The Weinstein Company, Debra Black/Daryl Roth, Ronald & Marc Frankel/Barbara Freitag, and Rick Steiner/Staton Bell Group.