August: Osage County Recoups Initial Investment

By Andrew Gans
and Kenneth Jones
07 May 2008

Amy Morton in August: Osage County.
Amy Morton in August: Osage County.
Photo by Michael Brosilow

Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, which won this year's Pulitzer Prize in Drama, has recouped its entire initial investment, according to a statement released by the show's producers May 7.

The production, according to the statement, is "proud to announce its recoupment from its initial $2,560,000 investment."

Tickets for August, which recently reopened at the Music Box Theatre, are currently on sale through Sept. 28.

After opening at the Imperial Theatre in fall 2007 to raves, audience cheers and later the Pulitzer, August went dormant April 20 to make room for the coming production of Billy Elliot at the Imperial. But the Steppenwolf Theatre Company production didn't have far to travel the production reopened at the Music Box, which is next door to the Imperial, on 45th Street, April 29.

The re-start came one day after the announcement that August: Osage County picked up seven Drama Desk Award nominations in the categories of Outstanding Play, Outstanding Actress in a Play (Amy Morton and Deanna Dunagan), Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play (Jeff Perry), Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Rondi Reed), Outstanding Director of a Play (Anna D. Shapiro) and Outstanding Costume Design (Ana Kuzmanic).



Directed by Shapiro, August tells of "the Weston clan after the disappearance of their patriarch. The family returns to their three-story home in rural Oklahoma to get to the heart of the matter."

Pills, booze, sexual tension, divorce, sibling rivalry, lost dreams and lots of screaming are elements in the juicy, dark-humor-laced drama.

The cast now includes Ian Barford, Anne Berkowitz, Deanna Dunagan, Kimberly Guerrero, Francis Guinan, Brian Kerwin, Mariann Mayberry, Michael McGuire, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Jeff Perry, Rondi Reed, Troy West, Munson Hicks, Susanne Marley, Jay Patterson, Dee Pelletier, Molly Ranson, Aaron Serotsky and Kristina Valada-Viars.

Once thought to be extinct, the three-act, three-hour, thick 'n' meaty family drama made a rare appearance on Broadway Oct. 30, 2007, with the first preview of August: Osage County. It opened at the Imperial Nov. 20 for what was then billed as a 16-week limited engagement. The production is now open-ended.

Letts is the Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer of Man from Nebraska, Bug and Killer Joe. The world premiere of August by Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago in summer 2007 made critics and audiences so giddy that commercial producers took notice and fast-tracked the production to Broadway. The staging exemplifies the mission of Steppenwolf it's a new play with fiery ensemble acting.

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The design team comprises Todd Rosenthal (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Ann Wrightson (lights), Richard Woodbury (sound) and David Singer (original music).

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.

Show times are Tuesday-Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 8 PM with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM.

The Music Box Theatre is located at 239 West 45th Street. For tickets call (212) 239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com.