Original Cast Members of August: Osage County Bring American Dysfunction Down Under

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
13 Aug 2010

Deanna Dunagan and Amy Morton
Deanna Dunagan and Amy Morton
Photo by Joan Marcus

Most of the original Chicago/Broadway cast members of Steppenwolf's Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning production of ensemble member Tracy Letts' August: Osage County reunite for the Australian staging at the Sydney Theatre Company. Performances begin Aug. 13.

Directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro, the acclaimed dysfunctional-family drama will be presented Down Under to Sept. 25.

The Sydney cast includes Steppenwolf ensemble member Gary Cole (Steve Heidebrecht), Tony winner Deanna Dunagan (Violet Westin), Kimberly Guerrero (Johnna Monevata), ensemble member Mariann Mayberry (Karen Weston), ensemble member Amy Morton (Barbara Fordham), ensemble member Sally Murphy (Ivy Weston), Paul Vincent O'Connor (Charlie Aiken), ensemble member Jeff Perry (Bill Fordham), Molly Ranson (Jean Fordham), ensemble member and Tony winner Rondi Reed (Mattie Fae Aiken), Chelcie Ross (Beverly Weston), Troy West (Sheriff Deon Gilbeau) and Gary Wilmes (Little Charles).

"We're really pleased to present Australian audiences with the opportunity to experience members of the Steppenwolf ensemble in August: Osage County," stated Sydney Theatre Company's Andrew Upton. Co-artistic director Cate Blanchett added, "This extraordinary company visit Sydney with the original production of what will be the next American classic."

August: Osage County, according to the Sydney Theatre Company, "is the grand and gripping tale of the Weston family, a large extended family that comes together at their Oklahoma homestead after the disappearance of the family patriarch. Forced to confront unspoken truths and astonishing secrets, the clan must also contend with matriarch Violet, a pill-popping, deeply unsettled woman at the eye of the storm."



The acclaimed Steppenwolf Theatre Company production — which runs three acts and three-and-a-half hours — won the Best Play Tony Award in 2008, and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Anna D. Shapiro also won the Best Direction Tony, and Deanna Dunagan was named Best Actress. The play opened on Broadway Oct. 30, 2007, at the Imperial after a world premiere by Steppenwolf in Chicago. It moved next door, to the Music Box, to make way for Billy Elliot.

The Sydney production features set design by Todd Rosenthal, costume design by Ana Kuzmanic, lighting design by Ann G. Wrightson, sound design by Richard Woodbury, music by David Singer and fight choreography by Chuck Coyl.

The U.S. cast appears with the permission of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

For tickets, priced $40-$90, call (02) 9250 1777 or visit sydneytheatre.com.au.