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August: Osage County
American Stage Theater Company, St. Petersburg

August: Osage County
The cast of August: Osage County
The verdict is already in on Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, which just finished receiving its Tampa Bay area premiere at the American Stage Theater Company in St. Petersburg. The play had a wildly successful world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago, beginning in June 2007, and that production later traveled intact to New York for a 648-performance run. It won all the major New York awards, including the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The production was staged in St. Petersburg at the Palladium Theater, a few blocks from their regular home at The Raymond James Theater because of the physical demands of the set and the large cast required. At the Palladium the company was able to accommodate their subscription audience in nine performances instead of the usual 4-week run.

The show, seen at the last performance, was a sweeping success for this company. The sheer size of the play required work on a different level than that usually seen at this small regional theater, and the company was able to assemble a cast of actors, many who have toiled at this company regularly over the years and some regional favorites. The entire cast performed superbly in the highly charged work. The scenes between Lisa McMillan as Violet and Julie Rowe as eldest daughter Barbara simply crackled with intensity, and Katherine Michelle Tanner as middle daughter Ivy also added greatly to the ensemble effort.

The direction by Artistic Director Todd Olson was excellent, and the scenes of physical chaos were wonderfully staged; the act two melee, after dinner, was so real it was frightening. Sets designed by Scott Cooper, costumes by Mike and Kathy Buck Designs, and Lighting Design by Joseph P. Oshry all contributed greatly to the complete success of this production.

Upcoming productions in the 2011-2012 season of American Stage Theater Company include Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband, August Wilson's Seven Guitars , The Rocky Horror Show, to be produced at Demens Landing as the American Stage at the Park Production, and a brand new musical Vanishing Point by Rob Hartmann, Liv Cummins and Scott Keyes.

August: Osage County by Tracy Letts was presented by American Stage Theater Company at the Palladium Theater, 253 5th Ave. N, St. Petersburg Florida from 10/22/11 through 10/30/11. For more information, visit americanstage.org.

Michael Edwards as Beverly Weston
Lisa McMillan as Violet Weston
Karel Wright as Mattie Fae Aiken
Joe parra as Charlie Aiken
Julie Rowe as Barbara Fordham
Katherine Michelle Tanner as Ivy Weston
Meg Heimstead as Karen Weston
Steve Garland as Bill Fordham
Sarah McAvoy as Jean Fordham
Brian Shea as Little Charles Aiken
Wayne LeGette as Steve Heidebrecht
Tia Jemison as Johnna Monevata
Kerry Glamsch as Sheriff Don Gilbeau

--William S. Oser


Photo: Roman Black for American Stage Theater Company



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