Author(s): Tracy LettsDownload
One of the most bracing and critically acclaimed plays in recent history, August: Osage County is a portrait of the dysfunctional American family at its finest—and absolute worst. When the patriarch of the Weston clan disappears one hot summer night, the family reunites at the Oklahoma homestead, where long-held secrets are unflinchingly and uproariously revealed. The three-act, three-and-a-half-hour mammoth of a play combines epic tragedy with black comedy, dramatizing three generations of unfulfilled dreams and leaving not one of its thirteen characters unscathed.
Some Reviews: 825 in Goodreads.com
It’s so difficult to separate the script from the screenplay when a knock-out version of the play has been filmed. For the millions who have seen Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts–and every single other cast member–bust their chops in the movie, reading the play is often an exercise in trying hard to NOT remember the big screen version. Fortunately, the play is so powerful and intense and wrenching and nasty that it does assert itself and leave a different impression. Nobody is a winner in this one, but I certainly enjoyed losing, as long as it remains a vicarious experience. I wonder what Aristotle would have said about cathartic tragedy after thumbing through Letts’ dark little gem?
I have no idea how this ended up on my to-read, but it was and I did and it is really good. LOTS and lots of female parts. Now, I have to figure out how to pitch it to a local theater group because I wanna be in this one. It is funny and dark and sad. It is a bit like Albee, but more modern.
I think my sole complaint is that Letts is so obvious about her feminist critique. We have SEVERAL examples of aging women and discussions about men’s animal sexual nature. She could have been a bit more subtle on that topic.
I love the drugs and the anger though. Family relationshipa ARE hard.
How best to read this 2008 Pulitzer prize winning drama and Tony Award winning play than this full-cast production audiobook. This three-act play is set near Pawhuska, Oklahoma (an area I’m actually familiar with) in a sultry August in probably around 2007 when it was published. A dysfunctional family comes together for the funeral of the family patriarch and, in this brief span of time, confront their significant past and present resentments, angers, issues and secrets. At times darkly funny, this short play is dense with themes that those of us at a certain age may be grappling with or identify with – aging, ailing parents (or us), family acceptance at multiple levels (parent, sibling), love, divorce, loss, grief, addiction, rejection, fairness – not to mention the impact of family secrets.
My first time reading this play in its entirety, as previously I only read a condensed version. It really gains momentum in acts 2&3 but has such a dry act 1. Some really great moments, and Barbara is such an amazing character. I can’t get Meryl Streep out of my head when reading Violet, but again such an amazing character. The family tension and themes in this play are superb, but it takes too long to get into the meat of grief and story.
Tracy Letts has written the text in a very simple direct style that flows easily, and the structure of the piece fills out nicely. It is saturated with anger and bitterness and love, and all those complex emotions that make us human.
Our inability to be honest with others, and ourselves, is a profound recognition that you see in yourself as you read this play. Which brings me to the ending of the piece, a dark warning that to live your life without honesty and kindness will catch up to you at some point. It is eye-opening and just a little depressing. I’ll be catching the film.
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