Eric Rosen, Artistic Director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre, has cast thirteen veteran Kansas City actors in the Rep's production of Tracy Letts' August: Osage County, which Rosen will direct. The show runs September 16-October 9 at the Rep's Spencer Theatre.
"The most exciting new American play Broadway has seen in years." - The New York Times
"When I first saw August: Osage County during its Chicago world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre, months before I took this job at Kansas City Rep, I was struck by the universality of the story - a family reunited by a crisis - and by its uniquely Midwestern sensibility and humor," said Rosen. "As I was putting together the Rep's 2011-12 season, I knew August: Osage County would be part of it. I wanted to direct an accomplished ensemble of actors who had the depth and breadth of talent needed for this brilliant play, and I knew I could find that cast in Kansas City."
Set on the plains of modern-day Oklahoma, August: Osage County examines multiple generations of the Weston family, who return home after the disappearance of their patriarch. What follows is a savagely funny and wildly entertaining roller-coaster ride through the family's dysfunction, as they simultaneously support and square off against one another.
"Bold undertaking with dramatic momentum and acid-drenched wit." - Variety
The cast for August: Osage County includes:
Craig Benton as Bill Fordham - A Christmas Carol, The RoyAl Hunt of the Sun (KC Rep); A View
from the Bridge (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre); Bee Luther Hatchee (Unicorn Theatre);
Tuesdays with Morrie, Moonlight and Magnolias (American Heartland Theatre); Out of Order,
The Foreigner, Barefoot in the Park, Proposals, Moon Over Buffalo (New Theatre).David Fritts as Steve Heidebrecht - A Christmas Carol, The Foreigner, The Deputy, Death of a
Salesman (KC Rep); Glengarry Glen Ross, Talley's Folly, Talley and Son (Actors Theatre of Kansas
City); Angels in America I & II, The Exonerated, Art (Unicorn Theatre); Romeo and Juliet, Much
Ado about Nothing, Julius Caesar (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival).
Katie Hall as Jean Fordham - A Christmas Carol (KC Rep); Tommy (Metropolitan Ensemble
Theatre); Little House on the Prairie, Night of the Living Dead, The Giver (Coterie Theatre); Jesus
Christ Superstar, Annie (Starlight Theatre).
Manon Halliburton as Ivy Weston - Teaching Artist for KC Rep; And Then They Came for Me
(Coterie Theatre); Universal Language, Words, Words, Words, The Death of Trotsky (Unicorn
Theatre); The Flying Doctor, The Proposal, Plaza Suite (The Rep's Shorts Festival); Our Town, The
Adventures of Huck Finn (Indiana Repertory Theatre).
Gary Neal Johnson as Charlie Aiken - Artistic Associate at KC Rep where he has appeared in 90
productions including: Cabaret, A Christmas Carol, Give 'Em Hell, Harry, Bus Stop, Winesburg,
Ohio, The Voysey Inheritance (co-production with American Conservatory Theater in San
Francisco, Dean Goodman Award for Best Supporting Actor); Starlight Theatre; American
Heartland Theatre; New Theatre Restaurant; Heart of America Shakespeare Festival; Unicorn
Theatre; Much Ado About Nothing, Merchant of Venice (Utah Shakespeare Festival); King Lear
(Goodman Theatre, Chicago and Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington, D.C., performing
the title role as standby for Stacy Keach).
Jennifer Mays as Karen Weston - A Christmas Carol, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Les Liaisons
Dangereuses, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Guys and Dolls (KC Rep); All Shook Up, Leading Ladies,
Barefoot in the Park, Proposals, Gypsy (New Theatre); The Dixie Swim Club, Moonlight and
Magnolias (American Heartland Theatre); Seussical, Rocky and Bullwinkle (Coterie Theatre).
Merle Moores as Violet Weston - Machinal, A Christmas Carol, Man and Superman, The Seagull
(KC Rep); Faith Healer, The Memory of Water, Angels in America I & II, The Sisters Rosensweig,
The Exonerated (Unicorn Theatre); Absurd Person Singular (Actors Theatre of Kansas City); Over
the Tavern, Blithe Spirit (American Heartland Theatre); Steel Magnolias (New Theatre).
Kip Niven as Beverly Weston - Into the Woods, A Christmas Story, The Musical!, Later Lives,
Blithe Spirit (KC Rep); Anything Goes (Starlight); Big River (Musical Theater Heritage); Cactus
Flower (New Theatre Restaurant); Lucky Duck (Coterie Theatre); Nick and Nora, Chess,
Company (New York).
Jon Redmond as Sherriff Deon Gilbeau - The Drawer Boy (KC Rep understudy); The Lady's Not
for Burning, The Grapes of Wrath (Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre).
Rusty Sneary as Little Charles Aiken - A Christmas Carol, Liliom (KC Rep); Kyle Hatley's Carousel,
Love Song (The Living Room); Sci-Fi Triple Feature (Coterie Theatre); The Pillowman, Frozen, Take Me Out (Unicorn Theatre); Much Ado about Nothing, King Henry V (Heart of America
Kathleen Warfel as Mattie Fae Aiken - A Christmas Carol, To Kill a Mockingbird, Major Barbara,
The Seagull, Les Liaisons Dangereuses (KC Rep); Gray Gardens, Speech and Debate, The Rabbit
Hole, Omnium Gatherum, Beauty Queen of Leenane (Unicorn Theatre); Richard III, Romeo and
Juliet, Macbeth (Heart of American Shakespeare Festival).Cheryl Weaver as Barbara Fordham - A Christmas Carol, Bus Stop, The Trip to Bountiful, Living
Out (KC Rep); The Voysey Inheritance (KC Rep/American Conservatory of Theater coproduction); 9 Parts of Desire, Nickel and Dimed, Frozen, the Mineola Twins, The Memory of
Water (Unicorn Theatre); Love's Labours Lost (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Macbeth,
Three Musketeers, Henry IV, Pt. I (Utah Shakespeare Festival).
Vanessa Severo as Johnna Monevata - Cabaret, A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Story, The
Musical! (KC Rep); Unicorn Theatre; Heart Of America Shakespeare Festival; Kansas City Actors
Theatre; American Heartland Theatre; New Theatre; Musical Theater Heritage.
August: Osage County had celebrated runs on Broadway and at London's National Theatre; in 2008
it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. Tracy Letts has been an ensemble member of Steppenwolf Theatre since 2002 and has performed there in many productions. His additional playwriting credits include Man from Nebraska, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, Bug and Killer Joe.
Eric Rosen, who will direct August: Osage County, also directed the Rep's celebrated productions of Cabaret; Venice ("Year's Best Musical" - TIME magazine); Clay; Winesburg, Ohio; A Christmas Story, The Musical!; Metamorphoses and The Trip to Bountiful.
August: Osage County runs September 16-October 9, 2011 at Spencer Theatre in the James C. Olson Performing Arts Center at 4949 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri. Single tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., August 26 and cost $20-$75; youth tickets for 18 years or younger with student ID are $20.