August: Osage County[a] is a Comedy-drama play by Tracy Letts. It was the recipient of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play premiered at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago on June 28, 2007, and closed on August 26, 2007. It had its Broadway debut at the Imperial Theater on December 4, 2007, and the production transferred to the Music Box Theatre on April 29, 2008. The Broadway show closed on June 28, 2009, after 648 performances and 18 previews.
The action takes place over the course of several weeks in August inside the three-story home of Beverly and Violet Weston outside Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize, Tracy Letts’ darkly comic drama August: Osage County is worthy of the praise it has received from critics and audiences. Hopefully the play will be embraced by college professors, for the text is rich with compelling characters and scintillating criticism of the modern American family.
August: Osage County is set on the plains of modern day, middle-class Oklahoma.
The Weston family members are all intelligent, sensitive creatures who have the uncanny ability of making each other absolutely miserable. When the patriarch of the household mysteriously vanishes, the Weston clan gathers together to simultaneously support and attack one another.
Beverly Weston: Husband of Violet / Father to his three 40-something daughters. A one-time world class poet and full-time alcoholic. Polite, soulful, melancholy, and ultimately suicidal.
Violet Weston: The devious matriarch. She has lost her husband. She is addicted to painkillers (and any other pill she can pop). She suffers from cancer of the mouth. But that doesn’t stop her from spewing her cynicism or her hilariously sinister insults.
Barbara Fordham: The eldest daughter. In many ways, Barbara is the strongest and most sympathetic character. Throughout the play she tries to gain control of her chaotic mother, her dilapidated marriage, and her pot-smoking 14 year old daughter.
Karen Weston: The youngest daughter. She claims to have been unhappy her entire adult life, prompting her to move away from the family and reside in Florida. However, she returns to the Weston home bringing along a fiancé in tow – a successful 50 year old business man who, unbeknownst to Karen, turns out to by the most loathsome character within the play.
Johnna Monevata: The Native-American live-in housekeeper. She is hired by Beverly just days before his disappearance. She may not have many lines, but she is the most compassionate and morally grounded of all the characters. She claims to stay in the caustic household simply because she needs the job. Yet, there are times when she swoops in like a warrior-angel, saving characters from despair and destruction.
Tracy S. Letts (born July 4, 1965) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play August: Osage County and a Tony Award for his portrayal of George in the revival of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He is also known for his portrayal of Andrew Lockhart in seasons 3 and 4 of Showtime‘s Homeland, for which he has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards as a member of the ensemble. He currently portrays Nick on the HBO comedy Divorce. In 2017, Letts starred in three critically acclaimed films: The Lovers, Lady Bird, and The Post. The latter two films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and Lady Bird garnered Letts a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture nomination.