Actor Susie Mullen portrays Violet in the Langham Court Theatre presentation of August: Osage County April 23 to May 9.

Langham Court Theatre puts the fun in dysfunctional

Company tread the boards in August: Osage County April 23 to May 9

Directors Keith Digby and Cynthia Pronick will take Langham Court Theatre audiences to a hot August in Oklahoma this month.

From April 23 to May 9, they present August: Osage County, a tragicomedy written by Tracy Letts.

The couple is no stranger to Langham audiences, this being the eighth play they’ve directed for the company.

“We started a long time ago,” says Digby, former artistic director of Victoria’s Bastion Theatre, and a screenwriter with a background in professional theatre. “Last year we took on Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead and this year we’re taking on another hugely monstrous play.”August: Osage County includes a cast of 13. “It’s on the large side,” says Digby. “Langham Court Theatre tends to cast between four and five and upwards. Being community theatre they’re very concerned with giving lots of people the opportunity to tread the boards, so they tend not to do tiny – although 13 is getting up near Shakespeare territory.”

The Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play exposes a large family in a spectacularly entertaining meltdown. A missing father, a pill-popping matriarch, three squabbling sisters and relentless revelations of indiscretion launch the audience into a riveting theatre experience.

“The play was written in 2007 and first produced in Chicago,” says Pronick, who’s been in theatre “since God was a boy.”

“It’s autobiographical in a way. The matriarch and patriarch of the Weston family represent Letts’ grandfather and grandmother.”

The play deals with a severely dysfunctional family during a stressful time, but also includes some laughter.

“The movie, you have to deal with as a separate art object,” says Digby. “People who have seen it as an enjoyable drama will be delighted to find out in the play, there’s humour – it’s our job to play both masks of comedy and tragedy and find a variety of tones in the subject matter.”

Pronick says they have a “blessed” cast. “It’s one of those shows. The scary thing is 80 per cent of the job is casting and you have to get it right. … Fortunately we have a tremendous cast.”

The cast includes returning Langham Theatre members Nick Stull and Susie Mullen as Beverly and Violet Weston and newcomers, including UVic theatre student Keisha Palm as housekeeper Johnna Monevata. “She’s a housekeeper hired by Beverly before he disappears, because they’ve let the house and their eating, taking care of themselves, slide away. It’s an interesting role, she’s the silent witness to the mayhem,” says Pronick.

The large cast began rehearsals in February with table reads and character study.

“What people will see on stage eventually, is people in a family, not characters in a play,” Digby adds.

It is the couple’s challenge to achieve that. “We’re fortunate there are a lot of really talented people who choose to have a life, so they live in Victoria,” he says.

 

August: Osage County

April 23 to May 9,

audiences 15+

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria Royals on a roll heading into WHL season opening weekend

Team looks to gain revenge on Prince George after pre-season loss to Cougars

Indian and Western music combine at the Mary Winspear

Harry Manx and Emily Carr String Quartet play Sept. 23

Trio of high-powered explorers unveiled for new NatGeo Live season

Royal and McPherson Theatres Society bringing next wave of presenters to town

Frankenstein in Fernwood: Theatre Inconnu mounts gothic horror story

Director Ian Case adding another Halloween thriller to his resume

Victoria Symphony opens new season with return of Mahler, Berg compositions

Monday’s performance will also feature internally acclaimed soprano Leslie Ann Bradley

VIDEO: Rifflandia has Victoria dancing in the streets

As the Rifftop Tent is coming to a close and the crowd… Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ triumph at Emmys

In a ceremony that started out congratulating TV academy voters for the most historically diverse field of nominees yet, the early awards all went solely to whites.

VIDEO: Young B.C. musician sings with the Foo Fighters

Stranger Than Fiction’s Madi Duncan from Port Alberni was invited up on stage at the Vancouver show

Victoria’s Ethiopian community welcomes in the year 2011

Area residents celebrate Ethiopian New Year on Sept. 12, based on the Julian calendar

Mansbridge: iconic Canadian newsman coming to Sidney

Former host of CBC’s The National part of Mary Winspear Centre speaker series

Could #MeToo lead to equal pay for actresses?

Salma Hyeck says these once-taboo topics are the talk of the town, leading to change both on- and off-screen

Ken Lavigne sings your favourites (and his) on Islands concert tour

Popular tenor performing seven concerts at six venues over six days

Drake apologizes to fans for TIFF no-show, but offers little explanation

Drake offered his apologizes to moviegoers at Toronto International Film Festival, but gave little explanation as to why he bailed on his opening night event in the first place.

Vintage fans over the moon for Crystal Garden expo

Annual event features plenty of ways to celebrate fashion through the decades

Most Read