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by BWW News Desk
Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced its Pulitzer and Tony Award®-winning American play August: Osage County by ensemble member Tracy Letts, directed by ensemble member Anna D. Shapiro, will play an eight-week engagement at London's National Theatre (Lyttelton) beginning in November 2008. Specific performance dates, casting and ticket information will be announced shortly.
Nicholas Hytner, Director of The National Theatre said: "The National Theatre is thrilled to renew its association with Steppenwolf, and to host the company that represents for London audiences the American theatre at its most exciting. August: Osage County is a tremendous play; the Steppenwolf production of it lifted me out of my seat. I could not be happier to be presenting it to the British public and to be continuing the relationship between the great theatre cities of London and Chicago."
Martha Lavey, Artistic Director of Steppenwolf Theatre Co. adds: "It's an honor to return to The National Theatre where twenty years ago, we brought our production of The Grapes of Wrath. Like Grapes, August: Osage County is a large American story animated by the artistry of the Steppenwolf ensemble. We are thrilled to bring this work to the National, a theater we deeply respect and admire."
August: Osage County tells the explosively funny tale of the Weston clan, triggered by the recent disappearance of the family patriarch. With rich insight and brilliant humor, Letts' critically-acclaimed play paints a vivid portrait of a Midwestern family at a critical turning point.
August: Osage County received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for DramaTracy Letts and five 2008 Tony Awards® including Best PlayTracy Letts, Best DirectionAnna D. Shapiro, Best Leading ActressDeanna Dunagan, Best Featured ActressRondi Reed and Best Scenic DesignTodd Rosenthal.
August: Osage County is currently playing at Broadway's Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th Street), following its premiere and sold-out run at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2007. The National Tour of August: Osage County will begin at San Francisco's Curran Theatre in August 2009. Subsequent U.S. tour engagements will be announced shortly.
August: Osage County opened at Broadway's Imperial Theatre on Tuesday, December 4, 2007. The original Broadway cast is as follows: Ian Barford, Deanna Dunagan, Kimberly Guerrero, Francis Guinan, Brian Kerwin, Dennis Letts, Madeleine Martin, Mariann Mayberry, Amy Morton, Sally Murphy, Jeff Perry, Rondi Reed, Troy West, Munson Hicks, Susanne Marley, Jay Patterson, Dee Pelletier, Molly Ranson, Aaron Serotsky and Kristina Valada-Viars. The design team includes Todd Rosenthal (sets), Ana Kuzmanic (costumes), Ann G. Wrightson (lights), Richard Woodbury (sound) and David Singer (original music).
The Broadway production of August: Osage County is produced by Jeffrey Richards, Jean Doumanian, Steve Traxler and Jerry Frankel, in association with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Martha Lavey, Artistic Director and David Hawkanson, Executive Director.
Committed to the principle of ensemble performance through the collaboration of a company of actors, directors and playwrights, Steppenwolf Theatre Company's mission is to advance the vitality and diversity of American theater by nurturing artists, encouraging repeatable creative relationships and contributing new works to the national canon. The Chicago company, formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, is dedicated to perpetuating an ethic of mutual respect and the development of artists through on-going group work. Steppenwolf has grown into an internationally renowned company of forty-one artists whose talents include acting, directing, playwriting, filmmaking and textual adaptation. For additional information, visit www.steppenwolf.org.
The National Theatre of Great Britain, founded in 1963, and established on the South Bank in 1976, has three theatres the Olivier, the Lyttelton and the Cottesloe.
It presents an eclectic mix of new plays and classics, with seven or eight productions in repertory at any one time. It aims constantly to re-energize the great traditions of the British stage and to expand the horizons of audiences and artists alike, and aspires to reflect in its repertoire the diversity of the nation's culture. At its Studio, the National offers a space for research and development for the NT's stages and the theatre as a whole; and through NT Education, tomorrow's audiences are addressed. With its extensive programme of Platform performances, backstage tours, foyer music, exhibitions, and free outdoor entertainment the National recognizes that theatre doesn't begin and end with the rise and fall of the curtain. And by touring, it shares its work with audiences in the UK and abroad. For additional information, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk.
Photo Credit Peter James Zielinski