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An ideal play about a dysfunctional family

April 19, 2013

For any student who classifies their family as “dysfunctional,” the new play on campus may just resonate. The Weston family is at the center of this whacky, dark comedy production “August: Osage County” produced and directed by Monmouth College’s Crimson Masque. Students who missed the first show on Thursday, can still experience the madness April 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. or April 21 at 2 p.m. in the Wells Theater.

In 2008, author Tracy Letts won the Pulitzer Prize for this production. Set in Oklahoma, the Weston family is comprised of a drug-ridden mother (sophomore Cassie Burton), an absent father (senior Patrick Le Blanc) and three sisters (juniors Courtney Jonsson and Marisa Franks and senior Morgan Hubbard). When their father’s disappearance is discovered, the group gathers at the family home only to delve into secrets of the past and present, previously unknown.

Director senior Mary Bohlander describes one of the main themes of the play as the difficulty of family. The father commits suicide and his eldest daughter Barb is left to face the consequences. She must decide if she wants to stay and attempt to heal her family out of love and obligation or move on to lead her own life.

“The overall message that I’d like to put forward is that the audience should know that those dealing with dysfunctional families are not alone, and that it is ok to need to walk away from a situation that won’t be fixed,” Bohlander said.

The play stood out to Bohlander for many reasons.

“It’s absolutely hilarious, and I think there are more individuals on this campus who can identify with these characters than folks realize. I’m a big fan of talking about issues that others would much rather have shoved under the rug.”

Courtney Jonsson takes on the lead role of the eldest sister Barb and describes the play as “very high intensity” with its own “laugh” moments.

“The audience should know that no matter what your family is going through,” Jonsson said, “they are still connected by genetics.”

Elizabeth Meyer
Contributing Writer

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