Just a few weeks before we started rehearsal for this American behemoth of a show, my truly lovely grandmother passed away. As far as deaths go, hers was graceful, quiet and beautifully timed — she was a lady always.
Interestingly enough, this turn of events brought me into a situation very close to what Jean experiences at the beginning of “August: Osage County.” I am also one of the youngest of a very large extended family, many of whom have not seen me for years; I am coping not only with my own grief, but also with the grief of my mother; and despite the best of intentions, I do not know how to take care of a woman who had always taken care of me.
“August: Osage County” has been heralded as an “epic tragedy and black comedy” (Elysa Gardner, “USA Today”) and as a “mammoth in many ways” (Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press), yet in spite of its epic proportions (or perhaps because of them), the family that gathers for Beverly Weston’s funeral is easily recognizable. “August” contains a terribly beautiful theme that we’ve each experienced: Those you love the most can hurt you the most. We love too hard or neglect, we guilt-trip or we coddle, we spoil or we ignore, we tease or we scream. The list goes on and on, and a death in the family only heightens those realizations and relationships.
“August” has reminded me that no matter how careful we are with each other, there is always the potential for hurt. Familial relationships are a delicate and constant balancing act that I have yet to master. The comforting thought is: I don’t think any other human has mastered that act either. And so we’ll teeter on, maintaining as best we can relationships with people who drive us the craziest, who can hurt us the most.
Welcome to the Weston home: a place where you may recognize yourself.
Anne graduated from Westminster College with a BFA in Theater Performance. She performed most recently as Wiglaf in “Beowulf” (Meat & Potato Theatre); Gloria in “Boeing Boeing” (Pinnacle Acting Company); a staged reading of “Mad Gravity” as Dakota (Salt Lake Acting Company); Rosalind in “As You Like It” (Davis Arts Council); and Lupita in “The Righteous and Very Real Housewives of Utah County” (AP Productions). Past favorite roles include Georgia in “Curtains,” and Antigone in “Antigone.”