‘August: Osage County’ opens May 3

The Cornell College Department of Theatre and Dance invites audiences to “August: Osage County,” opening May 3 in Kimmel Theatre on the Cornell College campus.

This dark comedy, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts, offers an unflinching look at a Midwestern family on the edge of explosion.

After the disappearance of the family patriarch, three generations of an American family collide in an Oklahoma farmhouse, bringing with them years of resentment packaged in fast-paced and unflinching dark humor. Words are thrown, plates are tossed, and accusations are launched in what the New York Times calls a “fiercely funny, turbo-charged tragicomedy.”  

August Osage County Poster“This play is not for the weak,” said Professor of Theatre Caroline Price, who also plays the role of Barbara.

The show is directed by guest director and University of Northern Iowa emeritus faculty member Jay Edelnant, and the cast combines area professionals with Cornell College students. Joining Price is Iowa City Equity actor Patrick DuLaney and area actors Braden Rood, Rick Anderson, Melisa Wallace Rusk, and Kevin Burford.

Jenna Makkawy ’21, Amanda Bentz ’18, Noelle Grapentine-Benton ’21, Cynthia Valenzuela ’18, Brian Wyzgowski ’18, Bryce Connelly ’18, and Robert Nowak ’19 make up the student cast.

Charlotte Tjaden ’18 is the hair and makeup designer, Daniel Solomon Holland ’20 is the assistant technical director, and Kelli Massey ’20 is the box office manager.

Adding to the energy of the weekend, audiences are invited to enjoy the lobby display and cash bar before curtain and during intermission. Following the May 3 production, audiences are encouraged to remain for an opening night reception with the cast and crew.

This production will also offer a new addition to the season. Hilltop Theatre Talks is a pre-show dinner offered in partnership with Bon Appétit at Cornell College. This themed dinner will give audiences the opportunity to meet and greet the director, designers, and cast members while enjoying food inspired by the production.

Hilltop Theatre Talks will be held at the Hilltop Café in the Smith Dining Room of the Thomas Commons on Thursday, May 3, from 5–7 p.m., with conversation beginning at 5:30. Pre-show dinner tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the box office. Since space is limited and reservations for the pre-show dinner are strongly encouraged.

“August: Osage County” runs one weekend only, May 3 through 5 at 7:30 p.m. and May 6 at 2 p.m. in Kimmel Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, students, and youth. They’re free for Cornell College faculty, staff, and students with ID.

Tickets for the production and pre-show dinner can be reserved by calling 319.895.4293 or emailing boxoffice@cornellcollege.edu.

This production is intended for mature audiences and contains trigger warnings. Patrons interested in specific warnings are encouraged to contact the box office for more information.

Kimmel Theatre is accessible through the front doors of Armstrong or Youngker Halls.  Parking is available in the lot behind and to the south of the theater at the corner of College Boulevard and Summit Avenue.