Actors Nick Stull and Susie Mullen (centre)

August: Osage County brings tragedy and laughs to Langham

Then play is a deft mixture of tragedy and comedy with some seriously laugh-out-loud moments, describes co-director Cynthia Pronick

It’s a deft mixture of tragedy and comedy with some seriously laugh-out-loud moments.

That is how Cynthia Pronick would describe the new play, August: Osage County which is now showing  at the Langham Theatre.

The play features a family who has grown distant over the years and is brought together again by a funeral, and are forced to confront its past and present.

“All the repressed stuff between characters comes out,” said Pronick, who co-directed the play with her husband Keith Digby after they fell in love with Tracy Lett’s original script a few years ago.

What attracted Pronick to the play was the fact that anyone can relate to the issues the characters face.

“Parents give up so much of who they are as they’re trying to raise a family and they try to get it back and that comes out with this family facing this tragedy,” she said.

“It’s a family in great pain.”

But for people who are familiar with the 2013 Oscar-nominated film starring Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, expect a different vision of the play to unfold on stage.

According to Pronick, in the film much of the humour was left out, but is something the play embraces.

“With the medium of the camera, it tells you what to focus on and tells you what to feel. Where with [the play] you watch and sometimes it’s like a three-ring circus,” she said.

“There are major things happening on three different parts of the stage at once.”

One of the things that makes this play so different from the film is its strong female lead Violet Weston, a prescription drug-addicted mother, played by Victoria’s Susie Mullen.

“She came from nothing and achieved middle class. The idea that she really sacrificed everything . . . and has nothing to show for it,” said Mullen, adding that the play is so dense that actors often got together on their own time to run lines.

“What drew me to the part was the magnificence of the play and the part. The part is a dream for any actor. You can’t tiptoe around the stage, you have to go out there guns blazing.”

Pronick and Mullen both agreed they’ve had positive reactions from audiences since it debuted last week.

“It’s another glorious monster that we like to do. It’s a very meaty play, you can sit and analyze it forever,” said Pronick.

The play is on at the Langham Theatre until May 9, with shows on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Doors open half an hour earlier.

For more information, visit or call 250-384-2142.



Just Posted

Mad Hatter’s Ball offers laughs in support of Boys and Girls Club

Annual fundraising event features improv performances at McPherson Playhouse May 24

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

SidFest 7 ready to rock the Mary Winspear Centre

The Bankes Brothers and Madrona Drive headlining May 24 concert

Penelakut filmmaker Steve Sxwithul’txw finds success in film and TV

Cop-turned-storyteller reaches back to his past for Tribal Police Files

Choir offers a capella take on Beatles hits

Soundings will perform concerts in Oak Bay and Sidney May 24 and 25

VIDEO: Horseshoe pitching association appeals to Greater Victora youngsters

Youth horseshoe pitching club offers fun for all ages, says GVHPA

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

Most Read