Continuing our interviews with the cast of the ARTS production August: Osage County, let’s hear from one of the show's lead actors, the beautiful and talented Amy Carlson, whose character Barbara is at the heart of the fiery conflict in the dysfunctional Fordham family.
Q: Tell us about August: Osage County.
Amy: August: Osage County is a little bit of everything. It's a drama. It's a dark comedy. It's contemporary. It's an ensemble piece and it's some of the best writing in the American theater canon. It won the Pulitzer for good reason. The story itself follows the Weston family. Daddy goes missing and everyone comes home to Oklahoma to see what is going on. The story unfolds and secrets come out as loving, leaving, fighting, cussing, pill popping, and chaos ensues.
Q: Why did you want to tackle this show?
Amy: This show is a monster. And I mean that in the most complimentary of terms. As an actor this show and this role require you to invest everything. That's why I wanted to do it. I wanted to push myself. I wanted to challenge myself. I hope I have risen to the challenge. And, besides those things, I wanted to work with this creative team and this cast. I have loved working with this creative and talented group of people.
Q: Tell us about the character you play.
Amy: I play Barbara Fordham. She is the oldest Weston daughter. She comes home for the first time in years when she gets the news about her father. She reluctantly comes home and finds it difficult to leave as the events of the play unfold. She gets swallowed up by the world around her and she loses control of everything. I mean everything.
Q: I've heard the set is amazing...
Amy: You heard right. I can't express how amazing and how detailed the work is. Greg Morris really designed a great set. And then he went on and created that set. It's a very exciting set to work on as an actor. I feel very lucky to get to do it.
Q: Tell us about the cast.
Amy: The cast is full of dedicated actors who have worked very hard on this play. This play asks a lot of the cast. For it to work, each actor on stage has to be present and fully committed to the material. That sounds like such an "actor" thing to say but it's true.
Q: Why would you recommend this show?
Amy: I think this show is unlike anything else we or anyone else in the Tri-state area is doing or has done, with the exception of Marshall University. It's theater for adults. It pushes the envelope for what we think local audiences will see. I think that alone should be a reason to see it. Who knows when material like this will be presented again? I hope you come to see it.
ARTS presents August: Osage County by Tracy Letts, on May 19, 20 and 21 at 8 p.m. in the Renaissance Theater at 900 8th Street in Huntington. Show only tickets: $15, Dinner and Show tickets: $30. Call 304-733-2787 to make dinner and show reservations. Tickets can be bought online or at the door on the day of the performance.