Friday, August 16, 2013

August: Osage County opens at Urban Theatre Project August 23

Cedar Rapids - Urban Theater Project of Iowa is back with the area premiere of one of the most lauded plays of the 21st Century, Tracy Letts’ Tony and Pulitzer-prize winning August: Osage County. Performances are August 23, 24, 30 and 31 at 8:00 p.m. in the heart of New Bohemia at CSPS, 1103 3rd Street SE, Cedar Rapids. Tickets are $15 advance and $18 at the door and are available by calling 319-364-1580, online at or at the CSPS box office.  

After its family patriarch vanishes, the Weston family reunites, accompanied by an explosion of repressed truths, unsettling secrets and a pill popping, acid-spewing mother at the center of the squall. Both intimate and epic at once, August: Osage County forces a splintered family’s secrets into the naked air with biting humor and unforgettable characters. Beneath its universe of broken parental love and cracked intimacy lies a timeless message about the American family. Perhaps even a warning. 

August features a talented cast of area performers and is the first UTP production to incorporate the entire company. Cherryl Moon Thomason plays matriarch, Violet, and Leslie Charipar plays her eldest daughter, Barbara. The cast also includes Jason Alberty, Kevin Burford, Lindsay Dyrland-Prince, Steve Ginsberg, Megan Turner-Ginsberg, Erica Jo Hoye, Scott Humeston, Jim Kropa, David Morton, Marty Norton and Emmy Palmersheim. Angie Toomsen directs, with scenic design by Daniel Kelchen and fight direction by K. Michael Moore. Rachel Potthoff (assistant director) and Nick Arceo (2nd AD) round out the directing team. 

The show’s artistic concept calls for books—and LOTS of them. To gather as many books as possible, Urban Theatre Project has teamed up with the Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library to initiate a collaborative book drive. Donate your books to August: Osage County and Urban Theatre will donate them to the Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library when we’re done! (Unless you want them back, of course). To donate books please contact leslie@urbantheaterproject by August 18th. 

For those wondering about this company, here's the story of UTP. A few years ago, Leslie Charipar moved back to Cedar Rapids after earning her MFA in acting and working in Chicago’s theatre scene as an actor/director/teacher. A little envious of all the cool stuff happening in Cedar Rapids, she decided to rally her talented and dedicated pals to create a theater that would present its own brand of visceral, messy, in-your-face theater in non-theatrical settings all over the city. With a group of incredibly gifted actors and directors, boundless imagination—and very little money—UTP is dedicated to bringing the area story-driven, actor-centered, accessible theater that makes you feel and think.

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