Family play

I went to see August: Osage Country last week and said I would dedicate a post to it because it’s that intense. The play is about a very dysfunctional family. Each character has their little bit of interesting to them and their whole lot of craziness. Some are central characters, who do the deeds and others are just victims. Although, as always it all boils down to something horrible that happen during childhood and scarred them for life.

The play is extra long, it lasts around 3.5 hours and has 2 intermezzos. If you go without dinner, you’re probably starved by the time it ends. But it is worth it, especially the second act. At the beginning it was hard for me to identify with any of the characters. The dialogues were rich and smart and some lines were really great and quite quotable. But the issues these characters were going through seemed too foreign to me.

By the second act I started to identify. Here is where the youngest daughter and her fiancee appear on stage, as does the cousin. It was at this point that I started hearing things I could relate to, and overall this act was much more powerful and was the time in which some major truths came out.

The final act puzzled me a bit. This is where the story takes a turn and finally reveals itself completely coming to an end. The audience stood applauding in ovation. I liked the play, the acting was very good and as I said before the script is strong and interesting. I had to stretch it though, thinking “well yes, I can see families can be messed up that way, and yes, it probably happens all over the world, and yes, I guess there are some things in my family that could be deemed dark as well.”

But the truth of the matter is I have a great family. My nuclear family is awesome. Not only are there no addictions, alcoholism, abuse, major illnesses (thank God), or psychological dysfunctionalities, but we are loving, caring, giving, happy people.

My brother-in-law, who comes from a very different type of family, will often say we seem fake. It can’t possibly be we are this pleassant, this cheery and this happy all the time and have it be geniune. I remember the first time he said that, it blew me away. “Aren’t all families like this?” I thought. Apparently not.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. We don’t see eye to eye about everything, particularly politics. And there were some stories to be told during our adolescences and some major fighting between my sister and me growing up. But today, as adults, we get along quite well. There’s no bagage, there’s no unresolved business. No one had to move as far away as possible to run from anything or to survive. There is no bitternes, sarcasm, negative criticism, or nit picking. We’re quite supportive of each other and yes, involved, but in a good way. The way you long for when you don’t have it, the way that makes you feel home sick when you’re afar.

So, August: Osage County was very intereting to watch. A good performance as a play. But nothing to do with the reality I grew up in or am part of these days. And for that I am everso thankful.


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