Conservatory of Performing Arts

'August: Osage County' opens vibrant season at the Pittsburgh Playhouse

Friday, September 07, 2012

The REP, Point Park University's professional theatre company, launches the 2012-13 season at the Pittsburgh Playhouse with
A scene from August: Osage County at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.

The REP, Point Park University's professional theatre company, launches the 2012-13 season at the Pittsburgh Playhouse on Sept. 7 with a pillar of modern drama, August: Osage County by Tracy Letts. The recipient of the Pulitzer Prize and five Tony Awards in 2008, August: Osage County runs through Sept. 23. John Shepard, professor in the Conservatory of Performing Arts, directs a cast brimming with Point Park faculty and alumni.

"It's an epic American drama. It's one of the greatest American plays of the last decade," said Shepard.

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Letts' August: Osage County is a wild ride that tells the story of the Westons, a hysterical yet horrifically dysfunctional clan that comes together at their Oklahoma home when the patriarch disappears. Forced to confront unspoken truths and secrets, the family must also contend with Violet, a pill-popping, deeply unsettled woman at the center of this storm.

The REP, the only professional theatre company of its kind housed within a university, gives rich artistic opportunity to faculty, students and alumni alike. The 13-member cast features four COPA faculty members, two M.F.A. candidates and five alumni. The production is stage-managed by COPA alumna Alicia DeMara, an equity stage manager. She is supported by assistant stage manager Nik Nemek, a junior stage management major. Fourteen Conservatory freshmen, who hit the ground running with one of the biggest productions of the season, make up the production crew.

Meghan Ginley, a 2012 theatre graduate and theatre showcase participant, is assistant director. "It's interesting to work with former teachers as colleagues. They respect me. It says a lot about them and it means a lot," Ginley said.

"Point Park is unique in the sense that we have an apprentice-type program. Students are learning from people practicing their art professionally, and some become our colleagues. Meghan is fantastic — incredibly smart and insightful," Shepard said.

The Pittsburgh Playhouse houses four production companies — The REP, Conservatory Theatre Company, Conservatory Dance Company and Playhouse Jr., and welcomes more than 30,000 patrons during the course of the year.

August: Osage County runs Sept. 7 — 23, Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. 

Ticket information

Tickets range in price from $24 to $27. To order a season subscription or purchase individual tickets, contact the Pittsburgh Playhouse box office by phone at 412-392-8000 or online


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