Main Street Productions presents ‘August: Osage County’


Brent Wooldridge wanted to direct “August: Osage County” since seeing the movie in 2013.

“I fell in love with the movie,” said Wooldridge, a Plainfield resident.

Main Street Productions will present “August: Osage County” from June 8 to 18 at Basile Westfield Playhouse. The play centers on a dysfunctional family.

“It’s an actor’s piece,” Wooldridge said. “All the roles are very big. The set is big. I like the subject matter because it makes it more challenging to do.”

ND WESTFIELD PLAYHOUSE 0606 Carter head shot

Indianapolis resident Sally Carter plays Violet Weston, the family matriarch.

“She has three daughters, and a husband who is missing,” Carter said. “They gather to be with one another before his disappearance is resolved. This is a troubled family on many levels. The family has experienced a lot of trauma and addiction. You can see through the course of this play how that has become intergenerational, starting with the parents before them and the effect it has on the children and the relationship with their parents. Each of them copes in a very different way. It’s something that is more prevalent than we might realize. These are subjects many families refuse to talk about,  or deny, deflect or blame others. It’s a pretty intense presentation of how these things can happen.”

The tragicomedy play was written by Tracy Letts and won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Letts is from Oklahoma, like the family in the play.

Carter said Letts drew on some of his own family history for some of the incidents in the play.

“It’s an ensemble piece and everyone contributes substantially to this play,” Carter said. “We’ve been trying to familiarize ourselves with moving on the massive three-story set. It’s quite high. This play requires that kind of large set.”

Carter has performed for 30-plus years.

“This is my first post-pandemic production,” she said. “As one becomes older, learning lines becomes more difficult. Brent is extremely supportive and helpful and encouraging. He’s willing to listen to alternative viewpoints. I’m very blessed to be part of this particular production with these particular people. It’s a three-act play, so there are a lot of lines.”

Carter performed in Carmel Community Players’ “Lend Me a Tenor,” which closed March 8, 2020. Less than a week later, the lockdown was in effect because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Megan Janning, a 2022 Brownsburg High School graduate, plays Jean Fordham, a 14-year-old.

Janning aspires for a professional acting career.

“The goal is to save my money and move to Chicago or New York and pursue it further,” she said.

This is Janning’s first performance with Main Street Productions. She usually acts at Hendricks Civic Theatre in Danville.

“It’s a difficult role, especially for me because it’s a lot of intense subject matter,” Janning said. “This is definitely the most mature show that I’ve done. Stepping into that has been nerve-racking, exciting, just all kinds of emotions. The cast has been so great with making me feel so comfortable with all of it.”

Janning concentrates on plays.

“I can’t sing to save my life,” she said. “But I’ve definitely done more lighter, child-friendly shows previously.”

Janning said the play is well-written.

“It’s like how people actually talk,” she said. “It’s very important to get the little things (right). It’s not the amount of the lines I have, it’s more how they are written and how I can pull out the nuance in them.”

The cast includes Noblesville resident Rob Lawson.

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