It’s no surprise that 2008’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winner for Best New Play was August: Osage County. The play, by Tracy Letts, is about a family engaged in emotional combat—putting the “dys” in function. As a Broadway production it’s entertainment, allowing the audience to be voyeurs into the fictional family’s dramatic horrors. Perhaps some appeal of the play also has to do with the recognition of our own family dynamics under the proscenium arch. Whichever it is, it’s much more satisfying to watch another family go through it than to be doing it oneself, as I am now.
Be it on stage or at home, the question is begged, “Just what does a ‘functional family’ look like, and is that the most fictional family of all?” Read more