Black Comedy August Osage County Opens This Week at SAC

Sophomore Alvi Rahman (left) debuts in his first SAC theater play. / Annie Lam / el Don

August Osage County, a black comedy about a dysfunctional family, is coming to Santa Ana College Phillips Hall Theatre Oct. 6 through 15.

The 2008 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama was written by Tracey Letts.

The play, set in an Oklahoma home, is about Violet, a pill-popping mother who is dying of cancer. After her alcoholic husband disappears, she turns her anger on her three children.

Jay Wallace will guest direct the play, which features several professional actresses in lead roles. Allison Volk, played as Barbara, who has acted in films-like the 2013 remake of “Lone Ranger” and several independent films. Students round out the cast with Brenda Smith as Violet, and Laura Garcia as Ivy, both also played lead roles at SAC Theatre Dept.’s fall production.

Volk said that the play is about a dysfunctional American family and that it is full of racism, aggression, and challenging issues that people can relate to.

“It is so dark and pretty heavy, and at the same time it is very funny. It’s tricky that way,” Volk said. “[The role is] really challenging; she’s angry all the time. She has a deep intense power as a woman and I was connected to this forceful energy.”

Sophomore Alvi Rahman, who plays Barbara’s former boyfriend Sheriff Deon Gilbeau, is performing in a SAC Theatre Dept. for the first time.

“It is really nerve-wracking because I’m not used to it, but it’s so fun.” Rahman said.

Rahman likes that the character is different than him and that the play gives you a glimpse of his character’s past living with his abused father and the fact that he didn’t adopt any bad traits from him.

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“I saw the relation with his past and connection,” Rahman said. We have a few similarities but there are some differences by how we express ourselves.

When asked if there is any scene that will surprise the audience, Rahman said, “I don’t want to ruin the show but there is a really cool fight scene. It is very drawn out and there is choking involved. It’s really cool.”

The play will also feature SAC faculty, Chris Cannon and Ray Hicks.

Opening night is on Oct. 6; tickets to that show are $5.

General admission for the rest of the show is $15 and $9 with student I.D for all plays at 7:30 p.m. The final performances will be held on Oct. 14 and Oct. 15. For full schedules, go to

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