August Osage County Play Reading

By Gabriel Gamarra, Contributor

“Life is very long.” Those words by T.S. Eliot echo in Manhattan College’s Hayden 100 as a small and intimate crowd gather to watch the MC Players put on a classic performance.

It’s 8:00 p.m. on a Thursday night in room 100, the white and grey walls work hand-in-hand the red seats to create a somber feeling in the room as the seventeen players enter dressed in all black. Two weeks removed from their last performance, they set up behind their back metal podiums under the wooden light fixture that floats above them and begin with those famous words, “life is very long.”

August: Osage County, originally a Broadway play, this dark comedy crafted by Tracy Letts follows the events of a small family as they all deal with the passing of their father in their own ways. The Pulitzer prize-winning play brings together the emotions of all families, both bad and good, to the center for discussion with topics such as drug use and jealousy. Also, how all the characters have special relationships to one another, often in secret which builds tension as the audiences sees the layers of this story unfold.   

The men behind putting this all together aside from the amazing actors who bring these characters to life are sophomore Matt Peters and junior Sam Corby. Working as a team to bring this performance to life, they picked this play with a special idea in mind.

“Sam [Corby] and I talked about how we wanted a show where there is a lot of female talent. Obviously the main five roles are all female and so I think they went into it knowing that they were going to have to dedicate a lot work to build a good character which may be something they haven’t done in the past. This was different, especially taking place in the Midwest and we have never done anything like that before,” said Peters.

In this performance, which was sprinkled with hints of comedy and undertones of genuine suffering all mixed with a difficult acceptance of the circumstances, freshman Peter Martino was tasked with bringing to live a bond of a loving father and a misunderstood son. His role in the final performance of the year for the Players was to bring to life Charlie Aiken, a 60-year-old man trying to get acceptance for his son Little Charles from his wife, Mattie Fae Aiken, but also trying to keep the family together as much as he can.

“I got to say, my personal favorite aspect of this is Little Charles and his father’s relationship mainly because Charlie has to know that this may not really be his son but he still loves him wholeheartedly and without any reservations so it’s just heartbreaking to see how everything turns out,” said Martino.

As this is their last performance for the year, they have set the bar high for themselves coming back to the auditorium next year. Each member of the Players gave their all in bringing this family and their troubles to life, ultimately winning over the crowd by making them feel like a fly on the wall into their familial issues. Co-Director and actor Sam Corby has his mind set on coming back next year with even more firepower.

“We want the school to see that we are capable of bring people together doing that in a professional way. For next year, we want to keep pushing it to be even better and bigger even though these are student run shows, We can still have that level of professionalism that that I think people and other student coming to see will really enjoy and be surprised by,” said Corby.

Next year brings new opportunities and a bigger scale for the MC Players to bring the best out of one another and deliver the amazing product that they are known for.