Letts, Tracy

Letts, Tracy
▪ 2009
Tracy Shane Letts 
born July 4, 1965, Tulsa, Okla.

  The 2008 Pulitzer Prize for drama—as well as the 2008 Tony Award for best play—was awarded to Tracy Letts for August: Osage County, a dark comedy depicting a wildly dysfunctional Oklahoma family coping with the death of its patriarch. The show premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in the summer of 2007 and opened on Broadway just a few months later. At the Tonys the play dominated the awards, winning a total of five.

      Letts was raised in Durant, Okla., home of Southeastern Oklahoma State University, where his father, Dennis, taught English and his mother, Billie, taught journalism. (She later wrote a best-selling novel, Where the Heart Is.) Letts's father was also an aspiring actor (and would go on to appear in some 40 films and to play the father in the Steppenwolf and Broadway productions of August: Osage County before his death in February 2008), and his work in community theatre led Tracy to pursue acting as a teenager. Letts attended Southeastern Oklahoma State briefly before moving to Dallas for two years and then, at age 20, to Chicago, where he eventually began landing acting jobs.

      In 1991 Letts wrote a play, Killer Joe, that was so graphic and violent that no theatre company would agree to produce it. Two years later Letts and a few other actors produced the play themselves. Mixed reviews did not prevent it from being a hit. A later successful staging at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe resulted in well-received productions in New York City and London. Next came Bug, a love story about a woman who is a cocaine addict and a man who thinks his body is infested with insects, which Letts wrote in 1996. It premiered in London, and later the New York production caught the eye of director William Friedkin, who in 2006 turned it into a film, with Letts writing the screenplay. Meanwhile, Letts continued to act. He moved to Los Angeles for a brief period, finding bits of work on television shows such as Seinfeld and Judging Amy. He appeared onstage in several Steppenwolf productions before being invited to join the ensemble in 2002.

      In 2003 Steppenwolf staged Letts's next play, The Man from Nebraska, the story of an insurance agent's loss of religious faith, which represented a departure from the writer's previous shocking blood-and-guts material. The play was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. While August: Osage County was also seen in some ways as more tame than Letts's earlier fare, the playwright saw more similarities than differences across his body of work. Where most plays tended to involve characters every bit as literate as the writers who authored them, Letts said that he wrote plays with real-life characters who did not necessarily express themselves poetically.

Anthony G. Craine

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tracy Letts — (* 4. Juli 1965 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) ist ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler und Dramatiker, der für sein Theaterstück August: Osage County den Pulitzer Preis für Theater, den Tony Award 2008 sowie den Chicagoer Joseph Jefferson Award für ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Letts — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Barry Letts (1926–2009), britischer Schauspieler, Filmproduzent, Regisseur und Drehbuchautor Don Letts (* 1956), britischer Regisseur und Musiker F. Dickinson Letts (1875–1965), US amerikanischer Politiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tracy Letts — Infobox actor name = Tracy Letts imagesize = 180px caption = birthname = birthdate = Birth date and age|1965|7|4 birthplace = Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA othername = occupation = Playwright, actor spouse = yearsactive = website = tonyawards = Tony Award …   Wikipedia

  • Dennis Letts — Born September 5, 1934 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S Died February 22, 2008(2008 02 22) (aged 73) Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S. Spouse Billie Letts Dennis Letts (S …   Wikipedia

  • Billie Letts — (born in Tulsa, Oklahoma) [http://www.twbookmark.com/authors/80/80/interview18964.html] is an American author. Earlier she worked as a professor at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She was married to professor turned actor Dennis Letts… …   Wikipedia

  • Gordian Knot — For other uses, see Gordian Knot (disambiguation). Alexander cuts the Gordian Knot, by Jean Simon Berthélemy (1743–1811) The Gordian Knot is a legend of Phrygian Gordium associated with Alexander the Great. It is often used as a metaphor …   Wikipedia

  • Steppenwolf Theatre Company — Martha Lavey, long time ensemble member, has been artistic director since 1997 and David Hawkanson has been executive director since 2003.In 1980, the theater company moved into a 134 seat theater at the Jane Addams Hull House Center on Broadway… …   Wikipedia

  • Bug (play) — Infobox Play name = Bug image size = 160px caption = writer = Tracy Letts characters = Peter Evans Agnes White Jerry Goss Dr. Sweet R.C. Pizza guy setting = Oklahoma, USA premiere = 20 September 1996 place = London, England orig lang = English… …   Wikipedia

  • Ned Chaillet — Edward William Ned Chaillet, III (  /ˈʃaɪ …   Wikipedia

  • Chantilly (chat) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Chantilly (homonymie).  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Tiffany (chat) …   Wikipédia en Français