CMU School of Drama

Friday, April 07, 2017

Middle Age Gets Interesting In Tracy Letts’ ‘Linda Vista’ At Steppenwolf

WBEZ: Steppenwolf Theater is presenting the world premiere of a new comedy by award-winning playwright Tracy Letts. Letts won a Pulitzer and a Tony in 2008 for August: Osage County. And in the meantime, he’s continued to practice his craft.

His latest play, Linda Vista, tells the story of a middle-aged man, Wheeler, who is finally trying to grow up, moving out of his ex-wife’s garage and navigating a time in his life that is unfamiliar to him.


Emma Reichard said...

‘Middle aged man goes through a mid-life crisis and realizes a world exists outside of his ego’ Maybe this is a bit too reductive but I feel like I’ve seen that exact play several times before. In fact, I’d bet money on the fact that he kills himself at the end. And I know this is being really negative, but given what the summary of the production was, it seems like the exact same stuff theatre has been producing for the past 100 years. And who knows, maybe this production has some cool, secret element that doesn’t make it a carbon copy of the last century’s theatrical cannon. But it wouldn’t hurt a company as renowned as Steppenwolf to try and pick more interesting shows, or at least market them in a way that they don’t sound so over-done. And it doesn’t help that the majority of the interview was about how the playwright drew inspiration from his own life, but the only examples he could give were being middle-aged and having to deal with this hell-hole of a political climate. It just doesn’t seem like there’s anything really ‘interesting’ about this play.

Cosette Craig said...

I am working at Steppenwolf this summer, so I’ve been trying to keep in touch with their publicity lately, and I had been waiting for this article to show up on the green page. I am intrigued by Tracy Letts’ devotion to realism in his plays. He talks about how comedy and drama are hard to mix but that is what mirrors our average day the most accurately. I was drawn to Steppenwolf’s diverse pieces they are putting on their stage that are timely and fresh. They shy away from rethinkings of old material that’s trying to be relevant and they instead create new work that is contextually relevant because of its modernity. The only thing I’m weary of regarding this play is my hesistation to praise “August: Osage County”. I remember having mixed feelings about the film adaptation, but I will have to go back and watch it now that I understand the writer’s perspective a little more.