Erin Chandler, granddaughter of two-time Kentucky Governor Albert B. Chandler and cousin of U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler (D-Ky.), is playing Violet Weston in the University of Kentucky Theatre’s production of Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County.
Chandler is currently finishing up a master’s degree in theater at UK after years working in stage and film in Los Angeles. Her film credits include Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel (2000) and Dead Husbands (1998), and her memoir is the basis for writer and director Nick Cassavetes’ Kentucky Rhapsody, which is currently listed as in “pre-production” on the Internet Movie Database. After finishing her masters at UK, Chandler is set to pursue a master’s in creative writing at Spalding University.
“She’s a phenomenal actor, and she’s going to knock this role right out of the park,” UK Theatre Department chair Nancy Jones says.
Violet is the pill-popping matriarch of the Weston family, who watches the family fall apart during a fateful summer. The role earned Deanna Dunagan a Tony Award for best actress in a play in 2008. The show itself has earned the Tony Award for best play and Pulitzer Prize for drama.
The UK production, Feb. 23 to 26 and March 1 to 4, is being directed by former Actors Guild of Lexington artistic director Vic Chaney, who is now based in San Francisco. It also features UK Theatre alums Teresa Willis and Brad Wills.