By James D. Watts Jr.
Johnna is ostensibly there to cook and clean for Beverly Weston, who has discovered that the mundane activities of keeping house have "gotten in the way of my drinking," and his pill-popping wife, Violet.
But when Beverly goes missing and the Westons' three daughters and their families and companions descend on the three-story house outside Pawhuska, the role Johnna plays takes on a new dimension as the family's secrets and lies erupt like Mount Vesuvius.
"She becomes the moral center of the entire home," Studi said, speaking by phone from Tempe, Ariz., where the national touring production of "August: Osage County" stopped earlier this month. "She is there to do a job, she does it well, and she does it without expecting anything for herself.
"Kimberly's also from Oklahoma, and she thought it was very important to find a native Oklahoma woman for this role," Studi said. "So she submitted my name for consideration. And out of courtesy to her, they called my agent and I did an audition."
Below: "Beverly Weston (Jon DeVries) waxes a bit poetic as he talks about the caretaking job he's offering to Johnna Monevata (DeLanna Studi) in this scene from August: Osage County." (Robert J. Saferstein)