August represents the early archetype of the modern day “American Dream.” He was born into the lower class and his father was killed fighting in the Civil War while he was young. His mother died shortly after and left him in the hands of her parents. His grandfather, a blacksmith, raised August from a young age and trained him in his trade. A major link for August and his grandfather in this story is their active involvement in the construction of the Opera House. August and his grandfather alone were responsible for all of the metal structural joints, and most importantly, the steel cables that run from one wall across to the other keeping the building upright. Growing up here, August had never experienced ‘Entertainment’ as he did when the first live show came to town. He and his grandfather attended the opening event, and from that moment forward, August knew that his purpose was to bring the very same stories and art form to the people of the town.
His grandfather believed in his pursuit for the unbelievable and pulled the only strings he had to get August a foreman position at the theater (only given his extensive knowledge of the construction of the building). From there he was surrounded by everything he wanted and even began to help produce shows that came in. It was his idea to incorporate the early forms of ‘Vaudeville’ practices, of lining several smaller shows/performances (of even locals) instead of one large, expensive traveling company.
After being in the position for a couple of years, the night of ‘the incident’ happened. On that night August was in the right place at the right time** to see everything take place. This makes him one of the only three people who know what actually happened that night: Parchman murdered Allye’s lover and she fled by train.
Everything changed after the incident when Dr. Parchman bought the theater. He began highly regulating what was shown, depleting the interests of those in the community. Times were changing and so was the demand for entertainment.
Parchman then came into the theater with an iron fist and selfish agenda. He would only allow booking of resectable theatre in HIS theater. August was strongly affected by Parchman’s arrival. His respected position was now reduced to it’s title of handyman and nothing more. He was treated lower than even his class and his rising pursuit to directing his own theater was cut from under him. Dr. Parchman used the theater as the scapegoat for his daughters devious obsession and departure therefore projected the same on August. Augusts’ dreams were crushed and the progress he’d made over the past couple of years was then stomped in the dirt. Being ruled under the pettiness, the selfishness and arrogance, the clenching grasp of wealth and class, and the full awareness of Dr. Parchman’s dark secret, Augusts’ desire for retribution begins.