Elizabeth Ashley and Members of Original Broadway Cast Begin Dividing the Estate at the Alley Theatre

News   Elizabeth Ashley and Members of Original Broadway Cast Begin Dividing the Estate at the Alley Theatre Late playwright Horton Foote's Texas-set family drama Dividing the Estate, featuring much of its original Broadway cast, including Elizabeth Ashley, Hallie Foote and Penny Fuller, begins performances Oct. 7 at Houston's Alley Theatre.

Elizabeth Ashley in the Broadway production of Dividing the Estate.
Elizabeth Ashley in the Broadway production of Dividing the Estate. Photo by Joan Marcus

Longtime Foote collaborator Michael Wilson, who staged the world premiere of Dividing the Estate Off-Broadway in 2007 and the subsequent Tony-nominated 2008 Broadway run, directs the Houston engagement, which will open Oct. 12 and continue through Oct. 30. It is presented in association with San Diego's Old Globe Theatre, where it will arrive in early 2012.

"I'm very excited to be doing Dividing the Estate at the Alley," said late playwright Foote's daughter, Hallie, in a statement. "Having a play produced there was always kind of like going home for my father. Houston is close to Wharton where my father grew up and was always a very familiar and comforting part of the world to him."

Tony winner Ashley (Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, August: Osage County) reprises her performance as family matriarch Stella Gordon, with Tony nominee Foote (Orphans' Home Cycle) as Mary Jo, Tony nominee Fuller (Cabaret, The Dinner Party) as Lucille, and original cast members Pat Bowie as Mildred, James DeMarse as Bob, Maggie Lacey as Pauline, Nicole Lowrance as Sissie, Jenny Dare Paulin as Emily, Keiana Richard as Cathleen and Devon Abner as Son.

New to the cast for the Houston bow are Tony Award winner Roger Robinson (Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Seven Guitars) as Doug, Ellen Dyer as Irene Ratliff and Alley veteran James Black as Lewis Gordon.

The Alley production also reflects the work of the original Broadway creative team, with sets by Jeff Cowie, costumes by David C. Woolard, lighting by Rui Rita and original music and sound by John Gromada. Dividing the Estate, according to the Alley, is a "sharp satire about a Southern dynasty in crisis. At odds over the fate of their dwindling inheritance, several generations of the well-to-do Gordon family must confront their disreputable past as they grapple with an uncertain future. Will they face possible ruin and indignity together or take their chances and go their separate ways?"

A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Young Man from Atlanta, Foote's plays include The Carpetbagger's Children, The Trip to Bountiful, The Traveling Lady, The Chase, The Last of the Thorntons and Talking Pictures, among others. The 92-year-old Foote had been in Hartford, CT, where he was putting the finishing touches on his final work The Orphans' Home Cycle, when he died in March 2009. The Orphans' Home Cycle premiered at Hartford Stage prior to its Off-Broadway arrival in the fall of 2009.

Tickets are available by visiting AlleyTheatre. The Alley Theatre is located at 615 Texas Avenue in Houston, TX.

Hallie Foote and Elizabeth Ashley in the Broadway production of <i>Dividing the Estate</i>.
Hallie Foote and Elizabeth Ashley in the Broadway production of Dividing the Estate. Photo by Joan Marcus
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