As previously reported, Tony nominee Hallie Foote, a veteran of her late father's work, will lead the company of the ambitious nine-play cycle in which all of the actors will play multiple roles, with several portraying the same characters throughout the cycle.
Hartford Stage artistic director Michael Wilson (Dividing the Estate, The Carpetbagger's Children) directs the sprawling family drama that will play Hartford Stage Sept. 3-Oct. 24 and Off-Broadway'd Signature Theatre Company Nov. 5-March 6, 2010.
Television actor Bill Heck ("The Closer," Medium") will play the central role of Horace Robedaux, with Dividing the Estate actress Maggie Lacey as his wife, Elizabeth Vaughn Robedaux. Tony nominee Hallie Foote will inhabit the role of Elizabeth's mother Mary Vaughn, with James DeMarse (Dividing the Estate, The Trip to Bountiful) as Henry Vaughn.
Completing the cast are Devon Abner, Pat Bowie, Leon Addison Brown, Justin Fuller, Jasmine Harrison, Henry Hodges, Georgi James, Annalee Jefferies, Virginia Kull, Matt Mulhern, Gilbert Owour, Jenny Dare Paulin, Pamela Payton-Wright, Bryce Pinkham, Stephen Plunkett, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Dylan Riley Snyder and Charles Turner.
The Orphans' Home Cycle will have set design by Jeff Cowie and David Barber, costume design by David Woolard, lighting design by Rui Rita, original music and sound design by John Gromada, choreography by Peter Pucci. Dialect coach is Ralph Zito. Fight director is Mark Olson. "I am incredibly excited to be collaborating with Signature Theatre Company and working with this talented and dedicated cast on Horton's masterwork, The Orphans' Home Cycle," said director Michael Wilson in a statement. "These 22 remarkable actors will all be playing 71 characters as we take audiences in Hartford and New York through the early part of the 20th century in the world of the Robedaux, Thornton, and Vaughn families. It is a wonderful commitment of their time and talents to spend the next nine months exploring this world with such consummate artistry. Both Hartford Stage and Signature are incredibly grateful to our supporting sponsors on this project, which promises to be one of the most moving and exciting theatrical experiences of the upcoming season."
Part I of the cycle consists of the plays Roots in a Parched Ground, Convicts and Lily Dale; Part II includes The Widow Claire, Courtship and Valentine's Day; and Part III concludes with 1918, Cousins and The Death of Papa.
According to press notes, The Orphans' Home Cycle "begins with a father's death in a small-Texas town at the turn of the century, a loss that sends his son, Horace Robedaux, on an odyssey through the darkest corners of the heart as he learns to become a husband, father, and patriarch. Set in Foote's fictitious town of Harrison, Texas and based partly on the childhood of Foote's father and the courtship and marriage of his parents, the cycle is a wide-ranging, intricate work."
The plays will be presented in repertory, as well as in one-day marathons. Subscriptions for the Hartford premiere and subsequent Signature Theatre engagements are available by visiting HartfordStage, or SignatureTheatre.