Mason Adams, Anne Pitoniak, Estelle Parsons and Hallie Foote are The Last of the Thorntons, an Off Broadway premiere by Horton Foote beginning Nov. 21 at the Signature Theatre Company. Signature's founding artistic director James Houghton directs Thorntons, which runs through Dec. 31 with an opening on Dec. 3.
Thorntons is the second play in a two-season, nine-play schedule which will feature new work by the nine playwrights Signature has honored with year-long retrospectives. This season began with A Lesson Before Dying, Romulus Linney’s adaptation of the novel by Ernest J. Gaines; it will continue with works by Adrienne Kennedy and Lee Blessing. Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Arthur Miller and Sam Shepard will be on next season’s slate.
Adams, best known from the television series "Lou Grant," appeared in Guare's Lake Hollywood at the Signature in early 1999. Pitoniak was last seen on Broadway in Uncle Vanya. Other credits include 'Night Mother.
Hallie Foote was directed by her father, Horton, in her sister Daisy's play, When They Speak of Rita, at Primary Stages earlier this year. The drama had a successful run, extending several times. Parsons won an Oscar for "Bonnie and Clyde." On Broadway, she's been seen in Miss Margarida's Way and Seven Descents of Myrtle.
Also in the cast are Alice McLane, Timothy Altmeyer, Mary Catherine Garrison, Michael Hadge, Jen Jones and Cherene Snow. As with many Foote plays, Thortons takes place in a small town in Texas, where but one member of the once mighty Thorton clan survives.
Signature Playwright-in-Residence Adrienne Kennedy will be honored in February with the New York premiere of Urban Zulu Mambo, directed by Henry Godinez, helmer of the original Goodman Theatre production of Feb. 2000. Taylor performs the one woman show, which includes the four short pieces, Safe Box by Corthron, Talking to Jupiter by Parks, Evertime [sic] My Lil World Seems Blue, I Just Haveta Look at You and Learn Eye-Hand Coordination, a selection from Shange's novel "Liliane" and Urban Zulu Mambo by Taylor.
The Lee Blessing play, which will arrive May 1-June 10, 2001, is Thief River, about two men seen at three crucial times in their lives, from adolescence to old age. Each of the play's three scenes take place in the same dilapidated farm house. Blessing has had a resurgence of late. His Chesapeake played Off-Broadway last season, and Cobb is currently enjoying a commercial run at the Lucille Lortel Theatre.