The Horton Foote Festival runs in February and March 2008. In addition to the mainstage offerings, special events in the celebration include an in-person conversation with the 91-year-old playwright, An Evening with Horton Foote; screenings of Foote's films (he is a two-time Academy Award winner with "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Tender Mercies"); and a panel discussion with prominent artists who have worked with this living legend.
A calendar of dates and times of the offerings within the Horton Foote Festival will be released in the coming months.
"There are very few playwrights in the American theatre who write with the depth and honesty of Horton Foote," stated Robert Falls. "For over 60 years he has been a veritable silent giant of the stage and screen, unsentimentally capturing the minds and hearts of small-town America with a signature delicacy. Unbelievably, it has been ten years since the Goodman has presented a work by this remarkable writer — The Young Man from Atlanta in 1997, a production I had the privilege to direct and one I recall with great fondness. I'm thrilled that we at the Goodman will celebrate Horton's work and life in a significant, important way with this Festival — and honored that Mr. Foote will be with us during this time."
Directed by Harris Yulin, The Trip to Bountiful anchors the Festival in the Albert Theatre, with Lois Smith slated to reprise her award-winning performance as Carrie Watts. Directing Talking Pictures in his Goodman Theatre debut is Henry Wishcamper, whom Falls tapped to assist with his Broadway production of Shining City last season. Two Chicago directors will helm the one-acts, which will be performed in repertory with Talking Pictures in the Owen Theatre.
In Talking Pictures, which begins Jan. 26, 2008, "It is 1929 in the town of Harrison, Texas. On the eve of the Depression, the residents of a small boarding house deal with myriad crises, small and large: the quarrels between estranged husbands and wives, the uncertain future of a railroad engineer, and the coming of the 'talkies' to the local movie theatre, which signals the end of an era (and a job) for the woman who plays the live music there. These potentially cataclysmic events are chronicled with gentle humor and deep compassion by Horton Foote…"
Blind Date and The Actor — An Evening of One-Act Plays — begins Feb. 21, 2008.
In Blind Date, "a well-meaning aunt tries to arrange the social life of her overwhelmingly reluctant niece, with hilariously unexpected results. And a young man's determination to launch a career on the stage provides the basis for The Actor, one of Foote's most affecting explorations of the family dynamic."
The Trip to bountiful, reuniting director Harris Yulin with actors from his Signature Theatre Company production of 2005-6, starts March 1, 2008. Foote's "tender, heartfelt study focuses on Carrie Watts, who dreams of returning to her childhood home in the small town of Bountiful, Texas, which she left three decades earlier. She sets out to fulfill her dream, with results that are both heartbreaking and brilliantly life-affirming." Lois Smith won an Obie Award for her turn in the play Off-Broadway.
For more information about the Tony Award-honored Goodman, call (312) 443-3800 or visit GoodmanTheatre.org.