Dividing the Estate Nabs Lois Smith for Hartford Stage Engagement

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15 Apr 2009

Lois Smith
Lois Smith
Aubrey Reuben

Two-time Tony Award nominee Lois Smith will star in the Hartford Stage production of Horton Foote's Dividing the Estate, which begins performances May 28.

Smith, who received a host of awards for her performance in Foote's The Trip to Bountiful, will assume the role of family matriarch Stella Gordon when the Broadway production of Dividing the Estate arrives in Hartford. Smith takes over the role from original cast member Elizabeth Ashley, who joined another Broadway family drama, August: Osage County, in February.

Hartford Stage artistic director will Michael Wilson reunite with his Broadway cast — including Arthur French, Hallie Foote, Penny Fuller, Gerald McRaney, Devon Abner, Pat Bowie, James DeMarse, Virginia Kull, Maggie Lacey, Nicole Lowrance, Jenny Dare Paulin and Keiana Richard — for the production, which will play Hartford Stage through July 5.

"I am so thrilled to be working with Lois again," Wilson said in a statement. "She is one of America's greatest actors on stage and screen, and I with her, have enjoyed one of the most satisfying collaborations of my career. Also, Horton Foote loved and admired her work greatly. It is a dream to have her join our distinguished company for Horton’s last Broadway play."

Described as "a human comedy about a family that must confront its past as it prepares for its future," the Off-Broadway engagement of Dividing the Estate garnered a 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and an Obie for Playwriting for Foote.



Dividing the Estate features sets by Jeff Cowie, costumes by David C. Woolard, lighting by Rui Rita and original music and sound by John Gromada.

Smith made her Broadway debut in 1952 in Time Out for Ginger, and received Tony nominations for her work in The Grapes of Wrath and Buried Child. She also appeared in the original Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending, as well as The Young and Beautiful and The Iceman Cometh. She has appeared in Horton Foote's The Man Who Climbed the Pecan Trees and Land of the Astronauts. Her numerous screen credits include "East of Eden," "Five Easy Pieces," "Up the Sandbox," "Fatal Attraction," "Fried Green Tomatoes" and most recently HBO's "True Blood."

Dividing the Estate played an Off-Broadway run at Primary Stages in 2007 prior to arriving on Broadway Oct. 23, 2008, for a limited engagement at the Booth Theatre, which ran through Jan. 4, 2009.

For tickets to the Hartford engagement visit www.hartfordstage.org.