Foote's Orphans' Home Cycle Extends Into May in NYC

News   Foote's Orphans' Home Cycle Extends Into May in NYC
The Signature Theatre Company has extended the acclaimed Off-Broadway premiere of the late playwright Horton Foote's final masterwork, The Orphans' Home Cycle, a nine-play experience, through May 8.
Orphans' Home Cycle star Hallie Foote
Orphans' Home Cycle star Hallie Foote Photo by Gregory Costanzo

Each of the three installments in the epic Texas-set family drama opened to acclaim Off-Broadway, prompting talk of a likely extension Off-Broadway, and a possible Broadway transfer in the fall. Frequent Foote collaborator Michael Wilson directs the production.

The Signature Theatre run was originally scheduled to conclude March 28, but will now play an additional six weeks of performances. The Signature has also scheduled two additional marathon performances. Marathons will now be presented Feb. 6 and 27, March 6, April 3 and May 8. Tickets for the extension are $65 for each part.

The Signature Theatre co-presents the cycle with Hartford Stage, where Orphans' made its world premiere earlier this fall. Wilson serves as artistic director of Hartford Stage.

The first part of the nine-play Texas-set drama, The Story of a Childhood, opened Off-Broadway Nov. 19, 2009; the second part, The Story of a Marriage, opened Dec. 17, 2009; and the final installment, The Story of a Family, opened Jan. 26.

Part I (The Story of a Childhood) consists of the plays Roots in a Parched Ground, Convicts and Lily Dale; Part II (The Story of a Marriage) includes The Widow Claire, Courtship and Valentine's Day; and Part III (The Story of a Family) concludes with 1918, Cousins and The Death of Papa. *

Based partly on the life of Foote's father and the courtship of his parents, all of the plays in The Orphans' Home Cycle were originally penned as full-length works. Hartford Stage commissioned Foote to adapt the plays into their current three-part form in 2007. While several of the plays in the cycle were seen prior to the world premiere of this packaging, the plays Roots in a Parched Ground, Convicts, Cousins and Valentine's Day, make their debut here.

Foote's daughter, Tony-nominated actress Hallie Foote (Dividing the Estate) portrays Mary Vaughn in a cast that also features Bill Heck ("The Closer," "Medium") in the central role of Horace Robedaux, with Dividing the Estate actress Maggie Lacey as his wife, Elizabeth Vaughn Robedaux, and James DeMarse (Dividing the Estate, The Trip to Bountiful) as Henry Vaughn.

Completing the cast are Devon Abner, Mike Boland, Pat Bowie, Leon Addison Brown, Justin Fuller, Jasmine Harrison, Henry Hodges, Annalee Jefferies, Virginia Kull, Gilbert Owuor, Jenny Dare Paulin, Pamela Payton-Wright, Bryce Pinkham, Stephen Plunkett, Emily Robinson, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Dylan Riley Snyder and Charles Turner.

The Orphans' Home Cycle has 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 and choreography by Peter Pucci. Dialect coach is Ralph Zito. Fight director is Mark Olson.

A Pulitzer Prize winner for The Young Man from Atlanta, Foote's plays also include Dividing the Estate (2009 Tony nomination for Best Play), The Carpetbagger's Children, The Trip to Bountiful, The Traveling Lady, The Chase, The Last of the Thorntons and Talking Pictures, among others. He is an Academy Award winner for the screenplays "Tender Mercies" and "To Kill a Mockingbird." The 92-year-old Foote had been in Hartford, CT, where he was putting the finishing touches on Orphans' Home Cycle, when he died last March.

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," according to press notes.

For tickets and more information visit SignatureTheatre.

Mike Boland, Justin Fuller, Stephen Plunkett, Bill Heck, Annalee Jefferies, Hallie Foote and Jenny Dare Paulin
Mike Boland, Justin Fuller, Stephen Plunkett, Bill Heck, Annalee Jefferies, Hallie Foote and Jenny Dare Paulin
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