Signature Theatre Company and Hartford Stage will co-produce Horton Foote’s The Orphans’ Home Cycle, to be directed by Michael Wilson and performed at Hartford Stage August 27-October 17, 2009 and at Signature, October 29-April 11, 2010.
In this world premiere production, Foote will be adapting nine of his plays — some previously produced and others never before seen — into a three-part theatrical event. Each part will be staged individually as well as in repertory and one-day marathons. The cycle replaces Signature Theatre Company’s previously announced season devoted to Suzan-Lori Parks.
Set in Foote’s fictitious town of Harrison, Texas, the cycle is based partly on the childhood of Foote’s father and the courtship and marriage of his parents. It 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.
Part I will include the plays Roots in a Parched Ground, Convicts and Lily Dale and follows Horace in his formative years. Part II focuses on his married life and is made up of the plays The Widow Claire, Courtship, and Valentine’s Day. Part III consists of the plays 1918, Cousins, and The Death of Papa and begins with the turmoil of World War I and ends with the characters looking to the future of their family and land.
Foote won the Pulitzer Prize for The Young Man from Atlanta; his many other plays include The Trip to Bountiful, The Traveling Lady, and The Carpetbagger’s Children. He was most recently represented on Broadway by Dividing the Estate, directed by Wilson, which will be restaged at Hartford Stage later this season.