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Friday, 03 May 2013 15:29

Signature Theatre Announces the World Premiere of Horton Foote's THE OLD FRIENDS

SIGNATURE THEATRE ANNOUNCES

BETTY BUCKLEY, HALLIE FOOTE and LOIS SMITH
WILL APPEAR IN THE WORLD PREMIERE OF

HORTON FOOTE’S

THE OLD FRIENDS

Directed by MICHAEL WILSON

PRODUCTION WILL REPLACE PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

EDWARD ALBEE’S LAYING AN EGG

2013-14 SEASON WILL ALSO INCLUDE NEW YORK PREMIERE OF BRANDEN JACOBS-JENKINS’ APPROPRIATE

2013-14 SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SALE AT SIGNATURETHEATRE.ORG

Signature Theatre (Founding Artistic Director James Houghton; Executive Director Erika Mallin) announced a change to the theatre’s Legacy Program for the 2013-14 All-Premiere Season: the theatre will produce the World Premiere of Horton Foote’s THE OLD FRIENDS, directed by Michael Wilson and featuring Betty Buckley, Hallie Foote and Lois Smith. THE OLD FRIENDS replaces the previously announced EDWARD ALBEE’S LAYING AN EGG, which Signature remains committed to premiering in a future season. 

In THE OLD FRIENDS, matriarch Mamie Borden and the remaining members of two longtime Texas farming families await a visit from Mamie's son Hugo and his wife Sybil. When Sybil arrives with alarming news, old friends on opposing sides must confront the issues surrounding legacy, loyalty, and the meaning of happiness that have hounded them for generations. 

Signature has a long history with Horton Foote, who was the theatre’s fourth Playwright-in-Residence during its 1994-95 Season. Signature also produced the world premiere of The Last of the Thorntons in its 2000-01 Season and The Trip to Bountiful, featuring Lois Smith in an award-winning performance, in the 2005-06 Season. During the 2009-10 Season, Signature co-produced the world premiere of the three-part The Orphans’ Home Cycle with Hartford Stage, directed by Michael Wilson. The current Broadway production of The Trip to Bountiful, directed by Michael Wilson and starring Cicely Tyson, was recently nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play.

Performances of The Old Friends will begin on August 20, 2013, with a September 12 opening in The Irene Diamond Stage. Tickets go on sale July 16, 2013. Future casting will be announced at a later date.

Signature is also pleased to announce that the 2013-14 Season will include the New York premiere of APPROPRIATEby Residency Five playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.In APPROPRIATE,the estranged members of the Lafayette clan have returned to Arkansas and their crumbling old plantation home to settle the accounts of their recently deceased patriarch. As they sort through a lifetime of hoarded mementos and junk, the discovery of a gruesome relic and a surprise visitor send the family into a spiral of crackling confrontations, repressed histories, and regret. The co-world premiere of APPROPRIATE was presented in the 2013 Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, IL (fall 2013). Performances at Signature will begin in early 2014.

To subscribe to Signature 2013-14 All-Premiere Season and to purchase tickets for all Signature productions, call the Signature Theatre Box Office (212-244-7529) or visit signaturetheatre.org.

About HORTON FOOTE

Horton Foote had his first play, Texas Town, produced Off-Broadway in 1941.  Since then, in a career spanning over sixty-eight years, he has had plays produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and at many regional theatres around the country.  Plays include The Last of the Thorntons, The Young Man From Atlanta, The Trip to Bountiful, Night Seasons, Laura Dennis, Vernon Early, The Roads to Home, The Carpetbagger’s Children, The Day Emily Married, The Chase, Tomorrow, The Habitation of Dragons, The Traveling Lady, and Dividing the Estate.  He received Academy Awards for his screenplay adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird and his original screenplay, Tender Mercies. During the Golden Age of Television, he authored numerous notable live television dramas. For his 1997 television adaptation of William Faulkner's "Old Man”, he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing of a Miniseries.  He received the Pulitzer Prize and his first Tony nomination for his play, The Young Man From Atlanta.  In 1995, he was given the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway and the Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award for the 1994-95 Signature Season of his plays.  In 1996 he was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame.  In 1998 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and received from the Academy its Gold Medal of Drama for his body of work.  In 2000 he received the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for Drama, New York State Governor’s Arts Award, and in December of that year he was given the National Medal of Arts Award by President Clinton.  In 2006, his play, The Trip to Bountiful, won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival and Foote was given the Drama Desk Lifetime Achievement Award.  In 2008, his play, Dividing the Estate, won the Obie Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for its Off-Broadway production by Primary Stages.  In 2008, the play transferred to Broadway’s Booth Theater under the auspices of Lincoln Center Theater, earning Foote his second Tony nomination for Best Play.  In the 2009 -2010 season, his three part nine hour masterwork The Orphans’ Home Cycle was co-produced by Hartford Stage and Signature Theatre Company and won the 2010 New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, was a Drama Desk Special Award winner for “The Theatrical Event of the 2009 – 2010 Season”, and won the Outer Critics Circle Award for the Best Off-Broadway production.  Most recently, his collection of three one-acts, Harrison, TX, played off-Broadway at Primary Stages and he is currently represented on Broadway with a revival of The Trip to Bountiful, which has earned Tony Award, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Outstanding Revival of a Play.

Mr. Foote’s memoirs, Farewell and Beginnings, are published by Scribners.  His biography, Horton Foote: America’s Storyteller, by Wilborn Hampton, was released last fall by Simon and Schuster.

2013-2014 SEASON OVERVIEW

RESIDENCY ONE – DAVID HENRY HWANG SERIES

KUNG FU                                                                              **WORLD PREMIERE**

Directed by Leigh Silverman

Choreographed by Dou Dou Huang

Winter/Spring 2014

The Irene Diamond Stage

In Kung Fu, a play which incorporates dance and music into an exciting new form, a young martial artist comes to America from Hong Kong in the 1960's with a dream as audacious as his talent: to become the biggest movie star in the world. To do so, he must struggle to overcome the West's view of China as weak and backwards, and of Asian men as less than truly masculine.

A world premiere production of a new play by David Henry Hwang.

LEGACY PROGRAM

THE OLD FRIENDS                       ** WORLD PREMIERE**

By Horton Foote

Directed by Michael Wilson

Performances begin August 20, 2013

Opening Night is September 12, 2013

The Irene Diamond Stage

In THE OLD FRIENDS, matriarch Mamie Borden and the remaining members of two longtime Texas farming families await a visit from Mamie's son Hugo and his wife Sybil. When Sybil arrives with alarming news, old friends on opposing sides must confront the issues surrounding legacy, loyalty, and the meaning of happiness that have hounded them for generations. 

HOW I LEARNED WHAT I LEARNED                            **NEW YORK PREMIERE**

By August Wilson

Directed by Todd Kreidler

Fall 2013

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre

Featuring Ruben Santiago-Hudson

In this solo show, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson shares stories about his first few jobs, a stint in jail, an early relationship, his first kiss, his foray into cinema, and the friends he has had his entire life. Directed by long-time collaborator Todd Kreidler and featuring Ruben Santiago-Hudson, director of the acclaimed The Piano Lesson, How I Learned What I Learned charts one man’s journey of self-discovery through adversity, and what it means to be a black artist in America.

Support for the Legacy Program is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

RESIDENCY FIVE

stop. reset.                                                                           **WORLD PREMIERE**

(previously titled ---- and potatoes)

Written and directed by Regina Taylor

Summer 2013

The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

As e-books outsell printed books, Alex Ames, the owner of Chicago’s oldest African American book publishing company, must question each of his employees to determine who is still relevant in a rapidly changing world. When he meets J, a mysterious youth plugged into the future, Mr. Ames is forced to discover just how far he will go to survive.

A new play from Residency Five playwright Regina Taylor, stop. reset. asks powerful questions of legacy, identity and survival in a world where the real and the virtual are more closely tied than we think.

stop. reset. is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

CHERI                                                                                   **WORLD PREMIERE**

Conceived, Directed and Choreographed by Martha Clarke

Fall 2013

The Irene Diamond Stage

Inspired by the classic 1920 novella by controversial French author Colette, Cheri is Martha Clarke’s newest interdisciplinary work, an exciting fusion of theatre, live music, and dance featuring American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Herman Cornejo, prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri, actor Suzanne Bertish, pianist Sarah Rothenberg, and text by Tina Howe. This tragic story of forbidden love between a young man and an older woman in Belle Époque Paris is a timeless, powerful exploration of sensuality, love, and our preoccupations with youth and age 

APPROPRIATE                                                                   **NEW YORK PREMIERE**

By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins

Winter/Spring 2014

The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre

In APPROPRIATE,the estranged members of the Lafayette clan have returned to Arkansas and their crumbling old plantation home to settle the accounts of their recently deceased patriarch. As they sort through a lifetime of hoarded mementos and junk, the discovery of a gruesome relic and a surprise visitor send the family into a spiral of crackling confrontations, repressed histories, and regret.

A New Play by Will Eno                                                     **NEW YORK PREMIERE**

Winter/Spring 2014

The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

Signature is delighted to welcome back Residency Five playwright Will Eno for a second premiere production. His play Title and Deed, produced during the Company’s Inaugural Season at The Pershing Square Signature Center, landed on The New York Times’ Top 10 list for 2012, and introduced Signature audiences to Eno’s rich and distinctive body of work.

About SIGNATURE THEATRE

Founded in 1991 by James Houghton, Signature Theatre exists to honor and celebrate the playwright.  Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright’s body of work, and during this journey, the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process.  Signature is the first theatre company to devote an entire season to the work of a single playwright, including re-examinations of past writings as well as New York and world premieres. By championing in-depth explorations of a living playwright’s body of work, the Company delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright’s singular vision.

Signature has presented entire seasons of the work of Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, Maria Irene Fornes, Athol Fugard, John Guare, Bill Irwin, Adrienne Kennedy, Tony Kushner, Romulus Linney, Charles Mee, Arthur Miller, the Negro Ensemble Company, Sam Shepard, Paula Vogel, August Wilson and Lanford Wilson.  At The Pershing Square Signature Center, the Company’s expanded programming includes: Residency One, the continuation of Signature’s core program which provides audiences with an immersive exploration of the work of a singular playwright; Residency Five, which provides five-year residencies for multiple playwrights, guaranteeing three full productions of new work over the course of each playwright’s residency; and the Legacy Program, which honors the lifetime achievement of playwrights who have previously been in residence at Signature through the production of a premiere or earlier play.

Signature, its productions and its resident writers have been recognized with a Pulitzer Prize, fourteen Lucille Lortel Awards, sixteen Obie Awards, six Drama Desk Awards and twenty-two AUDELCO Awards, among many other distinctions. The National Theatre Conference recognized the company as the 2003 Outstanding National Theatre of the Year. For more information on Signature please visit us on-line at signaturetheatre.org.

About THE PERSHING SQUARE SIGNATURE CENTER

The Pershing Square Signature Center is the new, permanent home of Signature Theatre.  Spanning an entire city block at 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenue, the Frank Gehry-designed Pershing Square Signature Center features three intimate theatres, a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, and a public café, bar and bookstore and serves as both a theatre community hub and neighborhood destination. Working hand-in-hand with Signature leadership and architect of record H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture LLC, Gehry’s design is carefully calibrated to foster interaction among playwrights, artistic collaborators and the public. The Pershing Square Signature Center has allowed the Company to expand and enhance its programming, introduce new initiatives, and build audiences. The Center serves as the artistic home for as many as 9 playwrights at any one time, fostering a dynamic creative community where playwrights engage directly with audiences and one another.

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