Central roles set for nine-hour epic
Bill Heck will play the central role of Horace Robedaux and Maggie Lacey (“Dividing the Estate”) will play his wife Elizabeth in Horton Foote’s three-part, nine-play, nine-hour epic “The Orphans’ Home Cycle.”Playwright’s daughter Hallie Foote, a frequent star of her father’s plays, will portray Elizabeth’s mother, Mary Vaughn, a character based on the actress’s real-life grandmother. James DeMarse (“Diving the Estate,” “The Trip to Bountiful”) will play her husband Henry. Thesps head a cast of 22 under the direction of Michael Wilson (“Estate”). Shows preems later this summer at Hartford Stage (Sept. 3-Oct. 24) before heading to Off Broadway’s Signature Theater (Nov. 5-March 6). Cycle features nine semiautobiographical works set in the fictional town of Harrison, Texas. Plays were originally written as full-length pieces and have been reconfigured for the co-production by Foote. The Oscar and Pulitzer Prize-winning scribe died in March just as he was completing the reconfiguration of the generational saga for the three-show format. Each part of the cycle will be staged individually as well as in repertory and in one-day marathons. Four of the individual plays — “Roots in a Parched Ground,” “Convicts,” “Cousins” and “Valentine’s Day” — will be seen for the first time.