Foote’s ‘Orphans’ still on track

'Cycle' set for New York, Hartford stagings

Horton Foote’s nine-play series “The Orphans’ Home Cycle” remains on track for co-productions in Gotham and Hartford, Conn., later this year, in the wake of the playwright’s death Wednesday.

Foote had been commissioned in 2007 by Hartford Stage to condense the nine pre-existing plays of the cycle into a three-part production due to begin perfs late this summer in Hartford and then transfer to Off Broadway’s Signature Theater in October.

Foote was essentially finished with the new version of the cycle at the time of his death, according to a rep for Hartford Stage.

“Orphans’ Home” director and Hartford a.d. Michael Wilson, who helmed Foote’s “Dividing the Estate” on Broadway earlier this season, will likely continue to refine the three parts throughout the development process with the aid of Hallie Foote, the scribe’s daughter and an actress who frequently appears in her father’s work.

Hallie, currently at Hartford Stage in a legit incarnation of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” will soon reprise her role in “Estate” in the upcoming Hartford Stage run of that show.

A Hartford reading of part of “Orphans’ Home” remains scheduled for March 16.

Each three-hour part of the new cycle will consist of a trio of condensed plays, with three of the total nine — “Roots in a Parched Ground,” “Convicts” and “Cousins” — making their world preems.

“Orphans’ Home” plays Hartford Aug. 27-Oct. 17. Cycle will then run Oct. 29-April 11 at the Signature, which produced a season of plays by Foote in 1994-95.

Legiters made plans Thursday to honor Foote by dimming marquee lights both on the Rialto (Thursday night) and Off Broadway (Friday evening).

The playwright, who was 92, was visiting Hartford when he died in his sleep Wednesday.

(Frank Rizzo in New Haven contributed to this report.)

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