Horton Foote's DIVIDING THE ESTATE Opens Tonight at Palm Beach Dramaworks

Horton Foote's DIVIDING THE ESTATE Opens Tonight at Palm Beach Dramaworks

The life of privilege long enjoyed by a venerable Texas family is slipping away and its members refuse to let go of it without a fight in Horton Foote's absorbing and widely praised comedy, Dividing the Estate, which opens at Palm Beach Dramaworks tonight, March 28 (8pm). Performances at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre (201 Clematis Street) continue through April 27.

It's 1987 and everyone is feeling the effects of the recession. Real estate has been devalued, homes are being foreclosed, life savings are dwindling, people are losing their jobs. But Stella Gordon's adult, entitled children don't see why they shouldn't be able to maintain the lifestyle to which they've grown accustomed. At a family gathering, talk turns to the future of their estate, which Stella wants to keep intact and pass down to her children after she's gone. But some of her offspring have another idea: they want to cash in by dividing the estate.

Palm Beach Dramaworks' production of Dividing the Estate is directed by Producing Artistic Director William Hayes, and features Gregg Weiner, Elizabeth Dimon, Mary Stout, Avery Sommers, Deltoiya Goodman, John Archie, Rob Donohoe, Margery Lowe, Kim Cozort, Gretchen Porro, Leah Sessa, Kenneth Kay, and Natalia Coego. Scenic design is by Jeff Modereger, costume design by Brian O'Keefe, and lighting design by Ron Burns.

First produced at the McCarter Theatre in New Jersey in 1989, Dividing the Estate premiered off-Broadway in 2007 at Primary Stages and earned Foote a 2008 Obie Award for playwriting. The off-Broadway cast included Elizabeth Ashley, Hallie Foote (the playwright's daughter), Penny Fuller, and Gerald McRaney, and they remained with the play when it was subsequently produced on Broadway in November, 2008.

Horton Foote (1916-2009), one of the greatest American playwrights of the twentieth century, wrote more than 60 plays in a career that spanned more than six decades. Many of his plays are set in the fictional town of Harrison, which was inspired by his hometown of Wharton, Texas. Among his best-known works are The Trip to Bountiful; The Young Man From Atlanta, for which he received the 1995 Pulitzer Prize; and The Orphan's Home Cycle, made up of nine one-act plays presented in three parts. Foote was the recipient of two Academy Awards: the first for his adaptation of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), the second for his original screenplay, Tender Mercies (1983). Robert Duvall, who appeared in both those films and worked frequently with Foote, called the playwright "the great American voice."

Palm Beach Dramaworks is a non-profit, professional theatre and is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the South Florida Theatre League, Southeastern Theatre Conference, Florida Professional Theatres Association, Florida Theatre Conference, and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. For fourteen years, West Palm Beach's only professional, multi-award-winning resident theatre has brought to the Palm Beaches a distinguished roster of plays under the guidance of Producing Artistic Director William Hayes.

The performance schedule is as follows: Evening performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 7PM. Matinee performances are on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 2PM. Individual tickets are $60 for all performances. Preview performances are $52 and Opening Night tickets are $75. Student tickets are available for $10. Group rates for 20 or more and discounted season subscriptions are also available.

The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, open Monday from 10AM to 5PM, Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM to 6PM, and Sunday from 11AM to 5PM, or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org.

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