Profile Announces

No matter how much I cajoled and wheedled, my so-called friends at Profile Theatre remained tight-lipped about the playwright the company will feature next season. I even promised to embargo the information until tonight.

As I write this, Jane Unger is making the momentous announcement over at Theatre! Theater! I'm but two blocks away, but it's raining and I have a lovely drink at my side and the smell of roasting garlic and tomatoes is tantalizing, so I won't be going over there.

Fortunately, my espionage network is strong, and I learned the secret this afternoon. (Unless I've been double crossed!).



Horton Foote, who died at age 92 last month, will be Profile's featured playwright over its 2009-2010 season. You can read his obit from the NY Times here.

I'm never ashamed to show my ignorance, so will tell you that I'm not familiar with his plays. However, I know some of his screenplays, and am particularly fond of his adaptation of Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" -- an example of a great book that is also a great movie. He also wrote the screenplay for "Tender Mercies" starring Robert Duvall, which I remember being a fabulous movie. (Both of those flicks are on my top fifty list of "Movies I Think I Might Want to Rent and Watch Again Sometime). Oh, he also wrote the screenplay for “The Trip to Bountiful,” which I don't remember, but at least I recognize the title.

Frank Rich, someone our household adores, called Foote “one of America’s living literary wonders.” (That was before Mr. Foote died, I presume). Mr. Rich also called him “a major American dramatist whose epic body of work recalls Chekhov in its quotidian comedy and heartbreak, and Faulkner in its ability to make his own corner of America stand for the whole.”

In these troubling times, I'm all for quotidian comedy. Does quotidian mean using a Dr. Seuss picture to illustrate an important cultural story? Or is that just juvenile?

UPDATE! UPDATE! Read all about it!

Just one-half hour after posting my scoop, I received the official press release on Profile's 2009-2010 season. Here's the line-up:

The Trip to Bountiful (full production)
(September 30 – November 1, 2009)

Dividing the Estate (staged reading)
(November 12 - November 22, 2009)

Valentine’s Day (staged reading)
(February 11 -14, 2010)

The Carpetbagger’s Children (full production)
(February 24 – March 28, 2010)

To Kill a Mockingbird (staged reading)
(April 1 – April 11, 2010)

The Young Man from Atlanta (full production)
(May 19 – June 20, 2010)

In addition to its staged productions, Profile will continue its “One Night Stand” series, presenting one night readings of Courtship, 1918, The Last of the Thorntons and Tender Mercies.

FlexPasses and subscriptions are on sale now. Call 503.242.0080 or visit Profile's website at


culturejock said...

Hmm. That's interesting -- and should prove quite an interesting challenge for the company to go from a playwright that everyone's heard of too much to a playwright who -- well, I couldn't have named a single one of his plays either.

I see that Signature Theater Company (in NY) performed Horton Foote in their 1994-95 Season, including "Talking Pictures," "Night Seasons," "The Young Man From Atlanta," and "Laura Dennis." I'll have to ask Jim Houghton how it all went over.

MightyToyCannon said...

Signature Theatre is presenting Horton Foote (again) in its 2009-2010 season. Signature and Hartford stage will co-produce Foote's "The Orphan's Home Cycle" which Foote adapted into a three-part "theatrical event."

MightyToyCannon said...

I just want to add--in all seriousness--that Horton Foote is exactly the kind of playwright Profile should be featuring, given its unique mission. From what I've gleaned through cursory research (with a break for dinner), Foote created a rich and important body of work, often retracing the same themes and territory. That seems to be a perfect subject for a fascinating season-long examination of his work through the years. Then there's the question of whether this theater market, in this economy, will support that effort. I certainly hope so.

Mead said...

I think it's a very savvy choice, actually. Foote's work isn't flashy, but it's often quietly touching and it's a great slice of Americana. It'll be great to see more work by a writer who's so often overlooked.

cynseattle said...

I think the choice of Horton Foote is lovely. I suspect that theater folk will be pleased to see this, the general public will require education on him. But a lovely lovely writer, with a gentle intelligence that seems fitting for our time.