Signature Celebrates New Building with Lansbury, Norton, Broderick et al., 3/1


Signature Theatre Company will celebrate the construction of the theatre's future home, The Signature Center, at its 2010 annual gala on Monday, March 1 at Espace. Guest of honor will be Frank Gehry, architect of the Signature Center. The evening will also include the presentation of Signature's Playwrights' Award to actress Hallie Foote, daughter of the late playwright Horton Foote, who is currently starring at Signature in her father's critically acclaimed world premiere trilogy, The Orphans' Home Cycle. 

Cocktails will begin at 6:30pm with dinner at 7:30 PM and tributes to Mr. Gehry and Ms. Foote to follow. Tribute participants include Edward Norton, Angela Lansbury, Matthew Broderick, Lois Smith, John Guare, Michael Wilson and Elizabeth Ashley.

Signature continues its collaboration with world-class artists by engaging Frank Gehry as designer for its future home, the Signature Center, currently under construction on West 42nd Street. Gehry has redefined the scope of modern architecture and is internationally respected for his insightful, unconventional and iconic designs. With the Signature Center, Frank Gehry will once again make his mark on the performing arts. The gala will celebrate the work of Frank Gehry and the Signature Center.

Each year, The Signature Playwrights Award is given to an individual or organization that has made a significant impact on the institution. Past honorees include The Shubert Foundation, Time Warner Inc., American Express and Signature Trustee Margot Adams. This year, Signature will honor actress Hallie Foote. Ms. Foote has long been known as the foremost interpreter of the work of her late father, Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Horton Foote and has been an invaluable artistic collaborator and friend to Signature. She has appeared in six of the seven plays Signature has produced by her father and, following his recent passing, has been instrumental in shepherding the historic production of The Orphans' Home Cycle. In recognition of the Foote legacy at Signature and within the American theatre, Signature is honored to be presenting Hallie Foote with The Signature Playwrights' Award.

Past honorees have included Edward Albee and the late August Wilson and Horton Foote. The galas are often attended by many of Signature's community of actors, writers and artists, including Matthew Broderick, Robert Duvall, Sally Field, Ethan Hawke, Philip Seymour Hoffman, James Earl Jones, John Lithgow, Edward Norton, Phylicia Rashad, Lois Smith, Peter Sarsgaard, and more.

For more information, please contact Jordan Dyniewski at 212-967-1913, extension 28 or via email at

Signature Theatre Company, founded in 1991 by James Houghton, 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 remains deeply committed to season-long residencies and during the company's tenth and fifteenth anniversaries, Signature introduced the Legacy Program. The Legacy Program invites past Playwrights-in-Residence back to Signature through two series: the Signature Series, which presents "signature," or more well-known works; and the Premiere Series, which presents New York and world premieres. Since 2005, Signature has been committed to presenting world-class theatre at an affordable price through The Signature Ticket Initiative, which will offer subsidized $20 tickets through the Company's twentieth anniversary season in 2011.

In October of 2008, Signature announced the creation of the SIGNATURE CENTER, a permanent home to open in late 2011. Designed by Frank Gehry Architects, the Center will comprise three theatres, two rehearsal studios, a café, bookstore, and offices all on one level - a configuration that allows the company not only the space to expand its programming, but also the proximity for natural interaction between artists and audiences of the different programs. In its new home, Signature will continue its Master Playwrights Residency and expand the Legacy Program. Signature will also introduce an Emerging Playwrights Residency that will feature early- and mid-career playwrights and guarantee them three full productions over the course of a four-year residency. This groundbreaking facility will offer a vital presence on West 42nd Street and will make it possible for Signature to collaborate with playwrights throughout the entire trajectory of their careers.

The Orphans' Home Cycle, a world premiere trilogy by Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize-winner Horton Foote and directed by Michael Wilson, is currently playing at The Peter Norton Space (555 West 42nd Street). The production has been extended twice by popular demand through May 8, 2010.

Set in Foote's fictitious town of Harrison, Texas and based partly on the childhood of Foote's father and the courtship and marriage of his parents, The Orphans' Home Cycle is a wide-ranging, intricate work that spans the lives of three families over three decades. All actors in the production play multiple roles and several track their characters through time in the various plays which comprise the Cycle.

The Orphans' Home Cycle begins with a father's death in a small Texas town at the turn of the century, a loss that sends his son, Horace Robedaux, on an odyssey through the darkest corners of the heart as he learns to become a husband, father and patriarch.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit or call (212) 244-PLAY (7529).



Photo Credit: Walter McBride/Retna Ltd.