“The Little Foxes” will conclude Haywood Arts Regional Theater’s 2010 season and will be one of the theatre’s most elaborate productions.
“The Little Foxes” tells the tale of an aristocratic Southern family struggling for wealth and power among one another. Regina Hubbard Giddens is the most ambitious, for she is most dependant on her invalid husband Horace to maintain her standing while his brothers all have amassed their own fortunes but want more.
Playwright Lillian Hellman based the characters on her own Demopolis, Ala., relatives: Regina was based on her grandmother Sophie and Birdie, Regina’s alcoholic sister-in-law, was inspired by her mother Julia.
There are few playwrights as colorful as Hellman. Born in 1905 to a Jewish family that had converted to Christianity, she doggedly observed both religions. She never married, but was a lover to the mystery writer Dashiell Hammett (“The Maltese Falcon”) in the 1940’s, and was a life long communist who was black listed in the 1950’s. Her 1973 memoir “Pentimento” was turned into the Academy Award nominated film “Julia,” with Vanessa Redgrave and Jane Fonda in 1978, and presents Hellman in a somewhat heroic light. The facts of her life are shadier. She had a long time feud with writer Mary McCarthy, another blacklisted writer from the communist period, which erupted when McCarthy famously said on the Dick Cavett show: “every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’” Hellman brought a $2.5 million slander suit against McCarthy, Cavett and PBS which was fought out until her death in 1984.
“The Little Foxes” opened on Broadway in 1939 and starred Tallulah Bankhead. The play then became a major film in 1940 with Bette Davis in the lead. Hellman is also known for a number of other plays including “The Children’s Hour,” “Toys in the Attic” and “Watch on the Rhine.”
HART’s production of “The Little Foxes” is being directed by Wanda Taylor and stars Susanne Tinsley, Charles Mills, Any Reed, Steve Turner, Kay Edwards, Strother Stingley, Kathleen Cordon, Caroline Lathrop, Josh Merrell and John Winfield.
What: “The Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman, Directed by Wanda Taylor
When: Nov. 5, 6, 12, and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 14, at 3 p.m.
How much: Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, student/child $8 with special $5 discount tickets for students for Thursday and Sunday performances.
What else: Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday 1-5 p.m. Call 828 456 6322 for reservations. Tickets available on line at www.harttheatre.com