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Roots in a Parched Ground

Roots in a Parched Ground
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Horton Foote
Foreword by: Stark Young
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 45
Pub. Date: 1962
ISBN-10: 0822209675
ISBN-13: 9780822209676
Cast Size: 5 female, 9 male, 1 girl, 1 boy

About the Play:

Roots in a Parched Ground is a full-length drama by Horton Foote. A father's death in a small Texas town at the turn of the 20th century becomes a loss that sends his son, 12-year-old Horace Robedaux, on a personal odyssey. Centers on the death of young Horace's father and the relationship between his mother and father's families.

Roots in a Parched Ground is set in Harrison, Texas in 1902. The Robedaux family has been divided by the exigencies of an unhappy fate. Julie Robedaux has moved back to her family's house with the children, Horace, Jr. and Beth Ruth, and has enlisted the help of her sister, Callie, in trying to operate the old place as a boarding house. Her husband, Horace Sr., ravaged by alcohol and disease, awaits the end of his wasted life at his mother's home, pathetically hopeful that he will still be able to make amends to his wife and children, and guide his son in the study of law. This fragile strand of hope is broken when it is acknowledged that the boarding house is a losing proposition, and that the only course of action for Julia, Callie and the children is to move to Houston in search of work. Horace Jr. refuses to go. As a violent storm breaks he rushes off, and when he eventually comes home again, after having been given up for lost, the family has gone to Houston and his father is dead. When she learns that he is still alive, Horace's mother comes back from Houston and, in a poignant, touching scene, tells the boy that she has remarried, and that she can't ask him to come back with her, at least for the present. Horace stays behind and starts over again. He also has his father's law books, and the gentle guidance and concern of a family friend, Jim Howard, in turning back to them. The play ends on a warm note of hopefulness as Horace and Mr. Howard begin to study — and to help each other find a way in the long night of loneliness.

Roots in a Parched Ground is the first of nine plays in the writer's The Orphans' Home Cycle, a series of plays based on the life of Horton Foote's father between the years 1902 and 1928. The other eight were written in the 1970's and produced individually between 1978 and 1999. Roots in a Parched Ground was first presented in 1962 on the television show "DuPont Show of the Month" broadcast on CBS-TV under the title The Night of the Storm.

Cast: 5 female, 9 male, 1 girl, 1 boy

About the Playwright:

Horton Foote (1916-2009) was a prolific American playwright and screenwriter with an ear for the resilient spirit of daily life in the small-town southern US states. Known as a writer's writer, he switched readily from the stage to television and film. He received Academy Awards for his screenplay adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird and his original screenplay Tender Mercies. During the Golden Age of television, he authored numerous notable live television dramas. For his 1997 television adaptation of William Faulkner's "Old Man," he won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing of a Miniseries. He received the 1995 Pulitzer Prize and his first Tony nomination for his play, The Young Man From Atlanta.