Set in Alabama in 1900, Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes” follows a southern family battling for their continued place of prominence amidst changing times.
“The Little Foxes” is a bucket list production for Jeffrey Ellis, and he is thrilled to direct the show with ACT 1. “It tends to get overlooked, and people think it’s much more old fashioned than it really is. In reality, it is a very forward thinking play.”
Though the play was written in the 1939, many of the issues dealt with are still relevant today. The story showcases the Giddens and Hubbard families on their quest for wealth and power. There is a noticeable contrast within the characters’ social classes. Societal themes of prejudice and greed are proven timeless.
This production of “The Little Foxes” is unique because Ellis cast Helen Olaketi Mariah Shute-Pettaway, an African American woman, as the lead. “I’ve always been a proponent of casting the right actor for the right part. When Helen auditioned, I knew that no one could be a better Regina Giddens.” Jeffrey Ellis tells us. He took the time to rationalize casting an African American woman as Regina to provide the actors with background information, “To my way of thinking, Regina was probably the child of an affair between her father, a white man, and her mother who was his slave at the time.”
Rob Wilds, Rachel Woods, Gregory William Welch, Craig Hartline, Caroline Davis, Austin Jeffrey Smith, Brooke Leigh Davis, Giovanni Galeano and Josh Kiev also make up “The Little Foxes” cast. Ellis has been continually impressed by the cast and crew’s level of dedication to the production. “When we started rehearsal, so many of my actors were off book already. They knew their characters, what they were doing, and they come in to work every day with the intention of doing the best that they can.” This show will be like a master class in acting for audience members, Ellis tells us. “We have people that have been involved in theater in Nashville for the past 30 years as well as people that are essentially newcomers to the scene. Anytime you can have a mixture of veterans and newcomers, it makes for a really exciting night of theater.”
“The Little Foxes” is a labor of love for Ellis, the creative team, and actors. He describes several of the characters as intrinsically evil, and the show as wickedly funny.
Don’t miss the chance to see this bucket list production! “The Little Foxes” runs May 4-19 at the Darkhorse Theater.