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The Trip to Bountiful

The Trip to Bountiful
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Horton Foote
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 65
Pub. Date: 1984
ISBN-10: 0822211742
ISBN-13: 9780822211747
Cast Size: 3 female, 6 male, extras

About the Play:

The Trip to Bountiful is a full-length drama by Horton Foote. An aging widow leaves her son and daughter in a small Houston apartment to visit the home where she grew up. There in Bountiful, Texas, she hopes to regain her dignity and peace of mind. But what will she find there? Especially recommended for school and contest use.

The Trip to Bountiful tells the story of Carrie Watts, an elderly woman, who longs to escape the cramped apartment in 1953 Houston where she lives with her protective son, Ludie, and her authoritarian daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae. Hymn-singing Carrie and movie-magazine-reading Jessie Mae are oil and water, with poor Ludie stuck refereeing. Carrie, who has a failing ticker, longs to return to her beloved hometown of Bountiful, Texas, one final time before she dies. Dutiful son Ludie, having lost two years and a good job to an unspecified illness, is trying to make up ground in a new position that doesn't yet pay all his bills; he's ashamed that he has to rely on his mother's pension check to make ends meet. Carrie has run away before but never succeeded in leaving Houston. This time, however, armed with that check, Carrie escapes to the bus station and befriends a young woman named Thelma. The new friends travel toward Bountiful together, but when Carrie arrives in nearby Harrison, Texas, she begins to learn that her beloved town isn't the same as she remembered it. The Trip to Bountiful is a masterpiece about memory, mortality and the undeniable, universal yearning for home.

The Trip to Bountiful premiered in 1953 on the Philco Television Playhouse broadcast on NBC-TV, before being produced on the Broadway stage later that year at Henry Miller's Theatre (now the Stephen Sondheim Theatre). The show enjoyed two Broadway revivals and has become a popular choice for school and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 6 male, extras

What people say:

"If there's any such thing as a bulletproof play, The Trip to Bountiful may be it. Horton Foote's elegiac study in the diminution of old age ... is a sure-fire crowd pleaser." — Los Angeles Times

"The Trip to Bountiful is about the myth of an idea called home. Mr. Foote creates characters, nearly all of whom come from the same stretch of provincial Texas, who long to believe in the reality of real estate, that a house is a fortress and an anchor in a world of threatening flux. But this bleakly sentimental playwright is as merciless as he is compassionate. Home is only an illusion for his people, and everyone is ultimately an orphan, even when surrounded by family." — The New York Times

"I've never been more deeply moved by a theatrical production of any kind." — Wall Street Journal

"…the rarest of theater experiences, an evening which will prove an indelible memory… Horton Foote has done, and done beautifully, the one thing it is important for a playwright to do. That is, provide the disciplined material for expert actors to completely capture an audience and hold it through the evening." — New York World-Telegram

"The Trip to Bountiful is a not-to-be-missed treasure." — BackStage

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.