The Trip to Bountiful
By Horton Foote
Directed by Michael Wilson
Featuring Nancy Robinette as Mrs. Carrie Watts;
Joe Mallon as Ludie Watts and Kimberly Gilbert as Jessie Mae Watts
Performances September 23 – October 16, 2022
Washington, D.C. – Ford’s Theatre Society announced full casting and the design team for Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, September 23 – October 16, 2022. Directed by Michael Wilson, this classic American drama is a compelling portrait of family, what we hold onto and what we leave behind.
The production features Nancy Robinette (The Carpetbagger’s Children, Driving Miss Daisy) as Mrs. Carrie Watts and Joe Mallon (A Christmas Carol) as Ludie Watts, with Kimberly Gilbert as Jessie Mae Watts (Jefferson’s Garden, The Laramie Project, Born Yesterday).
Tickets for in-person performances of The Trip to Bountiful are now on sale and range from $18 to $48. Discounts are available for groups, senior citizens, military personnel and those younger than age 40. The production is recommended for ages 13 and older.
“This play was originally slated for our 2020-21 season—a season we were unable to produce due to the pandemic. Once we returned to producing, Bountiful’s themes of resilience in the face of change, memory, inner strength, forgiveness, and empathy guided our commitment and resolve to produce this American Classic in the eve of its 70th anniversary,” said Ford’s Theatre Director Paul R. Tetreault. “These themes and the incandescent journey of Carrie Watts highlight the enduring power of the human spirit and the inescapable impact of time.”
“Like most classics, The Trip to Bountiful entertains and instructs audiences of all ages,” says director Michael Wilson. “The play’s enduring popularity derives from its narrative that is both personal and epic. Its domestic situations and recognizable characters inspire an immediate intimacy; yet, Carrie Watts’ quest for home holds the stuff of myth. I am thrilled to create this new production for Ford’s with such a distinguished cast, most especially Nancy Robinette, a national treasure who whose luminous work I have admired for twenty-five years.”
About The Trip to Bountiful
A Pulitzer-prize winning and Oscar-winning screenwriter, Horton Foote left an indelible mark on chronicling American life through his plays and films. The Trip to Bountiful premiered as a teleplay on NBC in 1953, starring Lillian Gish as Carrie Watts. The play had its Broadway premiere later that year with the same cast, which also included Eva Marie Saint.
Set in 1950’s Houston, Texas where Carrie Watts lives with her son, Ludie Watts and daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, Carrie longs to visit the small Texas town of her youth, Bountiful, which she refers to as “home”, just once before she dies. While Ludie and Jessie Mae try to keep her from making the journey for financial and health reasons, the dynamic between these two and Mrs. Watts serves to highlight the power of memory, a common theme in Horton Foote’s body of work, and human resilience in the face of unsurmountable obstacles.
The cast is directed by Michael Wilson, recognized as the foremost interpreter of Horton Foote’s works. Wilson directed the 2013 Tony Award-winning revival of The Trip to Bountiful with Cisely Tyson.
The Ford’s Theatre 2022-2023 season is generously sponsored by Chevron and Lockheed Martin Corporation. The Trip to Bountiful is also made possible by Siemens Corporation.
Scenic Designer Tim Mackabee (Death of a Salesman, The Glass Menagerie) creates the microcosm of Mrs. Carrie Watts, exploring the duality of her fearless pursuit of going back “home” and the claustrophobic environment of her daily life. Capturing the dichotomy of Houston and Bountiful in the 1950s with the nostalgia and evocative mood of the storyline, Mr. Mackabee presents Mrs. Watts’ journey with thoughtful simplicity.
Costume Designer Ivania Stack (Jefferson’s Gardens, Silent Sky) dresses Mrs. Carrie Watts reflecting this duality with “home” attire and her former self which shines in vintage silhouettes of the 50s.
The Ford’s Theatre design team for The Trip to Bountiful also includes Lighting Designer Rui Rita (The Laramie Project, The Guard, A Christmas Carol, others), Sound Designer John Gromada (Tony Award-nominated for Best Sound Design for Broadway’s The Trip to Bountiful, Ford’s Necessary Sacrifices Radio Play, A Christmas Carol Radio Play, others), Hair and Make-Up Designer Danna Rosedahl (Fences) and Dialects and Voice Director Lynn Watson (The Laramie Project, Parade, others). The production team also includes Production Stage Manager Brandon Prendergast and Assistant Stage Manager Julia Singer.
Accessibility and Special Performances
Audio-described performances of The Trip to Bountiful are October 5 at 7:30 p.m. and October 15 at 2:00 p.m. A sign-interpreted performance is October 13 at 7:30 p.m. Accessible seating is available in both the rear orchestra and balcony sections.
Beginning September 23, 2022, all performances of The Trip to Bountiful will be captioned via the GalaPro App. GalaPro is available from the App Store or Google Play and allows patrons to access captioning on demand through their phone or tablet device. Patrons set their phones to airplane mode and connect to the local GalaPro Wifi network before the performance begins. More information at https://www.fords.org/visit/
Student matinees for The Trip to Bountiful are October 6 and 13 at 11:00 a.m. Learn more on the Ford’s Theatre website.
Free First Preview: September 23, 2022, at 7:30 p.m.
Ford’s Theatre partners with TodayTix to give out free tickets for the first performance of each mainstage production in our theatrical season. Tickets are available via the TodayTix app, beginning 10:00 a.m. ET on September 16 for the September 23, 7:30 p.m. performance of The Trip to Bountiful. Visit www.fords.org/free for lottery entry details.
Patrons with tickets to in-person performances are required to wear face masks. This requirement applies to ushers, staff, volunteers and vendors, regardless of vaccination status. The Trip to Bountiful ticket holders who do not comply with these policies will not be admitted.
Ford’s Theatre COVID-19 guidance is developed in collaboration with the George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates (GW MFA). As one of the largest physician groups in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, GW MFA is recognized for excellence in clinical care, research and training of future care providers. The advice and expertise of the medical staff at the GW MFA, which is based on data and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has helped Ford’s Theatre Society strengthen its safety procedures to better serve and protect patrons, artists and staff as productions and daytime visits resume. For more information about Ford’s Theatre health and safety protocols, visit our COVID Safety and Information page.
Ford’s Theatre Society
One of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital, Ford’s Theatre reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Operated through a partnership between Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy.
Ford’s Theatre Society was founded under the guidance of executive producer Frankie Hewitt, who, during her 35-year tenure, established Ford’s as a living, working theatre producing performances that highlighted the diversity of the American experience. Since the arrival of Paul R. Tetreault as Director, critics and the theatre-going public have recognized Ford’s for the superior quality of its artistic programming. With works from the Tony-nominated Come From Away and the nationally acclaimed Big River, to the world premieres of Grace, Meet John Doe, The Heavens Are Hung In Black, Liberty Smith, Necessary Sacrifices, The Widow Lincoln and The Guard, Ford’s Theatre is making its mark on the American theatre landscape. Under the current leadership of Board of Trustees Chairman Phebe N. Novakovic and through the lens of Lincoln’s leadership and legacy, Ford’s today endeavors to advance Lincoln’s “unfinished work” with programs and performances that cultivate empathy, encourage dialogue and bridge divides in American life.
For more information on Ford’s Theatre and the Ford’s Theatre Society, please visit www.fords.org.
Ford’s Theatre on Twitter and Instagram: @fordstheatre
Ford’s Theatre on Facebook: www.facebook.com/fordstheatre
FACT SHEET: The Trip to Bountiful
By Horton Foote; Directed by Michael Wilson
Carrie Watts dreams of escape from the bustling city and of a return to simpler times in her beloved Bountiful, Texas. She sets out on a risky journey to her beloved hometown, with her family in hot pursuit. Along the way, she encounters kindness and compassion, and makes a remarkable discovery about the true meaning of home. One of the foremost interpreters of Horton Foote’s work, Michael Wilson directs Nancy Robinette as Carrie Watts with Joe Mallon as her son, Ludie, and Kimberly Gilbert as her daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae. This classic American drama is a potent portrait of family, what we hold onto and what we leave behind.
In-Person Dates: September 23 – October 16, 2022
In-Person Media Performance: September 28, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.
Location: Ford’s Theatre is located at 511 10th Street NW, between E and F streets.
Times: Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (except September 28); Saturday-Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (except September 24 and 3).
COVID-19 Safety: Patrons with tickets to in-person performances are required to wear face masks during all mainstage performances. Ticket holders who do not comply with these policies will not be admitted.
Accessibility: Ford’s Theatre is accessible to persons with disabilities, offering wheelchair accessible seating and restrooms, assisted listening devices and Braille and large print playbills. Audio-described performances of The Trip to Bountiful are October 5, at 7:30 p.m. and October 15 at 2:00 p.m. A sign-interpreted performance on October 13 at 7:30 p.m. will also be made available. Accessible seating is available in both the rear orchestra and balcony sections. GalaPro captioning services will be available to view on personal devices for all public performances.
Free First Preview: September 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Ford’s Theatre partners with TodayTix to give out free tickets for the first preview of each mainstage production in our theatrical season. Tickets are available via the TodayTix app, beginning 10:00 a.m. ET on September 16 at 10:00 a.m. ET for the September 23, 7:30 p.m. performance of The Trip to Bountiful. Visit www.fords.org/free for lottery entry details.
Paid parking is available at several independent neighborhood garages: the 24-hour QuickPark at the Grand Hyatt (entrance on 10th Street between G and H Streets NW), the Central Parking Garage (entrance on 11th Street between E and F Streets NW), and the One Parking garage below Ford’s Theatre (at 511 10th Street, NW). Please note that the entrance from the garage directly into the theatre lobby will be closed; all patrons must exit the garage via an alternative elevator and enter Ford’s Theatre through the main lobby doors.
Metro Center station (Red, Blue, Orange and Silver Lines) is two and one-half blocks north of the theatre from the Eleventh Street exit. Gallery Pl-Chinatown station (Red, Yellow and Green Lines) is two and one-half blocks north of the theatre from the G Street exit. For further information, call Metro at (202) 637-7000.