“The Trip to Bountiful" at Riverside Theatre -- October 20 through November 5.

Friday, October 20, through Sunday, November 5

Riverside Theatre, 119 East College Street, Iowa City IA

With the New York World-Telegram calling the character drama "the rarest of theater experiences" and "an evening which will prove an indelible memory," Horton Foote's stage classic The Trip to Bountiful serves as the 2023-24 season opener at Iowa City's Riverside Theatre, its October 20 through November 5 run sure to demonstrate why the Wall Street Journal's reviewer raved, "I've never been more deeply moved by a theatrical production of any kind."

Foote’s moving play tells the story of Carrie Watts, an elderly woman who longs to escape the cramped Houston apartment where she lives with her protective son Ludie and her authoritarian daughter-in-law Jessie Mae. Carrie wants to return to her beloved hometown of Bountiful, Texas, one final time before she dies. While Ludie is at work and Jessie Mae is at the drugstore, 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. A beautiful theatrical experience about family, love, obligation, and the journeys that define us, The Trip to Bountiful was first staged as an early-1953 television event before moving to Broadway later that year, and after a well-regarded 2005 version opened off-Broadway, the work returned to Broadway in 2013 with the legendary Cicely Tyson in the lead.

Portraying Carrie Watts, a role that earned Tyson a Tony and Geraldine Page an Oscar for the 1985 film adaptation, is Actor's Equity Association member Jody Hovland, Riverside Theatre's co-founder and former artistic director who starred in productions including Wit and Midnight Your Time. With Ludie played by Martin Andrews, Jessie Mae by Jessica Link, and Thelma by Jessica Muillo Kemp, the ensemble is completed by Alex Lead, Phil Jordan, and Kehry Anson Lane.

Riverside's producing artistic director Adam Knight returns to the directing chair for A Trip to Bountiful, his recent other presentations including The Weir and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and Henry 3. Reese Morgan serves as play's stage manager, and additional members of Knight's creative team include scenic and technical advisor Chris Rich; costume designer Alastair Sigala Ramirez; lighting designer Jim Vogt; sound designer Dakota Parobek; props designer Stephen Polchert; assistant stage manager Faith Harlow; dialect coach Katy Hahn; master electrician Haven Haywood; and board operator Hannah Green.

The Trip to Bountiful runs in Iowa City from October 20 through November 5, with performances Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Admission is $15-39, and more information and tickets are available by calling (319)259-7099 and visiting RiversideTheatre.org.

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