In storytelling and theater, some plays have themes threaded so deeply into their fabric that the audience can’t help but ponder them as the story unfolds on the stage. The Trip to Bountiful, a play about family relationships, loyalty and love, is one such play. It hits the stage this March at Olympia Little Theatre under director James Patrick.
Set in 1940s Houston, Bountiful centers around Carrie Watts, an elderly woman trapped in her apartment and desperate to revisit her childhood home in Bountiful, Texas. Watts struggles to get out from under the thumb of her overbearing son and daughter-in-law, both of whom believe she’s too fragile to make the trip. Despite their best efforts, Watts manages to board a bus heading for Bountiful. What happens next is best left to the creative vision of the director, who spoke with OLY ARTS about what he hopes the audience will gain from watching the show. “I want the audience to come away thinking, ‘This is a good play,’” said Patrick. “It’s extremely well-written.”
Patrick praised Horton Foote, the late American screenwriter and playwright of The Trip to Bountiful. This play is one of his signature works. It premiered in 1953 on television, then Broadway later that year. Patrick explained why he chose to direct it over other works. “(Foote) wrote the screenplay to one of my favorite movies and plays, To Kill a Mockingbird…and I saw the film of The Trip to Bountiful,” Patrick said. “I was just blown away by it.”
Aside from his screenplay for the 1962 film version of To Kill a Mockingbird, Foote is also widely known for work in television dramas at the height of TV’s golden age. Before he died in 2009, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and The National Medal of Arts, and he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
What: The Trip to Bountiful
When: 7:25 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, March 24 – April 8;
1:55 p.m. Sunday, April 2, 9
Where: Olympia Little Theatre,
1925 Miller Ave. SW, Olympia
How much: $11-$15
Learn more: 360-786-9484 │ OLT