See drama and revue
WHEN: 'The Trip to Bountiful' plays April 11 to 21: 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays; 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 14; and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20
WHERE: Theatre of Western Springs, 4384 Hampton Ave., Western Springs
COST & INFO: $18 and $20; www.theatreofwesternsprings.com, 708-246-3380
MUSICAL REVUE: "Passport to Broadway,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, featuring performers from the adult and children's TWS companies singing Broadway favorites; $18 for subscribers and CTWS parents, $20 for the public, and $8 for high school age and younger
The beloved American play, “The Trip to Bountiful,” will open Thursday, April 11, at Theatre of Western Springs. Written by Pulitzer Prize winner Horton Foote, it is directed by Artistic Director Rick Snyder, noted actor and director.
“The Trip to Bountiful” is the poignant story of Mrs. Watts, played by Mary Van Nest of Western Springs, an aging widow living in a three-room flat in Houston with her son and daughter-in-law. They are portrayed by real life married couple Jason and Stacy McCargo of Western Springs.
Fearing her presence is an imposition, Mrs. Watts imagines that if she can get away and return to her old home in the town of Bountiful, she is sure to regain her strength, dignity and peace of mind. When she makes a lonely pilgrimage to Bountiful and the scene of her childhood home, the results are both life affirming and heartbreaking.
The cast also features George Dempsey and Jack Bannon, both of Hinsdale; Michael Bolton, Carrie Cerri and Joe Delaloye, all of La Grange; Marion Reis and Bernadette Boyle, both of Wheaton; and Amy Turner of Naperville.
Snyder joined the Theatre of Western Springs as artistic director early last year. In addition to TWS productions, the longtime Steppenwolf ensemble member has directed “God of Carnage,” “The Actor,” “The Disappearance of the Jews” and “Jolly” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
Foote earned Academy Awards for his screenplays for "To Kill a Mockingbird” and "Tender Mercies.” He got his start as a writer during the golden age of television, and adapted many of his stories for different media, including "The Trip to Bountiful," originally one of nine, one-hour dramas that television producer Fred Coe signed Foote to write.
Coe liked to have one-page synopses, but Foote recalled he didn’t know how to describe “The Trip to Bountiful” on paper, and opted for a verbal exchange.
“It’s about an old lady who wants to go home,” Foote told him.
“That’s it?” Coe asked
“That’s it,” Foote replied.
“Go ahead,” Coe said. “I trust you.”
The play would have several incarnations during Foote’s life, including a version on Broadway, a revival off-Broadway, a London production and three decades later, a 1985 movie for which Geraldine Page would receive an Academy Award for best actress.
In a 1986 interview, Foote expounded on the themes that run through his work, saying, “I believe very deeply in the human spirit, and I have a sense of awe about it, because I don’t know how people carry on. I’ve known people that the world has thrown everything at to discourage them, to kill them, to break their spirit. And yet something about them retains a dignity. They face life and they don’t ask questions.”
(Note to readers: To learn about all the shows and classes offered, visit www.theatreofwesternsprings.com.)