This year’s Tony Award nominated Broadway revival hit The Trip to Bountiful is currently in production in Atlanta for a television adaptation to premiere on Lifetime in 2014. The film stars original cast members Cicely Tyson (The Help) and Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty), who are joined by Blair Underwood (In Treatment) alongside Keke Palmer (CrazySexyCool). The Trip to Bountiful, the inspiring story of one woman’s quest to reconnect with her past in order to ensure her family’s future, is the best known work by Oscar®, Pulitzer Prize, and Emmy Award-winning author Horton Foote. Set during the final years of the Jim Crow South, The Trip to Bountiful is a courageous and moving story of liberation, as well as a humor-filled celebration of the human spirit. Michael Wilson, who directed the celebrated play, makes his television directorial debut with this project.
In The Trip to Bountiful, Carrie Watts (Tyson) begrudgingly lives with her busy, overprotective son, Ludie (Underwood) and her snooty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae (Williams). No longer able to drive and forbidden to travel alone, she wishes for freedom from the confines of the house and begs her son to take her on a visit to her hometown of Bountiful. When he refuses, Mrs. Watts is undeterred and makes an escape to the local bus station, where she befriends Thelma (Palmer), a young woman traveling home. When Ludie and Jessie Mae discover she is gone, they call in law enforcement to help, but Mrs. Watts is one step ahead of them and convinces the local sheriff to help her on her journey home to Bountiful.
In addition to Tyson’s Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her Broadway portrayal of Mrs. Carrie, The Trip to Bountiful also received Tony nominations for Best Revival of a Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play (Condola Rashad) and Best Sound Design. Drama Desk nominations include Outstanding Revival of a Play and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Williams), while Outer Critics Circle nominations include Outstanding Revival of a Play (Broadway or Off-Broadway), Outstanding Director of a Play (Wilson) and Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play (Williams). Drama League nominations recognized the play for Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play and both Tyson and Williams for Distinguished Performance. The Trip to Bountiful closed its triumphant Broadway run on October 9.
Foote originally wrote The Trip to Bountiful for television in 1953 and it made its Broadway debut in 1954. The play was adapted into a motion picture in 1985, when star Geraldine Page won an Academy Award® for Best Actress and Foote was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Produced by Ostar Productions, The Trip to Bountiful is executive produced by Bill Haber (The Fantasia Barrino Story: Life is Not a Fairy Tale), Cicely Tyson, Hallie Foote (Paranormal Activity 3) and Jeff Hayes (Rizzoli & Isles).