Written by one of America’s greatest writers, Horton Foote, “The Trip to Bountiful” is the story of Carrie Watts, a woman who is living the twilight of her life trapped in an apartment in 1940's Houston, Texas with a controlling daughter-in-law and a hen-pecked son. Her fondest wish -- just once before she dies -- is to revisit Bountiful, the small Texas town of her youth which she still refers to as "home." The trouble is her son, Ludie, is too concerned for her health to allow her to travel alone and her petty daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae, insists they don't have money to squander on bus tickets. This prompts "escape" attempts each month which coincide with the arrival of Mrs. Watts' Social Security check. Then, Mrs. Watts makes a successful escape and last trip home.
The show runs for three weekends beginning February 24 and closes on March 12. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm. with two matinees on Sunday, March 5 and Sunday, March 12 at 2 pm.
The play will be directed by Kevern Cameron, produced by Roxanna Wagner and stage managed by Diane Butler.
Please come to the audition with a firm notion of the dates you are available to rehearse. We can save a great deal of time by knowing in advance whether any conflicts makes casting impossible. Thank you.
Auditions will consist of readings from selected scenes from the play which can be found on our website at www.chestertheatregroup.org.
Carrie Watts – plays + - 70
Carrie is a widow, forced to live with her son and his wife in a one bedroom apartment in Houston. Her pension check is a vital addition to her son's meagre salary. She is loved by her son but not at all by his wife. She is determined to return to her childhood home in Bountiful, Texas before she dies. She is feisty, intelligent, clever, gentle, and determined, but old. The entire play is about how she accomplishes her goal.
Ludie Watts – plays 40 -50, depending on Jessie Mae
Life hasn't been kind to Ludie. Two years of illness wiped out his savings and he's only recently found a new job. Residing in a small apartment with two women takes its toll. He is caught between his mother and his wife, both, in different ways, strong women, and he is not a strong man.
Jessie Mae Watts – plays 35-50, depending on Ludie
This is not the life she married for. She knows she deserves better, and resents both her husband's tie to his mother and her mother's presence in their space. She's demands the pension check sent monthly to Carrie, and want Ludie to herself.
Thelma – plays 20 -35
Thelma is taking the bus to her home, on the way to Bountiful, when she encounters Carrie, escaping from Ludie and Jessie Mae. On the bus, she serves the purpose of letting us listen to Carrie explain her quest, because she is a generous listener, though not sure whether to help return Carrie to her family or help her get to Bountiful.
Sheriff – plays 50 +
Faced with the obligation to return Carrie to her family, he tries to find a way to allow an old woman to keep her dignity.
Ticket men – play 30-60+
All are patient with an old lady but bureaucrats nonetheless, though with dimension.
Male and Female walk-on character roles are available for the Houston Bus Scene. They do not have scripted lines. Their rehearsal will be minimal and late in the schedule.
CTG practices an “open casting policy,” which means that all roles are always open, all are invited to audition, and newcomers are always welcome.