THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL with Carol Mayo Jenkins to Play Clarence Brown Mainstage, 2/20-3/9
The award-winning "The Trip to Bountiful" starring Carol Mayo Jenkins will play on the Clarence Brown Mainstage February 20 - March 9, 2014. The heartwarming play tells the story of Carrie Watts, an elderly woman who yearns to return to her home in Bountiful, Texas one last time, against the wishes of her overprotective son and domineering daughter-in-law. Written by one of America's greatest writers, Horton Foote, "The Trip to Bountiful" is an unforgettable portrait of a woman with incredible strength and dignity,
Foote's first play, "Texas Town", was produced Off-Broadway in 1941. Since then he has had plays produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and at many regional theatres throughout the country. He received Academy Awards for his screenplay adaptation of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and his original screenplay, "Tender Mercies." He received the Pulitzer Prize for his play, "The Young Man from Atlanta", the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway and the Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award for the Signature Series of his plays. In 1996 he was elected to the Theatre Hall of Fame. In 1998 he was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and at the same time received from the Academy the Gold Medal of Drama for the entire body of his work. In 2000 he received the PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for Drama, New York State Governor's Arts Award and, in December of that year, was given the National Medal of Arts Award by President Clinton. In 2006 his play, "The Trip to Bountiful", won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival and he was given the Drama Desk Lifetime Achievement Award for his body of work.
Foote's success has been attributed to his honest examination of the human condition, and why some people survive tragedies while others are destroyed. His central themes of the "sense of belonging" and "longing for home" have resonated with audiences for more than 60 years.
"The trip to Bountiful is a journey home, which brings our heroine a sense of dignity and proof that her life was well lived. Carol Mayo-Jenkins' beautiful portrayal of Carrie Watts enriches this profound story," said director Kate Buckley.
Kate Buckley (Director) is an assistant professor in the UT Theatre Department. Previous CBT productions include: " Antigone", "Copenhagen", "Charley's Aunt", "Merry Wives of Windsor", "Moonlight and Magnolias", and "Black Pearl Sings!" and "WillPower!". She was a founding member of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and served as the Artistic Director of The Next Theatre in Evanston, Illinois. She has been a guest lecturer on Shakespeare at universities and arts organizations nationally and abroad. Other directing credits include productions at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, New Victory Theatre - NY, The Goodman Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Writer's Theatre, and The Next Theatre. She has received numerous awards and honors for her productions, a Distinguished Alumni Award from Aurora University, and Creative Research Award from the University of Tennessee.
The production will feature three Clarence Brown Theatre professional artists-in-residence:
Carol Mayo Jenkins (Carrie Watts) was born and raised in Knoxville, attended Salem Academy and Vanderbilt, and appeared in her first play on the Carousel stage with John Cullum. She trained in London, spent four years with the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, and made her Broadway debut in William Ball's production of "The Three Sisters." In New York, she performed on Broadway and Off-Broadway with John Cullum, Henry Fonda, Jane Alexander, and Derek Jacobi. She has performed leading roles in regional theatres in Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, San Diego and San Jose, including "By The Bog of Cats," with Holly Hunter. Edward Albee cast her in his production of "Who's afraid of Virginia Wolfe?" which toured the United States, Lithuania, and Russia. She also worked in Los Angeles for five years in the award-winning television series, "Fame."
David Brian Alley (Ludie Watts) is in his 14th season as a CBT artist-in-residence. This season he performed in "Noises Off" and "A Christmas Carol". He also has performed in numerous CBT productions throughout the years. Regional credits include: The Mark Taper Forum; Playmaker's Repertory; Hollywood Actor's Theatre; The ImprovOlympic Theatre; and Chicago TheatreWorks. Film and TV credits include: "Something, Anything"; "The Heart is Deceitful"; "Gina: An Actress, Age 29"; "The Sleep Seeker"; "Unsolved Mysteries"; and "It's A Miracle."
Neil Friedman (Sheriff) also is an artist-in-residence at the CBT. His credits include: "Our Country's Good"; "On the Razzle"; "A Raisin in the Sun"; "Kiss Me, Kate"; "Fuddy Meers"; "It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play"; and "Moonlight and Magnolias," to name a few. Chicago area credits include: The Court Theatre, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman Theatre, Marriott Lincolnshire, and The Peninsula Players. Regional credits include: Flat Rock Playhouse, NC; Utah Shakespeare Festival; Capitol Repertory, NY; The New Victory Theatre, NY; Coconut Grove Playhouse, FL; Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis; Austria's Vienna English Theatre. He is a proud recipient of Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Awards.
Several UT Theatre MFA graduate acting candidates are performing in the production: Micah-Shane Brewer (Houston Ticket Man #1); Johanna Dunphy (Jessie Mae Watts) Angela Graham (Thelma); Erik Johnson (Houston Ticket Man #2) and Stuart Matthews (Roy/Harrison Ticket Man).
The designers include: visiting guest artists Michael Ganio (Scenic Designer) and John Horner (Lighting Designer); Joscelyne Oktabetz (Costume Designer); Joe Payne (Sound Designer/Composer); and Marissa Ashlyn Raby (Stage Manager).
With a dual mission to train the next generation of theatre artists and to provide top quality professional theatre, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is one of only 12 academic LORT (League of Resident Theatre) institutions in the nation. Under the artistic direction of Calvin MacLean, the CBT season runs from August through May and features eight productions ranging from musicals to drama. The 2013-2014 remaining season includes: The Whipping Man, The Trip to Bountiful, Wrens and Monty Python's Spamalot. Stay connected with the Clarence Brown Theatre on Facebook (Clarence Brown Theatre), follow us on Twitter (@ClarenceBrown) and view Clarence Brown videos on YouTube (Clarence Bro). For more information or tickets, call the CBT Box Office at 865-974-5161 or visit clarencebrowntheatre.com.