After ending what was a successful Broadway run earlier this month (enough that it was extended twice due to demand), the revival of The Trip to Bountiful with an all-black starring cast, is heading to your TV screens, courtesy of the Lifetime TV network.
Per a notice published on Backstage.com (thanks Cordell for the heads-up), casting for the filmed version of the play is underway, although it looks like star Cicely Tyson and co-star Vanessa Williams will be reprising their roles in the telepic, as both are listed on the casting notice. No other names are mentioned.
Shooting is set to take place in Atlanta, GA throughout the month of November.
Here’s the entire plot of the play:
Set in the 1940s, the play tells the story of an elderly woman, Carrie Watts, who wants to return home to the small town where she grew up, but is frequently stopped from leaving Houston, Texas by her daughter-in-law, and an overprotective son who won’t let her travel alone. However, old Mrs. Watts is determined to outwit her son and bossy daughter-in-law, and sets out to catch a train, only to find that trains don’t go to Bountiful anymore. She eventually boards a bus to a town near her childhood home. On the journey, she befriends a girl traveling alone and reminisces about her younger years and grieves for her lost relatives. Her son and daughter-in-law eventually track her down, with the help of the local police force. However, Mrs. Watts is determined. The local sheriff, moved by her yearning to visit her girlhood home, offers to drive her out to what remains of Bountiful. The village is deserted, and the few remaining houses are derelict. Mrs. Watts is moved to tears as she surveys her father’s land and the remains of the family home. Her son eventually turns up, and drives her back to Houston.
Ms. Tyson played Carrie Watts (I assume she’ll reprise her role in the film); Gooding Jr. was her overprotective son; Williams, her bossy daughter-in-law (I also assume she’ll reprise her role in the film); and Rashad played the girl traveling alone who Carrie befriends on her journey.
The play was first produced as a teleplay on NBC in 1953, starring Lillian Gish as Carrie Watts; it would later premiere on Broadway that same year with the same cast. So we’re seeing a reverse of that (going from Broadway to TV this time around).
And in 1985, a film version of the play was produced, and starred Geraldine Page, who won an Academy Award for her performance.