We had the pleasure last night of attending the premiere of The Trip to Bountiful directed by one of our closest friends here in Sherman, Darrah Dunn. Darrah, a seasoned actor and and set designer, turned his skill for this show to directing. The cast, under his sensitive guidance, delivered a powerful performance of Texas playwright Horton Foote’s classic drama, which revolves around unresolved family tension, nostalgia for happier times and the healing power of “place” in our lives.
Nancy Cassady as Carrie Watts, an older woman forced to live with a daughter-in-law who hates her and a son who is torn between his love for his wife and his devotion to his mother, carries the play with a subtle and nuanced performance. Kacie Galyon, the daughter-in-law, invites the audience to loath her self-centered ways while sympathizing with her frustration over living with a mother-in-law in two small rooms for fifteen years. Nick Clark Tanner, the dutiful son and husband, effectively communicates his sense of powerless while holding off from conveying abject angst. Even the minor characters, Lisa Martin, Maxwell Norris and Bobby Hancock, infuse their performances with such genuine emotion that it is easy to be transported back to Houston in the early summer of 1953.
Darrah Dunn’s direction of this play encourages the actors to relax and convey authentic performances. There is not one shred of melodrama or sentimentality in how these characters are presented, but rather an honest, open-hearted depiction of the complexities of day-to-day life as well as the needs and desires of someone who is facing not-too-distant death.
Deborah Barrax serves as Assistant Director for this fine production and Laurie Cutler is the stage manager.
If you live in the Texoma area, I would highly recommend you come and enjoy this performance, which runs from February 3rd – 19th at Sherman Community Players Main Stage located at 500 North Elm Street in Sherman. Tickets can be purchased by calling (903) 892-8818.