Cicely Tyson to Make Broadway Return Starring in THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL this Spring at Sondheim Theatre!
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by BWW News Desk
Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress Cicely Tyson will return to Broadway for the first time in 30 years to star in a new production of Horton Foote'S beloved classic, The Trip to Bountiful, directed by Michael Wilson and produced by Nelle Nugent.
This 14-week limited engagement will begin previews on Easter Sunday, March 31st at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre (124 W 43rd St). Opening night is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23rd. Additional casting will also be announced shortly. For ticket information please visit www.TheTripToBountifulBroadway.com.
"For years I have been searching for the perfect project to bring me back to my true home - the stage," stated Ms. Tyson. "In many ways Broadway is my Bountiful and I'm eager and honored to return with this strong, passionate, and funny character in a timeless American classic."
"The Trip to Bountiful is among Horton's most beloved plays, and Carrie Watts, one of his most memorable characters. To do the play and role justice, you need an actress of rare stature and command, " said director Michael Wilson. "Cicely Tyson has, over the span of a distinguished career, depicted iconic Americans engaged in immense struggle. Her legendary performances - from Jane Pittman to Coretta Scott King to Harriet Tubman, to name just a few -- have contributed mightily to our sense of national identity and character. I am thrilled that she is returning to the stage now to have her trip, to lead us all on a journey that promises to be unforgettable."
The touching American classic, The Trip to Bountiful, tells the story of Carrie Watts, an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her small hometown of Bountiful, TX one last time, against the wishes of her overprotective son and domineering daughter-in-law. Her journey becomes a heartbreaking but ultimately life-affirming and inspiring tale that examines the fragility of memory and celebrates the enduring power of hope and faith.
One of the most celebrated actresses of the last 50 years, Cicely Tyson became both the first African American to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress and the only actress to receive an unprecedented two Emmy Awards for the same role as Jane in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974). She was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in the 1972 feature film Sounder. Ms. Tyson's first professional stage performance, in the highly acclaimed, long running stage production of Jean Genet's The Blacks, along with her performance as Mavis in Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, earned her the coveted off-Broadway Vernon Rice Award. Her last stage appearance was in the Broadway revival of The Corn is Green in 1983. Other Broadway credits include Trumpets of the Lord (1969), A Hand Is On The Gate (1966), Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright (1963), The Cool World (1960), and Jolly's Progress (1959), in which she understudied Eartha Kitt. She received an additional Emmy Award for "The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All" and was also nominated for her performances in "Roots," "King" (portraying Coretta Scott King), "Sweet Justice," "The Marva Collins Story," "A Lesson Before Dying," and "Relative Stranger." Other television credits include "The Road to Galveston." Her many film credits include The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Fried Green Tomatoes, Because of Winn-Dixie, Hoodlum, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion, The Help, which garnered five awards and, most recently, Alex Cross. Ms. Tyson is among the elite number of entertainers honored with a star on the world famous Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. In 2010 Ms. Tyson became the 95th recipient of the NAACP's highest honor, the prestigious Spingarn Medal, in addition to being the recipient of a record number of NAACP Image Awards. The Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts in East Orange NJ was opened in 2009 where she generously shares her time and talent.
Director Michael Wilson is one of the most acclaimed interpreters of Horton Foote's plays, having directed Dividing the Estate on Broadway, as well as the premiere of Foote's three part, nine hour epic The Orphans' Home Cycle, for which he received a Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Direction of a Play. He also staged Foote's The Carpetbagger's Children for Lincoln Center Theatre and The Day Emily Married for Primary Stages. Other Broadway credits include Gore Vidal's The Best Man, Enchanted April, and Old Acquaintance. Off-Broadway, his productions include Defying Gravity, Chasing Manet, Picked (Vineyard Theatre), What Didn't Happen (Playwrights Horizons), and the upcoming revival of Talley's Folly for Roundabout Theatre Company. He has directed at our country's major theaters, including the Alley, the A.R.T., Goodman, Guthrie, and Old Globe Theatres, as well as Hartford Stage, where he was Artistic Director from 1998-2011.
Awarded the National Medal of Arts Award from President Clinton in 2000, Horton Foote'S prolific writing career began with his first play, Texas Town, produced Off-Broadway in 1941. Since then his plays have been produced on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off Off-Broadway, and at many theaters around the country. His plays include Dividing the Estate, Young Man From Atlanta (Pulitzer Prize), The Trip to Bountiful, The Carpetbagger's Children, The Day Emily Married, The Last of the Thorntons, The Chase, The Traveling Lady, Night Seasons, Tomorrow, The Habitation of Dragons, Laura Dennis, Vernon Early, The Roads to Home and the nine-play The Orphans' Home Cycle - Roots in a Parched Ground, Convicts, Lily Dale, The Widow Claire, Courtship, Valentine's Day, 1918, Cousins and The Death of Papa (New York Drama Critics Circle Award). He received Academy Awards for his screenplay adaption of To Kill a Mockingbird and his original screenplay, Tender Mercies. Awards include Obie and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Dividing the Estate, Lortel Award for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway and the Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award for the Signature Theatre series of his plays, Drama Desk Lifetime Achievement Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal of Drama for his body of work, PEN/Laura Pels Foundation Award for Drama, and New York State Governor's Award. Honors: Theatre Hall of Fame (1996), elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1998). His memoirs, Farewell and Beginnings, are published by Scribners.
Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful premiered as a teleplay on NBC in 1953, starring Lillian Gish as Carrie Watts. The play had its Broadway premiere later that year with the same cast, which also included Eva Marie Saint. The play was adapted by Mr. Foote into an acclaimed 1985 film starring Geraldine Page, for which she won the Academy Award. In 2005, Signature Theatre produced the play Off-Broadway starring Lois Smith, for which she won Lortel, Obie, Outer Critics and Drama Desk Awards.
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL's award winning creative team has interpreted a number of plays and films by Horton Foote: Jeff Cowie (scenery), Van Broughton Ramsey (costumes), Rui Rita (lighting), and John Gromada (original music and sound design).
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