Opening night in Bountiful

By Suzanne Bowness

As the lights rose for intermission to The Trip to Bountiful, my theatre companion turned to me and shared a story about her own family relationships. The play’s first half had also prompted me to think about the same thing, the dynamics we have with the ones we love.

Or in the case of protagonist Carrie Watts, the need to escape, however briefly.

The Trip to Bountiful

Jane Hunter and Jamie Johnson in “The Trip to Bountiful” (Jan 17 – Feb 1, 2020 at Alumnae Theatre Company)

At the opening night of Alumnae’s latest production, the audience was right there with 80-year-old Watts (played with vigour by lead actress Jane Hunter) as she finally plunged her hands into the cleansing dirt of a flower pot at her idealized hometown of Bountiful. It was a collective sigh of celebration as she finally gained her freedom from the city and her insufferable daughter-in-law and flaccid son (played with a perfect degree of grating irritation by Kim Croscup and Jamie Johnson).

Premiered in 1953 on NBC-TV before moving on to Broadway, Horton Foote’s play about a woman in her twilight years who aspires to return to the idealized hometown of her youth is brought to life at Alumnae Theatre by director Brenda Darling and producer Simone Goldberg (associate producers are Barbara Salsberg and ​Gisela Ramos). See full cast and crew details here:

This production stands out with a smart use of large screens with projected video and photographs, a backdrop that helps add a new dimension to the main character’s journey to freedom. Photographs of old buildings and 1950s cars help to set the scene initially, and establish a contrast for the wondrous canopy of stars that appears on the bus ride to Bountiful. Adding movement, the final backdrop of tree branches fluttering in the wind, as only video can capture them, helps the audience to further appreciate the freedom that the protagonist is meant to feel.

Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor

“The Trip to Bountiful” producer Simone Goldberg, Alumnae Theatre Company president Barbara Larose, “Bountiful” director Brenda Darling. Photo by Gisela Ramos

Following the production, a celebratory reception was held in the lobby and catered with tasty  appetizers provided by Hot House restaurant. Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell was in attendance this opening night, and greeted the actors upon their appearance at the reception. Alumnae Theatre Company President Barbara Larose congratulated the hard work of cast and crew, presenting flowers to the play’s director and producer, and thanking both members and audience for coming out to celebrate the production’s opening. A festive start to what promises to be an excellent journey for this play!

Alumnae Theatre Will Stage THE TRIP TO THE BOUNTIFUL

Jane Hunter and Priscilla Asiffo in Alumnae Theatre Company production of “The Trip to Bountiful” (Jan 17 – Feb 1, 2020)

Great options for seeing The Trip to Bountiful:


Wed. Jan. 22 – Artists Appreciation Night – Tickets to other theatres will be given away and a Reception will follow the performance.

Wed. Jan. 29 – Neighborhood Night Out – a Bountiful feast following the performance created by Sasi Meechai-Lim, winner of Longo’s Iron Chef competition. The restaurant, Mengrai Thai, a favourite with celebrities, has “the best Thai food outside of Chiang Mai,” according to Fodor’s.


On Student Discount Days:

  • You are entitled to a $5.00 ticket (plus $2.00 service charge).
  • Student promotions are only available for advanced purchases and not at the door.
  • Students must show student ID at the box office for each ticket purchased.
  • Student discounts is only applicable to students (without student ID discount will not apply).

All tickets are general admission

  • Jan. 23 – 8pm performance
  • Friday Jan. 24 – 8pm performance
  • Jan. 29 – 8pm performance
  • Jan. 30th -8pm performance
  • Friday Jan. 31 – 8pm performance
  • Saturday Feb. 1 – 8pm performance

Tickets can be purchased online and in advance at  Use your special promo code BOUNTIFUL2020


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Filed under 2019/20 Season, The Trip To Bountiful

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