The cast of the ABC Player’s “The Trip to Bountiful.” Front Row: Rita Preston, Celeste Parsons, Ruth Borovicka, Sylvia Abbott, Jim Parsons Back Row: Mike Bila, Ken Bowald, Terrence J. Smith, Doug Bentley. (Submitted)

ABC Players to Present “The Trip to Bountiful” June 18 at Stuart’s

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Sunday, June 18 at 2 p.m. the ABC Players will perform a staged reading of The Trip to Bountiful at Stuart’s Opera House. For this Father’s Day production, all of the actors will be seniors over 50 years old.  As with last year’s popular staged reading of Love Letters, the audience will sit on the stage facing the actors, for an intimate theater experience. An array of tasty treats including home-baked cookies, iced tea, tea time tassies, and chocolate covered strawberries will make this an afternoon to remember.

Elderly Carrie Watts has lived for the past several years with her son, Ludie, and daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae in a cramped, two-room apartment in Houston. The senior Mrs. Watts longs for the happy life she enjoyed as a child and, later, as a married woman in a country homestead near the small Texas town of Bountiful.  Feeling confined and helpless, she thinks that escaping to Bountiful could restore her former bliss.  But, as most seniors know, you can’t go home again. And so Carrie Watts, Ludie, and Jessie Mae, come to realize that the journey of making a new and bountiful life together is entirely up to them.

The production is directed by Karen M. Chan and features Sylvia Abbott as Carrie Watts, Jim Parsons as Ludie, and Ruth Borovicka as Jessie Mae. Other performers include Celeste Parsons as Thelma, Ken Bowald as the Sheriff, Terrence M. Smith as Roy, Mike Bila as a bus driver and a ticket agent, Doug Bentley as a ticket agent in another town, and Rita Preston as the narrator.

The show features music recorded by the Chancel Choir of the First United Methodist Church of Athens directed by Peter Jarjisian.

The Trip to Bountiful was written by Horton Foote and has has won many awards as a 1985 film, a 2014 TV movie, and a Broadway show. In many productions, Jessie Mae is portrayed as a controlling, manipulating shrew, but Director Chan’s view is that “There are no villains, just a family trying to co-exist in this hard journey called life.”

The ABC Players production is sponsored by Tansky Motors of Logan.

Before the performance begins, the ABC Players will take a moment to remember beloved area music teacher Lynn Sullivan, music director for seasons of wonderful productions and mentor to the many lucky cast members whose lives she touched.  The Lynn Sullivan Spirit Award will be presented to Sydney Lewis, who recently played Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family Musical and who exemplifies the “spirit” of Lynn Sullivan.

Seating for The Trip to Bountiful is limited to 80 seats. Single tickets are available for $15, and couples may purchase a pair of tickets for $25. Tickets are available from the Opera House ticket office 740-753-1924, Monday through Friday during business hours and from Any remaining seats will be sold at the door the day of the performance.

Join Director Karen M. Chan and cast as they discuss preparing for the upcoming performance on an episode of “Conversations from Studio B”: