Foote's The Trip to Bountiful: Can We Go Home Again?

The Trip to Bountiful, Horton Foote's play first staged in 1953, takes us on an emotional journey back through Carrie Watts' life as she escapes to her cherished childhood home: Bountiful, Texas. As we travel with her, we are confronted with the age-old question: "Can we ever really go home again?" We'll look at American theatre when the play was written and explore the text in relation to production. We’ll meet by Zoom for the first three classes, then attend a United Players Sunday matinee production on April 7. In our final wrap-up Zoom class, we’ll discuss the production and our discoveries.

Note: Involves attending a performance in person at the Jericho Arts Centre in Vancouver. There will be no online live-stream available. Theatre admission not included in tuition (seniors’ rate available through United Players). We will provide access to a copy of The Trip to Bountiful script. See “Learning Materials”.

A $50 discount will be applied automatically for adults 55+.


Location: Online and off-campus
Format: Self-paced with weekly virtual class and off-campus event
Duration: 4 weeks (5 sessions)
Tuition: $160
Can be applied to:
Liberal Arts for 55+ Certificate

Upcoming Offerings

Currently not available for registration.

Course outline

  • Session 1 (Zoom meeting)
    Introduction to American playwright Horton Foote and his play, The Trip to Bountiful. Where does this play fit into American Realism and the work of his contemporaries Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams? Is the world presented still relevant today? In what ways?
  • Session 2 (Zoom meeting)
    Delving into the play, we will explore its themes of movement versus stillness, wisdom through suffering, family displacement and the meaning of home. How do the characters engage with these themes? How do they function in the play? How are the themes physically represented in production?
  • Session 3 (Zoom meeting)
    We’ll look at the challenges of producing the play. How does a set designer tackle the need for movement and flow desired by the playwright?  How could other scenographic elements enhance the production? How does the director pull us into the theatrical world? Ron Reed, director of the United Players production, will join us to discuss his take on the play and answer our questions.
  • Session 4 (Jericho Arts Centre)
    A theatre and social event! We’ll meet in person and attend the Sunday matinee performance on April 7 at the Jericho Arts Centre, Vancouver. We’ll watch the play and stay for the talkback with the theatre artists. (Participants have the option of attending a different performance. There are also talkback sessions on Thursday, March 28, and Sunday, March 31.)
  • Session 5 (Zoom meeting)
    In the wrap-up for the course, we’ll discuss the performance(s) we attended, noting surprises, how the set and other design elements functioned, how the actors portrayed their characters, what worked and what didn’t, and what we’d like to say to the cast, crew, director, designers and United Players.

What you will learn

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the importance of Horton Foote’s work as a modern American dramatist
  • Discuss the play The Trip to Bountiful with knowledge and your own insights
  • Relate how the script and the production fulfilled or didn’t fulfill your expectations

How you will learn

  • Participation in Zoom sessions
  • Lectures, script reading and small-group explorations
  • Participation in class discussion
  • Viewing online resources
  • Attending live theatre performance and talkback
  • Reflective essay (applicable only to certificate students)

Learning Materials

No textbook is required. We will provide all course materials online, including access to the play script.

Technical Requirements

For online courses, you will need a computer with audio and microphone that is connected to the internet. Canvas is the online system that will be used for the course. For more information and online support, visit Online Learning.

To get the most out of this online course, you should be comfortable with:

  • Using everyday software such as browsers, email and social media
  • Navigating a website by clicking on links and finding pages in a menu
  • Downloading and opening PDF documents
  • Posting, replying and uploading images to a discussion board
  • Participating in Zoom Meetings

New to Zoom Meetings? A few days before the course starts, we’ll host a virtual drop-in time on Zoom so you can check your Zoom access and test your computer’s camera, microphone and speakers.