“For years I have been searching for the perfect project to bring me back to my true home – the stage,” Tyson said in a statement.
“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,” she said.
Foote, who died in 2009, was a playwright and screenwriter. He’s best known for writing the 1962 film “To Kill a Mockingbird” with Gregory Peck and the 1983 film “Tender Mercies,” with Robert Duvall. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1995 for his play The Young Man From Atlanta.
He wrote The Trip to Bountiful in 1953 as a teleplay, and is considered one of Foote’s most beloved plays. It tells the story of Carrie Watts, an elderly woman who dreams of returning to her small hometown of Bountiful, TX one last time.
Her overprotective son and domineering daughter-in-law are against the idea. 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.
The play premiered on Broadway that year with the same cast, which also included Eva Marie Saint, and Geraldine Page won the Academy Award for a 1985 film adaptation.
“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 Wilson in the statement.
“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,” he added.
Tyson’s 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)
The 14-week limited engagement will begin previews on Easter Sunday, (Mar. 31) at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. Opening night is scheduled for Tuesday, (Apr 23).