Actor Spotlight: Kaitlyn Chisholm

Kaitlyn Chisholm, M.A. candidate in Theatre

Which character are you playing?

Jessie Mae Watts


How is the character different or similar to you?  

I definitely have some Jessie Mae in me. She loves her husband dearly but lets her own selfish desires consume her. In the first scene the audience learns how much Jessie Mae wants to have children but isn’t able to. This unfulfilled desire causes her to try to control everything else around her. I deal with my own unfulfilled desires in much the same way. I like to be in control. I hope by God’s grace I’m not as nagging or selfish or conceited as Jessie Mae is, but I do have a sinful flesh and I see myself in her. She is a good reminder of the person I don’t want to be. 


What are some of your favorite parts of working on this production?

This production is the first one in which I’ve actually been directed. Working opposite Corretta Grass and David Schwingle, I knew I would be the weakest link. But I enjoyed the attention! I learned so much about relaxing and having fun on stage. It’s fun to play the Southern woman, Scarlett O’hara-type.


 Why should people come to see the show?

So many reasons! Mrs. Corretta Grass is phenomenal in her role as Carrie Watts. This production is her goodbye to Bob Jones University as she is retiring after this year.

The story itself of the Trip to Bountiful is, in many ways, about pause. This play forces the audience members to slow down in space. My character never pauses, and she is not the likeable character of the show, which I’m sure Horton Foote utilized on purpose.

The story has humorous moments and a powerful message. I believe people will enjoy the show, be entertained, and leave being glad they came.


What is your favorite line from the play? 

I don’t know that I have a favorite line. I truly enjoy every moment of this production, and I’m not just saying that. I’m doing everything I can to hold onto the moments because this experience will be over before I know it. My favorite scene to perform in is definitely Scene 3, at the railroad station. I love my awful character interacting with Elisabeth Emhof’s sweet personality.

My favorite scene in the entire play is Scene 4, between Mrs. Grass and Elisabeth Emhof. It is the sweetest, most relaxing scene.