On Stage in Monroe presents ‘Driving Miss Daisy’

press release from On Stage

Driving Miss Daisy by On Stage. Photo credit: Amanda Gibson

Award-winning play will be staged April 21-May 7

MONROE, Ga. – On Stage Playhouse, Monroe’s community theater, presents a production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning comedy-drama “Driving Miss Daisy” in nine shows beginning April 21.

The play, set in Atlanta, was written by playwright Alfred Uhry and debuted on Broadway in 1988. It led to an Academy-Award-winning film in 1989.

The play tells the story of an elderly Jewish widow, Daisy Werthan, who is determined to maintain her independence. But when she crashes her car, her son, Boolie, hires a black chauffeur, Hoke Coleburn. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start but they gradually form a close friendship over the years, one that transcends racial prejudices and social convention.

The big surprise in this On Stage production is that the character of Hoke, usually played by a man, will be portrayed by a woman, Dee Bailey. On Stage veteran Paige Hood plays Daisy and William McGregor plays Boolie. On Stage Board member Amanda Gibson directs the play.

“We didn’t intentionally decide to gender-bend for Hoke,” Gibson said. “But Dee’s audition was something special. She had a natural grasp on the character.”

Bailey said, “I initially joked about playing this character thinking it would never happen – until it did! It’s an honor and a privilege to bring life to Hoke Coleburn from a female perspective. In some ways, I think it even alters the depth of the friendship that develops between Hoke and Daisy. It’s a wild ride! That’s for sure!”

Gibson said, “I love that this story goes over 20 years but has little moments that show how a relationship develops over time and how these characters learn from each other. I like plays that have an important message, and this one truly fits the bill.”

Performances start at 8 p.m. on April 21, 22, 28, and 29, and May 5 and 6; and at 2 p.m. on April 30 and May 7. Tickets are $20. The May 2 show starts at 7:30, and tickets for this show are $10. The April 22 show is “Sign Language Saturday,” a new feature for On Stage shows. More details are available on the theater’s website: www.onstagewalton.org.

On Stage member tickets are available March 31. General tickets go on sale online and at Carmichael’s in Monroe on April 7. You may only use cash or checks for tickets at Carmichael’s. Credit cards must be used for online sales at www.onstagewalton.org.

Face masks are now optional for On Stage audiences. This is subject to change based on CDC recommendations.

The On-Stage Playhouse is located at 215 High School Avenue in Monroe. Free parking is available.

ABOUT ON STAGE: On Stage seeks to promote community theater with its honored traditions. Our goal is to introduce, entertain, inspire and engage audiences with live performances. We strive to educate this and future generations in the arts and crafts of theater through workshops and performances.

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