ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The New Jewish Theatre continues its 20th Season with Alfred Uhry’s iconic play, Driving Miss Daisy from December 1 – 18. NJT Artistic Director, Kathleen Sitzer appears as the title character, Daisy Werthan, the fiercely independent, stubborn and crotchety Jewish widow who reluctantly gives in to her son’s insistence that because of her advancing age, he needs to hire a driver for her.

Daisy Publicity Final-1
Thus begins the 25-year relationship between Daisy and Hoke Colburn, her driver. Set in Atlanta between the years of 1948 – 73, the play follows the developing and complex relationship between 72 year old Daisy (in 1948) and her African-American driver, Hoke. She initially regards him with disdain and he is not impressed with her patronizing tone and latent prejudice. But despite their differences, they grow closer and more dependent on each other over time.


The once contentious relationship blossoms into a profound, life-altering friendship that transcends all the societal boundaries placed between them. The play is an iconic tale of pride, changing times and the transformative power of friendship.


Throughout the play, we see a snapshot of how acts of segregation and integration are fueled by the racism and prejudice of the time period as it mirrors the relationship between the Jewish and Black communities of that time as the Civil Rights Movement takes some of its most momentous steps, culminating in 1973 with the election of Maynard Jackson as Atlanta’s (and the South’s) first black Mayor. It is also a story about both civil and human rights of the elderly as well as religious, political, and ethnic groups.


There will be several talkbacks scheduled after select performances. Check the website or call the box office, 314-442-3257 for more information.


Sydney Grosberg Ronga directs the production which features, in addition to Sitzer, J. Samuel Davis as her driver, Hoke Coleburn and Eric Dean White as her son, Boolie. Driving Miss Daisy will run December 1 – 18 in the JCC’s Wool Studio Theatre, 2 Millstone Campus Drive. Partial subscriptions for the remainder of the season are available as well as single tickets for the production. Single tickets are $39.50 - $43.50 and are available at newjewishtheatre.org or 314-442-3283.

 

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