‘Driving Miss Daisy’ at Ascension Community Theatre

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ascension Community Theatre, 823 Felicity St., Gonzales will present “Driving Miss Daisy” Sept. 16 – 25.

“Driving Miss Daisy” is a 1987 play by Alfred Uhry about the relationship of an elderly Southern Jewish woman, Daisy Werthan, and her African-American chauffeur, Hoke Colburn, from 1948 to 1973. The play, starring Dana Ivey as Daisy and Morgan Freeman as Hoke, was the first in Uhry’s Atlanta Trilogy dealing with Jewish residents of that city in the early 20th century. The story defines Daisy and her point of view through a network of relationships and emotions by focusing on her home life, synagogue, friends, family, fears and concerns. We see that point of view change primarily through her 25 year association with Hoke. Uhry received the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the work. The unique ability of this play to examine questions and issues concerning race, religion, culture, human nature, and friendship with empathy, realism and humor is what has made it the iconic work that it has become.

Leslie Greene plays Miss Daisy. Greene is very happy to be making her debut at ACT in this truly wonderful play. She was most recently seen in “Agnes of God” playing Mother Miriam Ruth for Baton Rouge Little Theatre, a performance for which she received a Beaux Arts nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Play. Other roles she has enjoyed playing are Regina “The Little Foxes,” Louisa “Six Degrees of Separation,” Martha “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?,” Ma Joad “The Grapes of Wrath,” Emily Dickenson “The Belle of Amherst,” The Lady “Macbeth” and Mrs. Darling “Peter Pan.” She is a native of Tennessee where she was a company member with the Roxy Regional Theatre in Clarksville. In 2007 she moved to Baton Rouge, where she lives with husband, Jeff and a puppy called Posey. She will be returning to Clarksville in March, where she will be portraying Sister Aloysius in “Doubt” and reprising the role of Gertrude in Hamlet for RRT.

Oneal A. Issac as Hoke, was a chemist for 20 years prior to becoming a professional actor and storyteller in 1995. He has worked in motion pictures, professional and Community Theater, television, improvisational comedy, and public radio.

Isaac is a recipient of the prestigious Louisiana Division of the Arts State Fellowship Award in theater. He is listed on the Louisiana State Artist Roster and is a Louisiana Touring Directory Artist. In April of 2000, Isaac was named an Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge Arts Ambassador. In the spring of 2002, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities honored him with a Special Humanities Award.

Issac currently works with Neighbors Keepers, a partnership between the Capitol Area Alliance for the Homeless and the Community Initiatives Foundation.

Thomas C. Daniel as Boolie, is following up his ACT performance of Glles Corey from last years, “The Crucible.” A resident of St. Amant, Thomas is in sales and a working professional actor, performing in movies, live action and voice-over. His credits include: “The Seafarer” Mr. Lockhart, “Born Yesterday” Ed Devry, “Singin’ in the Rain” Villain, and “It’s A Wonderful Life” George Bailey at BRLT; “Our Town” Doc, and “Daddy’s Dyin’,” “Who’s Got the Will?” Orville at Denton Community Theatre in Texas. Some of the upcoming movie projects are; “Ticking Clock,” “Knucklehead,” “Scream of the Banshee,” “Monsterwolf,” “The Killing Game,” “Bending the Rules” and “Flypaper.”

Jack D. Wilson, the Director, has been involved with theatre in the Baton Rouge/Gonzales area since 1980. He has performed onstage in 37 roles, beginning locally at the Baton Rouge Little Theater where he was named Best Actor in a Play for his performance of Richard Willey in “Out of Order” and Best Supporting Actor in a Musical as the Wizard in “The Wizard of Oz.” He has also performed locally for the Baker Little Theatre, the Cabaret Theatre, Strolling Players Theatre, Playmakers of Baton Rouge, and for the Ascension Community Theatre where he was named Best Actor in a Dramatic Role for his performance of King Henry II in “The Lion in Winter,” and Best Actor in a Comedy for playing the role of John Barrymore in “I Hate Hamlet.” He was most recently seen onstage at the Baton Rouge Little Theater as King Arthur in the musical, Camelot.

Jack began his directing career at the Baker Little Theatre where he was four times named Director of the Year for his work on “Driving Miss Daisy,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Musical Comedy Murders of 1940,” and “The Nerd.” He has also directed productions of “The Hollow Crown” and “Dancing at Lughnasa for the Strolling Players Theatre as well as several productions on the Baton Rouge Little Theater Second Stage. Wilson also directed “Dearly Departed” for the Southern University Theatre and has directed several plays on the BRLT main stage including “Noises Off,” “Forever Plaid,” “Plaid Tidings,” and “Noel Coward’s Private Lives.”

Jack is currently a member of the ACT Board of Directors and is serving as the technical director for Ascension Community Theatre. This production of “Driving Miss Daisy” marks Wilson’s Ascension Community Theatre directing debut. However, he has served as lighting designer for nearly all ACT productions over the last several years and is both the lighting and set designer for this production of “Driving Miss Daisy.”

To purchase tickets call 225-647-1230.