Auditions for Driving Miss Daisy will be held at The RAD Playhouse on
October 7th and 9th
No need to prepare anything, just come ready for cold reads. Please call and schedule an audition appointment so we can keep you safe by social distancing our actors.
Call Tracy Hellriegel to set your time slot. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you!
Tracy Hellriegel: 404-797-5212
Driving Miss Daisy Summary and Character Descriptions
The place is the Deep South, the time 1948, just prior to the civil rights movement. Having recently demolished another car, Daisy Werthan, a rich, sharp-tongued Jewish widow of seventy-two, is informed by her son, Boolie, that henceforth she must rely on the services of a chauffeur. The person he hires for the job is a thoughtful, unemployed black man, Hoke, whom Miss Daisy immediately regards with disdain and who, in turn, is not impressed with his employer’s patronizing tone and, he believes, her latent prejudice. But, in a series of absorbing scenes spanning twenty-five years, the two, despite their mutual differences, grow ever closer to, and more dependent on, each other, until, eventually, they become almost a couple. Slowly and steadily the dignified, good-natured Hoke breaks down the stern defenses of the ornery old lady, as she teaches him to read and write and, in a gesture of good will and shared concern, invites him to join her at a banquet in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. As the play ends Hoke has a final visit with Miss Daisy, now ninety-seven and confined to a nursing home, and while it is evident that a vestige of her fierce independence and sense of position still remain, it is also movingly clear that they have both come to realize they have more in common than they ever believed possible—and that times and circumstances would ever allow them to publicly admit.
Daisy Werthan: a Jewish widow, native to Atlanta, Georgia. She is 72 years old in 1948 at the beginning of the play, and 97 years old in 1973 at the end of the play. Born 11 years after the end of Civil War, she witnessed some of the most significant social changes in American history. She was in Atlanta when Leo Frank was lynched in 1913 – one of the most horrific displays of anti-Semitism in Atlanta’s history. She lived through the woman suffrage movement and the passage of the 19th Amendment (which guaranteed women’s right to vote), World Wars I and II, the Temple bombing of 1958, Martin Luther King Jr.’s ascension to fame and the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War and the beginning of the Watergate Scandal. Her father-in-law was a self-made man who founded his own business, and she and her husband enjoyed financial success. Yet through it all, she remains fiercely rooted in her frugal upbringing, her early career as a teacher, her Southern propriety and her Judaism.
Boolie Werthan: Daisy’s son, also born and raised in Atlanta. He is 40 years old in the first scene of the play in 1948, and 65 years old at the show’s end in 1973. He grew up through World War I, and was a young man during the Great Depression. He observed his parents’ dedication to their work and took over the family business, increasing its success. He is dutiful to his mother, despite her prickly personality. Though he clearly cares for Daisy, it’s not in the way that she would find most fitting. When visiting her husband’s grave, Daisy notes that Boolie would prefer that she let the cemetery handle the care of his gravesite. “Perpetual care they call it,” notes Daisy. “Boolie will have me in perpetual care before I’m cold.” Indeed, Daisy is right; in the last scene of the play, Boolie is making arrangements to sell her house before going to visit her at her retirement home on Thanksgiving. He never has any children of his own.
Hoke Colburn: an African-American man, native to Georgia. He is 60 years old in 1948 at the beginning of the play, and 85 years old in 1973 at the end. Before meeting Daisy, he had neither traveled nor learned to read. He has a daughter and granddaughter. Although he is 12 years younger than Daisy, he has also witnessed the same pivotal events in American history. He was a young man in 1913 when Leo Frank was lynched, but as a child he had already witnessed the lynching of his friend’s father (which was a common occurrence in the state of Georgia in the late 1800s). He grew up in the thick of the Jim Crow era, experiencing for almost his whole life segregation, discrimination, injustice and racism.