Hilliard Northwest News

Miss Daisy play will drive fundraising for arts center

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Linda Dorff (left) and Harold Yarborough rehearse a scene from the Hilliard Arts Council's production of Driving Miss Daisy . The play will be presented Feb. 28 to March 2 at the Makoy Center.

The Hilliard Arts Council's production of Driving Miss Daisy from Feb. 28 to March 2 at the Makoy Center, 5462 Center St., will be a fundraiser for the Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center, according to director Robin Brenneman.

Hilliard resident Linda Dorff is cast in the title role of Daisy Werthan in the production.

The arts council had to obtain permission for Dorff to appear in the show because she is a member of the Actors' Equity Association, a union for actors and performers. The union entitles member actors to minimum compensations unless other arrangements are approved, Brenneman said.

"I have been trying more than a year to find the time (between her engagements) to get (Dorff) to do a production of ours," Brenneman said.

Brenneman said she chose Driving Miss Daisy with Dorff in mind. She said Dorff has performed with CATCO and the Gallery Players.

"I knew (Dorff) would be Miss Daisy," Brenneman said. "I think it's a perfect role for her."

The arts council's production of Driving Miss Daisy has three actors and will be presented in a single act of about 70 minutes, Brenneman said.

Joining Dorff will be Harold Yarborough as Daisy's chauffeur, Hoke Colburn, and David Kandel as Daisy's son, Boolie Werthan.

Yarborough has performed in previous arts council productions. Driving Miss Daisy will be Kandel's debut.

Kandel was Brenneman's student teacher at Hilliard High School in 1977. Kandel recently retired and gained the time needed to participate in theater, Brenneman said.

Set in Atlanta, the play focuses on Daisy, a wealthy Jewish widow, and Hoke, a black man whom her son hires as a chauffeur.

At first, Daisy regards Hoke with disdain and Hoke, in turn, bristles at her patronizing tone and latent prejudice, Brenneman said.

"But both characters evolve and learn they have much more in common than they realize and that society would allow them to admit," Brenneman said.

The play is a benefit for the Hilliard Civic and Cultural Arts Center, a building the arts council will share with American Legion Memorial Post 614. The nearly 10,000-square-foot building at the corner of Center and Wayne streets will serve as the arts council's first permanent home.

Since its founding about 35 years ago, the arts council has made arrangements with schools, churches and private studios to stage performances.

"These funds will go toward the cost of furniture and fixtures and other costs," Brenneman said.

Contributions, endowments and other fundraising efforts for the arts center have been under way for more than a year.

The first phase of the project includes construction of a 2,371-square-foot addition to the existing 6,832-square-foot building. Additional improvements are planned after the arts center opens.

"We plan to have the theater open by late summer and have our first show there in the fall," Brenneman said.

Show times for Driving Miss Daisy are 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, March 1, and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are $10 each for groups of 10 more attending the same performance.

Tickets are available in advance at localevelevents.com.