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Acting Out: Driving Miss Daisy at Greenbrier Valley Theatre

After over a year of being dark with no stage lights, no singing, no laughter, Greenbrier Valley Theatre is getting ready to re-open its doors to the public with the classic 1987 Pulitzer Award-winning play Driving Miss Daisy. The play, which shares its name with the 1989 film adaptation starring Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, has been entertaining audiences around the world for decades and now hits the GVT stage. The show is starring GVT legend Cathey Sawyer as the titular Miss Daisy, returning actor Lorenzo Scott as Hoke, and incoming Producing Artistic Director Matthew Campbell as Daisy’s son Boolie. The show is being directed by Erin Jerozal, who is making her GVT directorial debut.

“Even though the play was written in ‘87 these are still conversations that we’re engaging in and trying to figure out,”

Campbell, who is taking over for Sawyer after her 30 years of service as Producing Artistic Director, is especially excited to be heading his first production with an extremely talented and prepared group of equity professionals. Jerozal brings 20+ years of experience with her to the directorial table. Scott has performed the role of Hoke six times prior to joining this production, while Sawyer knows the space like the back of her hand.

While the show presents nostalgia for many viewers, it also offers opportunities for growth and reflection no matter the age of audience members.  Themes that were worked into a play over 30 years ago such as race and prejudice are still extremely timely today.  “Even though the play was written in ‘87 these are still conversations that we’re engaging in and trying to figure out,” said Campbell. “What our likenesses are versus what makes us different.”

Driving Miss Daisy presents a great deal of personal growth that is relevant no matter your age.

Driving Miss Daisy presents a great deal of personal growth that is relevant no matter your age. The show evokes thoughts about what is really important in relationships, and what is really important in a person. “It’s not just for young people to be open to change,” said Jerozal.

The lessons that are presented in this show are as important and timely as ever while we all re-introduce ourselves to the world after the COVID-19 pandemic. This makes the show an ideal kick off for the theatres 2021 season. “We can all keep moving forward, we can all keep learning and keep growing,” said Jerozal.

Driving Miss Daisy opens July 9 and runs through the 24.

The theatre will present this production with reduced seating available to the public, ensuring that patron safety and comfortability is just as much at the forefront of the organization’s mind as entertainment is. They have been working diligently with union regulations in regards to safety, as well. Actors in the production must be vaccinated, while participating in regular testing before all rehearsal processes.

Driving Miss Daisy opens July 9 and runs through the 24. Tickets are $30 for general seating, $27 for senior citizens age 60 and above, and $20 for students. Tickets are available online at the theatre’s website: gvtheatre.org or by calling the box office at (304) 645-3838. GVT is located at 1038 Washington St. E. in downtown Lewisburg.

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