DEBUT: Driving Miss Daisy leads Clowry Kennell and Lorraine Lee.
DEBUT: Driving Miss Daisy leads Clowry Kennell and Lorraine Lee. Contributed

Racist play set to shock audiences in Bay first

ACTRESS Lorraine Lee has stepped out of her comfort zone to play a lead role in ZPAC Theatre's Driving Miss Daisy, which debuts Friday, May 11.

The Pulitzer Prize winning play is based on a true story about the prejudice African-Americans and the Jewish faced during the early 20th century in Atlanta, Georgia.

When Mrs Lee's character, Daisy Werthan has a car accident, her son Boolie hires African-American Hoke Colburn to chauffer his mother.

Hoke is played by Clowry Kennell and Mrs Lee said some of the dialect said to Mr Kennell was quite confronting.

"I've had to say things I wouldn't say normally and act that way towards a man and he's lovely," Mrs Lee said.

"Clowry is our lead, he's a Torres Strait Islander... and he is just so charming and easy to work with.

"The only trouble is he has an impish sense of humour and all of a sudden you can see this light come into his eyes and I'd say 'don't do that or I'll break up'.

"But he is lovely and he's had to react to these things too."

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The play is set between 1948 to 1973 and Mrs Lee who is 83, said it was a challenge to look younger and then older during quick split changes.

"The split changes are so fast I'm doing lines off stage while I'm still getting dressed so I can walk on," she said.

"I have to be 72 to start with and 97 to finish.

"But they have to make me look younger to start with which is difficult and as I get older, I can't look in the mirror because it just looks terrible.

"There's all these marks and lines all over my face."

 

STAGE VETERAN: Lorraine Lee has a 70-year acting and singing career and, at the age of 83, was cast in the lead role of ZPAC's latest production of Driving Miss Daisy.
STAGE VETERAN: Lorraine Lee has a 70-year acting and singing career and, at the age of 83, was cast in the lead role of ZPAC's latest production of Driving Miss Daisy. contributed

 

She said director Graeme Roberts asked they didn't watch the film Driving Miss Daisy, so they could portray their characters authentically.

"That was one of the things he asked us not to do, so that we didn't follow anybody's actions," she said.

"This had to come from inside us.

"We had to learn the part, learn our characters and then portray them."

Driving Miss Daisy opens on Friday, May 11 at ZPAC Theatre, 15 Zephyr St, Scarness.

For more information, visit zpactheatre.com

PERFORMANCE DATES

  • 7.30pm on May 11, 12, 18, 25, 26
  • 2pm on May 19, 20, 27