The relationship between an elderly woman and her chauffeur is at the center of "Driving Miss Daisy," the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1987 play by Alfred Uhry kicking off the 2013 theater season at Harper College.
"Daisy" spans 25 years in the relationship between Daisy, an elderly Southern woman, and Hoke, her African-American driver. It was adapted into a successful 1989 movie starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman, winning the Academy Award for Best Picture.
The play runs Aug. 30 through Sept. 8, in the Drama Lab Theatre, Building L, Room L109 on the college's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road, in Palatine. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings and 2 p.m. on Sundays.
For Kevin Long, drama instructor and director of Theatre at Harper College, that plot description only scratches the surface. The play is about so much more, mirroring the developments in the Civil Rights movement.
"Daisy and Hoke's is more than a story of race. It is a story of family -- our chosen family," Long said. "Sometimes the least likely people can form the most intimate, lasting relationships."
Presenting a play in which a number of scenes take place in the interior of a car offers a special set of challenges, Long said. They were challenges he was happy to face.
"Audiences may expect an actual car. Obviously, we are not going to do that," Long said. "Our set designer has come up with a truly clever approach, and I can't wait for our audiences to see how we solve that. I'll leave it as a surprise."
A special preshow conversation with director Long and Harper College English Professor Richard Middleton-Kaplan, a special adviser on the play, will take place at 1 p.m. prior to the matinee performances on Sept. 1 and 8. Complimentary coffee will be served at these free events.
Tickets for the play are $15, available through the box office at (847) 925-6100 or at harpercollege.edu/boxoffice.