Loy Norrix’s next play focuses on racism and confrontation: “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” utilizes the diversity of Norrix to discuss tension in a mixed-race couple

Derrell+Mabon+II%2C+Kamryn+Kimbrough%2C+and+Brooklyn+Moore+during+play+rehearsal.+Mabon+plays+John+Prentice+Sr.%2C+Kimbrough+plays+Mary+Prentice%2C+and+Moore+plays+Hilary+St.+George.+

Photo by Riley Dominianni

Derrell Mabon II, Kamryn Kimbrough, and Brooklyn Moore during play rehearsal. Mabon plays John Prentice Sr., Kimbrough plays Mary Prentice, and Moore plays Hilary St. George.

Clara Moss, Social Media Editor

“It’s gonna be a wake-up call,” drama teacher and play director Paige Carrow said. “It’s going to spark conversations after the show.”

Loy Norrix will be putting on the play “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” in February, directed by drama teacher Paige Carrow, who wanted the high school to produce a play not just for entertainment, but for advocacy. The play will be showing from Thursday, February 13 through Sunday, February 16. 

The play, set in 1967, focuses on a white, rich, liberal family who realizes that they are not so progressive when their daughter brings home an African American fiancé. The white couple believed themselves to be open until they are faced with a mixed-race couple in their home. On the other side, the African American family disapproves of the white family as well. 

Senior Michaela Martin will be playing the role of Matilda Banks, the African American maid for the white family. Martin auditioned because she feels more connected to the role of Matilda than other parts she has held in the past and thinks she will play the role well. To Martin, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is a great way to have African American involvement in the arts at Norrix.

“I’m excited to become close with the cast and see how powerful we’ll be on stage and see how people respond to some powerful quotes,” Martin said.

Carrow believes “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” will be uncomfortable for audience members but is important for Norrix students to see because it is one of the few schools that can present such a play. Carrow wants Norrix to celebrate the diversity that makes plays such as this possible. 

“We break stereotypes,” Carrow said about Norrix’s diversity. “Just because we don’t understand it, doesn’t mean we can’t respect it.” 

Auditions for the play occurred the week of December 2 and senior Riley Dominianni got the role of Joanna Drayton, the white family’s daughter and the romantic interest. The other lead and romantic interest will be played by Donovan Wilson. Dominianni said she auditioned because it’s her senior year and she thinks the story is really powerful.

“I like what she stands for,” Dominianni said about her character, Joanna Drayton, and why she is excited for the play. 

The play will be showing during the month of February at:

  • 7 p.m. on the 13th
  • 7 p.m. on the 14th
  • 7 p.m. on the 15th
  • 2 p.m. on the 16th