New American Folk Theatre
in association with Redtwist Theatre presents

The Summer of Daisy Fay


a play by Ed Howard



Based on the novel

Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man

by Fannie Flagg


                 Directed by Anthony Whitaker                                                        Starring Charlie Irving



July 11 - August 17
Saturdays at 3pm
Sundays and Mondays at 7:30pm
at Redtwist Theatre (1044 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL)

Tickets are on sale now!

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About the Play

New American Folk Theatre is excited to bring the Midwest premiere of “The Summer of Daisy Fay” to Chicago! In “The Summer of Daisy Fay”, based on the book DAISY FAY AND THE MIRACLE MAN by Fannie Flagg, we meet Daisy Fay, a charming, spunky young woman from small town Mississippi, who has dreams of and ambitions for something more. Daisy carries the audience with her as she recounts memories, both heartfelt and jovial, from her tom-boyish youth to her theater success to her beauty pageant ambitions. New American Folk Theatre is ecstatic to have been accepted as a Guest Company at Redtwist Theatre.

Renowned author Fannie Flagg has entrusted the stage adaptation of her bestselling novel DAISY FAY AND THE MIRACLE MAN, to Ed Howard, one of the creators of the famous Tuna, Texas plays. “Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man” was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 10 weeks. Fannie Flagg’s second novel, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE, was on the Times list for 36 weeks.



Ed Howard (Playwright) is the co-author of the plays “Greater Tuna”, “A Tuna Christmas”, “Red, White and Tuna”, “Tuna Does Vegas”, all published by Samuel French.  He also co-authored “Splendora” based on the novel by Edward Swift, and book and lyrics of the musicals “The Body Snatchers” and “Boy Problems”.  He is presently at work on the play “The Landscaper” about a conservative cul-de-sac neighborhood and a mysterious immigrant from Central America. 

Howard is also the author of “The Summer of Daisy Fay” and “The Glory Getter”, both based on DAISY FAY AND THE MIRACLE MAN, the first novel by Fanny Flagg; “Hamlet, Texas”, a modern day retelling of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” set in West Texas on the ranch of an oil tycoon; and book and lyrics for “The Tempest Tossed”, a musical comedy spoof of the “The Tempest” featuring Shakespeare and the Muses.

Over the last thirty-plus years, Howard has directed Tuna co-authors and stars Joe Sears and Jaston Williams and other stars, including Oscar nominee John Hawkes and Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner Michael Jeters, in national tours of the Tuna plays.  Off-Broadway, he directed “Greater Tuna” and on Broadway, “A Tuna Christmas”.  Off-off Broadway, he directed “Laughing Stock” by Romulus Lenny, starring Frances Sternhagan and Jane Connell, which was selected by TIME magazine as one of the top ten plays of 1984.

The Tuna plays were awarded the Los Angeles Dramalogue award, the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Award, and received Helen Hayes Award nominations.  After its critically acclaimed Broadway début, “A Tuna Christmas” was published in “Best Plays of 1995” and garnered for Mr. Sears a Tony nomination.


Charlie Irving (Daisy Fay) is beyond excited to be reuniting with the New American Folk Theatre for “The Summer of Daisy Fay”, her first production as a company member of NAFT! She has trained at The Gately/Poole Conservatory, The Second City, ActOne Studios and Lou Conte Dance Studio. While earning her History and Psychology degree at Roosevelt University she trained under Chicago College of Performing Arts (CCPA) professors. Favorite roles include the Dark Witch/Miss Metcalf in “Dark of the Moon” (NAFT), The Ghost of Christmas Past in “A Christmas Carol” (Metropolis) and any of the 15 characters she plays as a company member of the hilarious Murder Mystery Co. Charlie extends her sincere thanks to all who came out to support live theater! (

Anthony Whitaker (Director; Artistic Director) grew up in Greenville, SC, where, he began performing at age 10. Whitaker performed with the Greenville Little Theatre, The Warehouse Theatre, The Greenville Fine Arts Center, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and the Singing Christmas Tree. Since leaving South Carolina, he has performed in Atlanta (Center Stage Atlanta and Georgia State University), The Lost Colony in Manteo, NC, The Golden Apple Dinner Theatres in Sarasota and Venice, Florida and many venues in Chicago (The Royal George, Emerald City, Beverly Arts Center, Theatre on the Lake). In addition to performing, Anthony teaches elementary and junior high music in the public and Catholic School systems, and directs productions for various south side schools and the Beverly Arts Center. Anthony wrote, directed, and performed in New American Folk Theatre’s debut production, “Two from the Trailer Court: Dirty Girl and Salome Goes All the Way!”, wrote and directed the musical, “The Marvelous Land of Oz”, music directed “Dark of the Moon”, and directed “Witches Among Us”.


Fannie Flagg (author of DAISY FAY AND THE MIRACLE MAN) started her career in the fifth grade when she wrote, directed, and starred in her first play entitled “The Whoopee Girls”, and she has not stopped since. At age nineteen she began writing and producing television specials, and later wrote and appeared on Candid Camera. She then went on to distinguish herself as an actress and a writer in television, films, and the theater. She is the New York Times bestselling author of DAISY FAY AND THE MIRACLE MAN; FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE; WELCOME TO THE WORLD, BABY GIRL!; STANDING IN THE RAINBOW; A REDBIRD CHRISTMAS; and CAN'T WAIT TO GET TO HEAVEN. Flagg’s script for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for an Academy Award, and the Writers Guild of America Award and won the highly regarded Scripter Award for best screenplay of the year. Flagg lives happily in California and Alabama.

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