How I Learned to Drive
Insightful. Outrageous. Funny. Disturbing. The 1998 Pulitzer prize-winning play (also winner of Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and New York Drama Critics awards) by Paula Vogel, "How I Learned to Drive" follows the strained relationship between Li'l Bit and her uncle from adolescence through adulthood. Using the metaphor of driving, taboo issues of exploitation are brought to light, often with humor, suspending the piece between the categories of drama and comedy.
Unquestionably modern and innovative, How I Learned to Drive succeeds in great part due to classic elements. Vogel uses the classic Greek device of a chorus composed of a male, female, and teenager, to fulfill a variety of roles in the play. As well as observing and commenting on the action, they assume roles in various scenes such as individual family members and high school girls and boys. The two main characters, Li'l Bit and Peck, are observed and analyzed by the Greek chorus to provide a catharsis for the audience, as in the Greek choral tradition. When the adult Li'l Bit drives off at the end of the play, once more able to believe in forgiveness and family, the catharsis for both Li'l Bit and the audience is complete.
Moreover, Vogel, like the ancient Greek playwrights, warns the audience of its own fallibility. She does not ignore omens that presage moral disaster but meets them head on. In dramatizing the different perspectives of Li'l Bit and Peck, by extension she dramatizes those of every member of the audience and its larger society.
In Stone Soup's production, music will set the stage of the physical and psychological world of How I Learned to Drive; sweet and melodic, celebrations of love and youth and the special synergy that the two create when they are blended together. In particular, rock n'roll love songs with an edge will underscore the action, the music of sexuality which has always been known as the music of youth, especially when it was new and revolutionary in the 1950s and 1960s where the story is set. The best rock 'n' roll always gave a sense of freedom and expanding awareness. It is music that makes old people feel young and free and young people feel that they possess the wisdom of a hard-lived past.
The production runs Thursdays - Sundays (NO SHOW Sun, Feb 6), February 4-27, with $10 shows February 3-5. Thursdays after the preview are pay-what-you will. Evening showtimes are at 8:00 pm, while Sunday matinees are at 4:00 pm on 2/13 and 2/27 ONLY. General admission prices are $16-20; $13 for those under 30.
Tickets are available for purchase at www.brownpapertickets.com, 800-838-3006 or Stone Soup Box Office (206) 633-1883; www.stonesouptheatre.org.
4029 Stone Way North
Seattle, WA 98103
|Minimum Age: 14|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|