How does one stage a traumatizing play that focuses on grooming, pedophilia, misogyny, and incest? In the case of Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive, which just premiered on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, Mark Brokaw has opted to direct the most painful moments with a "folks say the wackiest things" shrug.
How I Learned to Drive
The Broadway premiere of Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive will open in spring 2022 with Manhattan Theatre Club. Get How I Learned to Drive tickets on New York Theatre Guide now.
How I Learned to Drive was last on the New York stage in winter 2012 at Second Stage Theater, starring Elizabeth Reaser and Norbert Leo Butz. Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse, who originated the roles of Li’l Bit and Uncle Peck in the 1997 premiere at the Vineyard Theatre, are returning to their roles for the How I Learned to Drive Broadway production. Mark Brokaw, who directed the original production, is also set to return.
How I Learned to Drive is a play that explores the impact of a manipulative, sexual relationship between Li’l Bit and Uncle Peck, her aunt’s husband. Within the framework of a memory play — a 35-year-old Li’l Bit presents recollections of Peck and her family from adolescence — Vogel delves into themes of incest, pedophilia, and misogyny. Driving serves as a metaphor throughout for control. As Peck abuses his niece under the guise of driving lessons, learning to drive harms Li’l Bit but eventually provides her with a means of freedom, and an apt analogy for taking back her life as an adult.
The original production was met with high praise, gathering over a dozen accolades including Lucille Lortel Awards, Drama Desk Awards, Obie Awards, Drama Critics Circle Awards, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, among others. Vogel won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her work.
Tickets to How I Learned to Drive are on sale now. Get How I Learned to Drive Broadway tickets on New York Theatre Guide.
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How I Learned to Drive is a remarkably timely and moving memory play about a woman coming to terms with a charismatic uncle who impacts her past, present and future life.
Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Manhattan Theatre Club
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Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for How I Learned to Drive. Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play will offer rush tickets for its Broadway-premiere run. Performances run at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre from March 29 to May 29, and opening night is April 19.