CU Presents “How I Learned to Drive,” Wednesday, April 25 through Saturday, April 28
Athens, W.Va. – The Concord University Theater Department will present Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize winning play How I Learned to Drive, Wednesday, April 25 through Saturday, April 28, at 8 p.m.
How I Learned to Drive opened in New York in February of 1997. It was the most performed play in the United States in 1998. The play looks back on the complex relationship between a young woman and her aunt’s husband. The main character, Li’l Bit, and her struggle for self-control is represented through the imagery of learning to drive. While the plot deals with pedophilia, the underlying theme of the play is one of forgiveness and gaining self worth. After the play, the Concord University Theater Department will give the audience the opportunity to discuss the performance with the cast.
According to Vogel, the play does not demonize Uncle Peck but it rather reminds us of the “gifts [we receive] from people who have hurt us,” and that “we should use those gifts, look at the pain as truthfully as we can, and hopefully, we can move on.” This thought is echoed by critic Steven Winn, who stated that How I Learned to Drive is not as much about sexual molestation as it is about the resolution of the feelings that come afterward.
Vogel’s funny as well as disturbing comedy features a modern Greek chorus to frame its time-shifting narrative and add lines of memories to the scenes. Dr. Thomas C. Gambill, associate professor of communication arts and theater director, will serve as director of the play. The production has been double cast, and the performers will alternate in their portrayal of Uncle Peck and Li’l Bit. Richard Corey Franklin, Princeton, and Matthew Browning, Gary, will portray Uncle Peck. Holly Mullins, Welch, and Holly Glick, Renick, will portray Li’l Bit. When not portraying the main characters, the alternating cast members will accompany Natale Clark, Clarksburg, in the Greek chorus.
The Concord University Box Office will begin taking reservations over the phone, 1-304-384- 5101, and through e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org, starting April 16, 2007. Tickets are $2 for non-Concord students, $5 for adults and $4 for senior citizens. The night of the performances the box office will open at 6:30 p.m. All reserved tickets must be claimed by 7:30 p.m.
CONCORD UNIVERSITY NOTES: Persons with disabilities should contact Nancy Ellison, 1-304-384-6086 if special assistance or help is required for access to an event scheduled by the College on campus.
This press release was written by students working in Concord University’s Public Relations Workshop. Their names are Jeffrey Zutaut, Beckley; Rachel Eskridge, Hinton; and Isabel Fay from Berlin, Germany.