How I learned to drive

How I learned to drive

A number of modern plays exist that are focused on molestation and abuse. However, there is no one that I am aware of, which is beyond Paula Vogel’s sheer force on “How I Learned to Drive”. Paula Vogel is celebrated as a teacher of playwriting and a playwright, and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, in 1977 for the story of a female character and her uncle in defilement and exploitation web. This paper seeks to review the play, “How I Learned to Drive” focusing on major aspects of production such as set/lighting, music and dance, characters, director, plot, tone/mood, the playwright, costumes and make-up, the script, and props.

The play is clearly written, has fine distinction, and it is a great theatrical work, one that the playwright appears to have created, deconstructed, and then restructured for optimal effect and showing it off necessitates appropriate direction and well-considered acting. These are the features of the Theatre Horizon production. The Theatre during the time had established itself as a built-up producer of over-the-edge musicals and edgy drama. Director Kathryn MacMillan cuts another mark in the well made belt of the company, in the drama division.

For all its wealthy material, “How I Learned to Drive” demands a consistent pace of about one hour and 40 minutes. The staging by MacMillan extracts the play’s scenes’ rhythm that goes backward and forward in the two main characters’ lives and vigilantly minds the connection between scenes especially when some of the play’s characters are directly addressing the audience. “How I Learned to Drive” uses driving instruction has a symbol or metaphor for general behavior, and this becomes dreadfully clear, abuse. In this case, Uncle Peck is and has been in love with his niece. He calls Li’l since the first day when he held her with his hands. When she was 11 years old, she started being her uncle’s victim and by the time she was in college, she was exceptionally shaken by the abuse. The abuse represented in the play is the main theme that Vogel brings out.

Among the triumphs of Vogel is the manner in which she fans the fire. Li’l Bit is playing her own cards as she is deliberatively seductive, encouraged by her creepy and manipulative uncle. The lighting, setting, and props are just perfect in the play. For instance, he tells her on a number of stages of her puberty that nothing will happen until she wants it to happen. This casually implies that she will concede with adequate pressure. In addition, her uncle is an adult, which is a power position that he uses to make sure that there is, in fact, something happening between the two. Joe Guzman, who plays the uncle role is systematically in the part in that even whenever he is smiling contemplatively, he displays a slight smarminess, which makes the audience want to slap him simply to wipe out the little smile. On the other hand, Christie Parker who plays Li’l Bit using a mixture of irony and consistent undertone is hurt and has an intense need to tell out her story.

The two characters are exceptional, and are backed amazingly by Susan McKey in various roles such as her explaining. She becomes spilled in the way she describes the socially suitable manner for a proper wife to drink during the 1960’s. Alcohol features in “How I Learned to Drive” in several ways. Sara Yoko Howard and Matteo Scammell are also excellent in a number of roles, as well as, the voice of the instructor that gives the tips of driving throughout the play, Jered McLenigan. The production of the play is made successful by Christopher Colucci’s especially because of the sound effects. The roadway stage is remarkable and is itself a symbol with a yellow line placed down the center. Li’l Bit keeps warning the uncle that he is crossing the line. Although the uncle backs off, he never actually stays in lane. It is a play worth watching over and over again.

Works Cited

Vogel, Paula. “MLT Theatre Presents: How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel.” YouTube. Version 1. YouTube, 4 Dec. 2011. Web. 4 Mar. 2014. <>.




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