‘How I Learned to Drive’ to open theatre season

Monday, September 24, 2012

The UNC Charlotte Department of Theatre will open its 2012-13 season with Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive.” Shows will be at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, Oct. 2-5, and Wednesday through Saturday, Oct. 10-13, in the Black Box Theater of the Robinson Hall for the Performing Arts.  A 2 p.m. matinee will be Sunday, Oct. 14.

 Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “How I learned to Drive” has been described as a funny, poignant and ultimately humane look at the complex and very disturbing relationship between an adolescent girl and an older man. Actress Mary Louise Parker originated the role of Li’l Bit, the character that reconstructs the story in a series of flashbacks to create what playwright Vogel calls “a play about healing, forgiving and moving on.”

Lon Bumgarner will direct this production, which features Olivia Radley as Li’l Bit and Joe Rux as Peck.

“With humor and brutal honesty, Vogel takes the concept of surviving a dysfunctional and abusive childhood to a level rarely, if ever, seen in theatre,” said Bumgarner. “Her truthful and honest voice presented a powerful challenge that any director would both welcome and respect. I wish I had a thousand assignments like this one.”

The play’s content includes adult language and situations and is not intended for children. Tickets are $14 for the general public, $9 for seniors and UNC Charlotte faculty and staff, and $6 for students. For tickets and information, visit www.coaa.uncc.edu or call 704.687.1849.