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How I Learned to Drive on Broadway
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How I Learned to Drive on Broadway

New York, NY
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About How I Learned to Drive on Broadway

The thrilling Broadway premiere of Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece How I Learned to Drive reunites the two original stars with their award-winning director for a new production. Tony Award® winner Mary-Louise Parker (Proof) and Tony nominee David Morse (The Iceman Cometh) head the cast of this remarkably timely and moving memory play about a woman coming to terms with a charismatic uncle who impacts her past, present and future life. Directing is Mark Brokaw (Heisenberg).

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Park yourself in a seat and brace yourself for the twists and turns of Paula Vogel’s play How I Learned to Drive. Her award-winning work is making its Broadway debut, stirring New York audiences with the story of an adolescent girl sexually abused by her uncle. How I Learned to Drive tickets will be available soon. Set an alert for when How I Learned to Drive Broadway tickets are on sale.

How I Learned to Drive is a play narrated by a woman nicknamed Li’l Bit. Now 35 years old, she recounts various, non-chronological memories from her youth. A Greek chorus of three people populates various family members in her memories, but the most dominant presence is her suave Uncle Peck, who, under the guise of driving lessons, pursued a sexual relationship with her. Vogel uses driving as a metaphor to tackle themes of manipulation and trauma. For Li’l Bit, driving becomes a source of confusion, as the young girl wonders how harmful her uncle could be when he has taught her such a valuable lesson. However, it also becomes a means of freedom, ultimately allowing Li’l Bit to take control and move on from her past.

The play first premiered to acclaim at the Vineyard Theatre in 1997 and quickly became Vogel’s most awarded play. The production received four Lucille Lortel awards, four OBIE Awards, three Drama Desk awards, a Drama Critics’ Circle Award, and an Outer Critics Circle Award, and Vogel earned the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Now, for the Broadway production at Manhattan Theatre Club, Mary-Louise Parker and David Morse are reprising their roles of Li’l Bit and Uncle Peck, which they originated in the 1997 premiere. Mark Brokaw, who directed the premiere production, is set to helm How I Learned to Drive once more.

The show also features set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Mark McCollough, original music and sound design by David Van Tieghem, and video design by Lucy Mackinnon.

Stay tuned for information on when How I Learned to Drive Broadway tickets will be on sale.

What to Watch For

  • Did you know? Vogel first wrote How I Learned to Drive for the Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska, in about two weeks.
  • Vogel has said that the play contains some autobiographical elements, but it is not a true story of her life.
  • According to a 2018 American Theatre essay, Vogel was once approached about making How I Learned to Drive into an HBO movie, but Vogel did not believe the film could be made safely.
  • Better late than never! Playwright Paula Vogel’s Broadway debut happened in 2017 with Indecent, which was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play.
  • Between its premiere and its current Broadway production, How I Learned to Drive has been performed on six continents in countries including Iceland, China, Spain, Australia, Chile, South Africa, and Croatia. Ironically, Vogel wrote in the American Theatre essay that she was told for years that How I Learned to Drive was not “universal” and would not be suitable for Broadway.
  • Vineyard Theatre, where the play premiered, housed the productions of Lucas Hnath’s Dana H. and Tina Satter’s Is This a Room before the pandemic. These shows, along with How I Learned to Drive, will play in repertory on Broadway in the 2021-22 season.
Genre

Play

Venue

Samuel J. Friedman Theatre

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