USD Theatre Department will present Vogel play

USD Theatre Department will present Vogel play The University of South Dakota's Department of Theatre presents Paula Vogel's How I Learned to Drive, March 21-25 at 8 p.m. in the Arena Theatre.

Audiences will see the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel. Characterized as comic, sweet, and genuinely disturbing, the play is a devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. The play, which is intended for mature audiences, deals with the issues of first love and child abuse in a playful tone and structure.

Vogel, who received the Pulitzer Prize for How I Learned to Drive, is a renowned feminist playwright and contemporary storyteller whose unique theatrical style manages to capture the spirit of our times. Her other works, The Mineola Twins, Hot 'N' Throbbing and The Oldest Profession exemplify Vogel's edgy, real-to-life brand of theatre.

How I Learned to Drive is set in the memory of a middle-aged woman by the name of Li'l Bit. The action centers on the recollection of her first love affair, which just happened to be with her Uncle Peck.

Christine Bennett, Sioux Falls, plays the reminiscing Li'l Bit while freshman Brian Adams, Lead, plays her inappropriate lover Peck. Tyler Swanch, Rapid City, Holly Green, Essexville, MN, and Mary Black Bonnet, Mission, encompass a number of colorful characters from Li'l Bit's past, including her grandparents, mother, Aunt Mary, and a set of cruel children from school.

Second year graduate student Jonathan Lee directs the action. Undergraduates Erik Sunderman, Clarinda, IA, and R. Warren Bishop, Copper Mountain, CO, will design the lighting and sound and Kimberly Lyons, Laramie, WY, will design both the scenery and costumes.

General admission tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for senior citizens and youth, and $1 for USD students with ID. Seating is limited, reservations can be made beginning Monday, March 19 by calling the USD Theatre box office at (605) 677-5400.

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