Xavier Players present Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive

Production deals with sexual abuse issues from point of view of girl growing up in 1960s | March 1, 2006

The Xavier Players are presenting Paula Vogel’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "How I Learned to Drive" March 16-19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gallagher Student Center studio theater. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 6.

The play is about a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel. The story is recalled by a young woman called Li'l Bit (played by sophomore Rosie Sawn) growing up in Maryland, who comes of age in the 1960-1970s. She receives driving lessons from her uncle (portrayed by junior Dan Maloney), and that relationship, tentative and sexual, forms the underpinnings of a story that is mesmerizing, personal and disarmingly funny.

Xavier Players is working with victim support groups to facilitate discussions after each performance. The actors are also working with an experienced professional counselor in the field of sexual abuse to help them understand the issues dealt with in the play.

“The theater is set up in a totally different way,” says Cathy Springfield, director for performing arts. “The audience will enter from two doors. The stage design (by Will Turbyne of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival) is supportive of what is going on in the play, unbalanced and uncomfortable.”

Cheryl Maxine Couch is directing the production. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) light designer Sean Savoie and CCM student and audio designer Kevin Bunch are also supporting the production.

The show costs $3 for Xavier students, faculty and staff, and $5 for all others. Tickets can be reserved calling 513 745-3939.