Details

Past Event
$22, $15 students, $18 seniors

Location Info:

Dairy Arts Center
2590 Walnut St.
Boulder, CO  80302
303-440-7826

Emily K. Harrison, artistic director of Square Product Theatre, feels a strong connection to Paula Vogel’s emotionally complex How I Learned to Drive, which opens tonight in Boulder. “Every time I reread it, I think it’s such a brilliant piece,” she says. “It’s one of those plays that’s sometimes very funny but at its heart is really not. It’s a memory play told in flashbacks, about one woman remembering events that were fundamental in shaping who she’s become. Her uncle sexually abused her, but his teaching her to drive provides her with the tools to become independent and find forgiveness. It’s about abuse and surviving abuse, managing to process it in such a way that you’re ultimately able to become a more functional human being.”

Harrison, who is playing the lead, asked Mark Collins to take the difficult part of Uncle Peck. “He agreed, and that was huge,” she says. “You need a special kind of actor for that role. He’s a predator, but he has to be really charming.”

But the play is about more than sexual abuse. “One of the things I’m most interested in is this idea of the American dream, what it means, whether it still exists,” Harrison adds. “We’re a car culture. The car represents independence and freedom: You’re in control; you can go wherever you want. And Vogel has commented that we learn to drive at the exact same time that our hormones are raging.”

How I Learned to Drive, a joint production of Square Product and Goddess Here, opens for previews on October 22 and officially on October 24, and runs through November 7 at the Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street in Boulder; visit thedairy.org or call 303-444-7328 for information and tickets. The show then moves to Buntport Theater in Denver, 717 Lipan Street, for the weekend of November 12 through 14; find details at buntport.com.

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