Playshop Theatre To Present “How I Learned to Drive”

MEADVILLE, Pa. – Feb. 16, 2011 – The Allegheny College Playshop Theatre continues its 2010-2011 season with Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “How I Learned to Drive,” directed by Professor of Theatre Beth Watkins. The show will be presented in the Gladys Mullenix Black Theatre in the Vukovich Center for Communication Arts February 24-27.  Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

“How I Learned to Drive” focuses on the memories of Li’l Bit, a grown woman reflecting on her adolescence.  Coming of age in a dysfunctional family, Li’l Bit presents a troubling tale of resilience shaped by sexual initiation and survival.  The play addresses questions of cultural constructions of women’s bodies, family and behavior, and the power of memory.

The Playshop production uses a cast of students and Associate Professor of Communication Arts Dan Crozier.  Director Beth Watkins describes the process of working with both faculty and students in “How I Learned to Drive” as a rich experience. “They are creating a world in the play that has more depth and variety because of the range of experience,” she said.

In addition to Crozier, the cast includes Kaitlin Mackenzie (New Castle, Pa.), Gwyn Agnew (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Angela Voorhis (Panama, N.Y.), Bolatito Aderemi-Ibitola (Ellicott City, Md.), Margot Miller (Wilmington, Del.), Corey O’Connor (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Michael Young (McKees Rocks, Pa.). Set and light design is by Assistant Professor of Communication Arts Michael Mehler, and costume design is by guest artist Nicole Tobolski. Shannon Reilly (Berkeley, Calif.) is the stage manager.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7.50 for non-Allegheny students, senior citizens and Allegheny employees. Although admission is free for Allegheny students with identification, they are asked to make reservations. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Playshop Theatre box office at (814) 332-3414.  The play, which contains strong language and sensitive dramatic situations, is not recommended for patrons under the age of 16.