Santa Monica Rep presents How I Learned to Drive, by Paula Vogel

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Santa Monica Rep will present the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, How I Learned to Drive, by Paula Vogel at The Santa Monica Little Theater, opening Friday, November 2, 2012


Santa Monica Rep will present Paula Vogel’s award-winning play, How I Learned to Drive, at The Santa Monica Little Theater. The production will open November 2 and run Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM except for Thanksgiving weekend when performances will be Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 7PM

How I Learned to Drive won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Lucille Lortel award for Outstanding Play, the Drama Desk Award, and the Obie Award. Playwright Paula Vogel also received The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature in 2004.

The play explores the dynamic between Li'l Bit, a young girl coming of age during the 1960s, and her much-older Uncle Peck, who engages his well-endowed niece in an unsettling relationship while giving her driving lessons. Although Li'l Bit's feelings about her uncle are complex and conflicted, Peck is the only member of her dysfunctional family who understands and supports her. Under his tutelage, Li'l Bit gains a sense of control that she lacks in the rest of her life. A brave depiction of the bumpy road to forgiveness, How I Learned to Drive is a funny, devastating, and surprising tale of survival.

How I Learned to Drive will be directed by Santa Monica Rep co-founder Jen Bloom (The Tempest), who worked as an assistant on the original NY production and is excited to reexamine the play after many years. The play is a co-production with Ross Canton and The Santa Monica Little Theater, and boasts a cast starring Broadway’s Corey Brill (The Best Man, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo) as Uncle Peck, Barbara Jean Urich (SM Rep’s The Tempest, Bright Room Called Day) as Li’l Bit, and Brian Slaten (SM Rep’s The Rubber Room, Learned Ladies), Shannon Esra (TV’s Life is Wild), and Yael Berkovich (SM Rep’s Asher Lev, Bright Room Called Day) as the Greek Chorus. Lighting design will be by Lewis Stout (SM Rep’s Proof), with costume design by Madeline Keller (SM Rep’s Proof, The Tempest).

Tickets to How I Learned to Drive will be available through the Santa Monica Rep website, www.santamonicarep.org, beginning October 1st. General admission is $20; student & senior tickets are $15. A special Opening Night price of $35 includes a post-show champagne toast and reception with the cast and creative team.

Press inquiries and interview requests can be directed to Santa Monica Rep’s Artistic Director Eric Bloom at eric@santamonicarep.org / 213.268.1454


Now entering their third season, Santa Monica Rep strives to bring quality theater to the community. After presenting a reading series at the Santa Monica Public Library, Santa Monica Rep was awarded a prestigious residency to perform The Tempest at the Annenberg Beach House. The company then held a Gala performance at the historic Bertolt Brecht House, and recently presented David Auburn’s Proof at the Church in Ocean Park. The company was invited back to the library to perform a six-month staged reading series, which has been attended by over 400 audience members to date. These free events are an important part of Santa Monica Rep’s community outreach efforts.

Performance Schedule

Wednesday October 31 Preview 8PM Pay what you can (reservations required)

Thursday November 1 Preview 8PM Pay what you can (reservations required)

Friday November 2 Opening 8PM

Saturday November 3 8PM

Friday November 9 8PM

Saturday November 10 8PM

Friday November 16 8PM

Saturday November 17 8PM

Saturday November 24 8PM

Sunday November 25 7PM

Friday November 30 8PM

Saturday December 1 8PM



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