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Paula Vogel's Powerful Play, 'How I Learned to Drive,' March 7-16

Rain Pryor Directs Piece, Set in Rural Maryland

February 26, 2013
Contact: University Relations
Phone: 410.837.5739

Continuing its tradition of utilizing theater to explore social issues, Spotlight UB will present How I Learned to Drive, American playwright Paula Vogel's powerful play about sexual abuse in rural Maryland, on March 7-16. This surprisingly funny and poignant piece is directed by Rain Pryor and Michael Zemarel, and features a mix of campus, local and professional actors, including Caitlyn Joy, Peter Toran, and Joan Weber. All performances will take place at 7 p.m., along with two Thursday matinees, each at 12:30 p.m.

Vogel received the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for this wrenching theatrical work. It was last produced locally at Center Stage that same year. In 2012, when Second Stage Theatre revived the play off-Broadway, Ben Brantley of The New York Times called it "even sadder, funnier and more perceptive, now that its original shock value has evaporated." The story, a familiar one in many families, follows the tense sexual relationship between protagonist Li'l Bit and her Uncle Peck, from her innocence of early adolescence to her rebellious college years. Using the metaphor of driving, Vogel exposes and explores themes of pedophilia, incest and misogyny.

Pryor is the daughter of legendary comedian Richard Pryor and a longtime performer with starring roles in Head of the Class and Showtime's Rude Awakening, along with guest appearances on The Division and Chicago Hope, and a recent role in HBO's Game Change. Fried Chicken and Latkes, Pryor's one-woman show which Spotlight UB staged in last year's African-American Arts Festival, has had a successful off-Broadway run since August 2012, and continues to delight audiences and earn rave reviews. Her previous work with Spotlight UB includes starring roles in Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf and Christopher Shorr's Tribute: 9/11; she also directed the Spotlight production of The Exonerated last season.

Following the March 14 matinee performance of How I Learned to Drive, a talk back session with the audience will be available.

Tickets for How I Learned to Drive are $15 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens and UB staff, and $5 for all students and UB alumni. Tickets are available at www.etix.com; search under "University of Baltimore." Tickets also can be purchased at the venue beginning one hour prior to the performance.

This event, as with all Spotlight UB events, takes place in the Wright Theater, located in UB's Student Center, 21 W. Mt. Royal Ave. in Baltimore. Reduced rate parking is available on event nights at the UB Maryland Avenue Garage, located on Maryland Avenue between Biddle and Chase Streets or the Fitzgerald Garage on Oliver Street; a voucher will be provided at the box office, and the UB shuttle is available to transport patrons between the venue and the garage.

Learn more about Spotlight UB and other upcoming performances.

Questions about Spotlight UB may be sent via email to spotlightub@ubalt.edu.

The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.