Theatre Department to perform play about child abuse

Theatre Department to perform play about child abuse

The TCU theatre department’s first Main Stage Series production of the semester has a parental advisory warning for strong sexual content. 

"How I Learned to Drive" by American playwright Paula Vogel is about a young woman looking back on her life in the '60s when she was a victim of molestation by her uncle. She was compliant because he was the only member of her family who supported her plans to go to college, and he taught her how to drive. The play won a Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1998. 

Storey Hinojosa, a senior theater major who plays the young woman Li'l Bit, said the relationship between her character and Uncle Peck is complicated and constantly changes throughout the play, but ultimately, she cares for him. 

Krista Scott, a theater professor and director of the play, said that parts of the story are narrated like an instruction guide that mimics a Driver’s Ed manual.

“It’s a very funny show about an unsavory topic,” she said. “Comedy helps tell the story and make it more palatable.”

The cast includes a three-person ensemble, known as the Greek Chorus, and two leads, Scott said. All cast members are upperclassmen.

She said that does not happen very often, and they usually have a fair representation of all of the undergraduates. 

She said her past productions have sold out and expects a high attendance for this play.

Brice Barnard, a senior theater major who plays Uncle Peck, said this is a story some people will connect with more than others, but the audience will be interested to see that it took two people to make the situations in the play happen.

The first performance is scheduled for Tues., Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hays Theatre at the TCU Walsh Center. The final performance is scheduled for Sun., March 3 at 2:30 p.m. A list of performance dates and times can be found on the department’s website.

Tickets for "How I Learned to Drive" go on sale Mon., Feb. 18. Tickets are $5 for TCU students and senior citizens and $10 for adults. The Ed Landreth Hall Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets will also be sold in the Spencer Hays Box Office one hour prior to every show.