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'How I Learned to Drive' opens Dec. 4 at UW-Eau Claire

November 27, 2012

HowILearnedToDriveEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire music and theatre arts department will present Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "How I Learned to Drive" at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4-8 and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 8-9 in Riverside Theatre of the Haas Fine Arts Center.

"How I Learned to Drive," directed by Pete Rydberg, visiting lecturer in theatre arts, follows the strained, sexual relationship between Li'l Bit and her aunt's husband, Uncle Peck, from her adolescence through college and beyond. Using the metaphor of driving, Vogel poetically investigates issues of pedophilia, incest and misogyny that is both comic and devastating. The play is for mature audiences only.

"The show is designed in an arena setting with audiences on all sides — something unique for audiences who have been to productions in Riverside Theatre before," said Kevin Gawley, associate professor of theatre arts and the scenic, projection and lighting director for the play. "The projections in the show feature historical culture and advertising, showcasing a unique blend of Americana, classic pin-up girls and drivers education imagery throughout the production."

Cast members are senior Abbey Lowenstein, La Crosse, as Lil Bit; senior Michael Renner, Waukesha, as Uncle Peck; sophomore Autumn Ament, Chaska, Minn., as the female chorus; senior JT Stocks, McFarland, as the male chorus; and junior Claire Kafka Duda, Rolla, Mo., as the teenage chorus. Senior Jake Brockmann, Merrill, is the assistant director; and senior Brianna Mueller, Oshkosh, is the stage manager.

Tickets, available online and at the University Service Center, 715-836-3727 or 800-949-UWEC, are $12 for the general public; $10 for those 62 and older, and UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff; $8 for children 17 and younger; and $4.50 for UW-Eau Claire students.

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