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How I Learned to Drive

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Arliss Howard and Debra Winger join the A.R.T. company to play the leading roles in How I Learned to Drive, Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel. The story is recalled by a young woman growing up in Maryland called Li’l Bit, who comes of age in the 1960-70s. She receives driving lessons from her uncle, and that relationship—tentative and sexual—forms the underpinnings of a story that is mesmerizing, personal, and disarmingly funny. The play premiered at the Vineyard Theatre in New York in 1997 and won every off-Broadway award for Best Play, including the Obie, Drama Desk, New York Drama Critics Circle, and Outer Critics Circle.

Credits

Creative team

by

Paula Vogel

The work of playwright Paula Vogel (How I Learned to Drive) last appeared on stage at the A.R.T. in 1994, when Hot'n' Throbbing was given its world premiere as part of the A.R.T. New Stages series. Her plays have been performed at theaters such as the Lortel Theatre and Circle Repertory in New York, Goodman Theatre, Magic Theatre, Center Stage, Trinity Repertory Company, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and Alley Theatre, as well as throughout Canada, England, Brazil, and Chile. Other plays include The Mineola Twins, premiered by Trinity Repertory Company last year and The Baltimore Waltz, which received an Obie award in 1992. Ms. Vogel is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an award from the Kennedy Center's Fund for American Plays, and a Pell Award for Excellence in Arts.

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Directed by

David Wheeler

Directed by

David Wheeler

On Broadway, he directed Richard III with Al Pacino, and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, for which Mr. Pacino won the Tony Award for Best Actor. Regional theatres include the Guthrie Theatre, Alley Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Arizona Theatre Company, Pittsburgh Playhouse, and the Charles de Rochefort Theatre in Paris, where he directed the French premiere of Edward Albee's The Zoo Story.

As the artistic director of the Theatre Company of Boston (TCB) from 1963 to 75, Mr. Wheeler directed over eighty productions.  Among these were ten by Pinter, seven by Brecht, five by Albee, nine by Beckett, two by O'Neill, and numerous works by new writers such as Ed Bullins, Jeffrey Bush, John Hawkes, Adrienne Kennedy, and Sam Shepard.  Through these productions and others, he helped to launch the careers of then-unknown actors including Paul Benedict, Larry Bryggman, John Cazale, Stockard Channing, Blythe Danner, Robert DeNiro, Robert Duvall, Hector Elizondo, Spalding Gray, Paul Guilfoyle, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Jon Voight, Ralph Waite, and James Woods. His film The Local Stigmatic (with Mr. Pacino)—adapted from the play by Heathcote Williams—was presented at the Montreal Film Festival and screened at the Whitney Museum and the MOMA. It will be released in 2006.

Mr. Wheeler's honors include the Elliot Norton Award for his work on Misalliance, the St. Botolph Club Foundation's Award for Distinction in the Performing Arts, and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Award. He has taught and directed at Harvard University, Boston University, MIT, Brandeis, Barnard, Colorado College, and Circle-in-the-Square. He has directed student productions at U.N.C. Chapel Hill, U.C. Irvine and Long Beach, and Évora, Portugal. After receiving his masters at Harvard, Mr. Wheeler trained with José Quintero in New York during the great "O'Neill years" of the 1950's.

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Set design by

J. Michael Griggs

Set design by

J. Michael Griggs

J. Michael Griggs, the set designer for No Child … , is the design and technical advisor for Harvard student theater in the Loeb Drama Center. Previously for the American Repertory Theater he co-designed Boston Marriage and designed sets for No Man's Land, Animals and Plants, How I Learned to Drive, Nobody Dies on Friday, and numerous productions for the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, including Pants on Fire, The Seagull, Overboard, Three Sisters, and The Interview. He currently teaches courses in stage design at Harvard University. Stage designs for the Súgán Theatre Company include Talking to Terrorists, Women on the Verge of HRT, Sanctuary Lamp, Well of the Saints, Mojo Mickybo, Howie the Rookie, The Lepers of Baile Baiste, Molly Maquire, Bailegangaire, The Lonesome West, This Lime Tree Bower, Perfect Days, and St. Nicholas. White People, New Repertory Theatre; Design for Living, Publick Theatre; 9 Parts of Desire, Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Other stage designs include the award-winning Strindberg Sonata with director Anne Bogart in San Diego, King Lear at the Maryland Stage Company, and Lydie Breeze and Old Times at the Illinois Repertory Theatre. He has also designed for the Cricket Theatre in Minneapolis, A Director’s Theatre in Los Angeles, the South Florida Shakespeare Festival in Miami, and the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, among others. He has taught at the University of Illinois, Carleton College, and the University of Maryland. Mr. Griggs also works as a designer for WGBH public television in Boston and is a member of United Scenic Artists 829.

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Costume design by

Viola Mackenthun

Costume design by

Viola Mackenthun

Viola Mackenthun, the costume designer for Nocturne, previously designed costumes for The Ohio State Murders and How I Learned to Drive at the A.R.T. Other credits include the New Repertory Theatre's Mystery of Irma Vep and assisting on A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Schlosstheater Schönbrunn in Vienna, Austria. She has also designed costumes for children's plays at Creative Arts at Park, including Carney Time, Newsies, and Three Tales of Sorrow. She holds an M.F.A. in costume design from Boston University, where she also received the Esther B. and Albert S. Kahn Award. Ms. Mackenthun grew up in Germany, where she received an M.F.A. in fashion design from Hamburg University.

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Lighting design by

John Ambrosone

Lighting design by

John Ambrosone

Lighting Designer John Ambrosone has designed over thirty productions for the American Repertory Theater, including Lysistrata, Absolution, Marat/Sade, Othello, Animals and Plants, Mother Courage (2001 Elliot Norton Design Award), The Doctor's Dilemma, Three Farces and a Funeral, Nocturne, IvanovThe Cripple of Inishmaan, The King Stag, Boston Marriage, Charlie in the House of Rue, Valparaiso, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, How I Learned to Drive, Nobody Dies on Friday, Man and Superman, The Old Neighborhood, When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable), Alice in Bed, Slaughter City, and Buried Child. On Broadway he designed The Old Neighborhood. Work in resident theaters includes the Alley Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Walnut Street Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company, and Arena Stage. Mr. Ambrosone also has designed in Singapore, Moscow, Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, Mexico, Germany, and France.

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Sound design by

David Remedios

Sound design by

David Remedios

Sound designs by David Remedios have been heard in Sexual Perversity in Chicago/The Duck Variations, Romance, Trojan Barbie, Endgame, The Seagull, The Communist Dracula Pageant, Let Me Down Easy, When It’s Hot It’s Cole, Cardenio, Julius Caesar, Copenhagen, Donnie Darko, A Marvelous Party, No Man's Land, Oliver Twist, Britannicus, The Onion Cellar, The Island of SlavesOrpheus X, Romeo and Juliet, No Exit, Three Sisters (2005), The Keening, Amerika, Olly's Prison, Desire Under the Elms, Dido Queen of Carthage, The Provok'd Wife (original music and sound), The Miser, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2003), Snow in June, Lady with a Lapdog, The Sound of a Voice, Pericles, Highway Ulysses, Uncle Vanya, Lysistrata, Absolution, Marat/Sade, Stone Cold Dead Serious, Enrico IV, Othello, Animals and Plants, The Doctor's Dilemma, Mother Courage and Her Children, Three Farces and a Funeral, Antigone, Nocturne, How I Learned to Drive, and Man and Superman. He has also toured regionally and internationally with the A.R.T.  Other credits include Farragut North and Yankee Tavern (Contemporary American Theater Festival), The Merchant of Venice (Actor’s Shakespeare Project), Ah, Wilderness! (CenterStage Baltimore), The Diary of Anne Frank (New Rep), The Scottish Play (La Jolla Playhouse), Leap (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Daughter of Venus, Action Jesus and Dressed Up! Wigged Out! (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), Sideways Stories from Wayside School, All of a Kind Family and The Fabulous Invalid (Emerson Stage), Samson Agonistes (92nd St. Y), Our Town (Boston Theatre Works), Far East (Vineyard Playhouse), Only You (Efron Entertainment). Dance soundscapes include works for Concord Academy Dance, Snappy Dance Theater Company, and Lorraine Chapman.  Awards: 2007 Connecticut Critics Circle Award (No Exit, Hartford Stage), 2001 Elliot Norton Award (Mother Courage and Her Children, A.R.T.), seven Independent Reviewers of New England Award nominations.

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Lil’ Bit Debra Winger
Peck Arliss Howard
Teenage Greek Chorus Aysan Celik
Male Greek Chorus Jonathan Hova
Female Greek Chorus Kate Wisniewski