How I Learned to Drive


Writers: Paula Vogel


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Drama, Dark Comedy
Contemporary, Simple/No Set
Time & Place
1960s, rural maryland
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Mature Audiences, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Small Cast, Star Vehicle Female
Casting Notes
Mostly female cast
Includes child, early teen, young adult, adult, mature adult, late teen characters


Paula Vogel’s groundbreaking and controversial play How I Learned to Drive tells the story of a young girl who grows up in a complex and sexually abusive relationship with her uncle in 1960’s Maryland. The play follows the young girl, Lil’ Bit, from her adolescence through college years and ends with her as a thirty-something adult. Although Lil’ Bit and her uncle share a mutual understanding and care deeply for one another, the years of manipulation and sexual confusion eventually drive them apart and wreak havoc on both of their psyches.

How I Learned to Drive won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998. It premiered off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theater in March 1997, starring Mary Louise Parker as Lil’ Bit, with David Morse as Uncle Peck. Since its premiere, Drive has been produced all over the world, with featured productions in Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York, and London, among others.

Lead Characters

How I Learned to Drive guide sections