Theatre Fairfield's Independent Project Features Pulitzer Prize-winning Play
Theatre Fairfield, Fairfield University’s resident production company, opens its 2013 theatrical season with an Independent Project production of “How I Learned to Drive,” Paula Vogel’s 1998 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Student proposed, conceived, and produced, “How I Learned to Drive” will be a completely student-driven production. Performances take place at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26, 2013, and at 2 p.m. Saturday January 26, and Sunday January 27, 2013, at the PepsiCo Theatre on Fairfield University’s campus.
Tickets are $7 for General Admission, and $5 for Students. Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396. (1-877-278-7396), and online at www.quickcenter.com. Tickets can also be purchased on the day of performance at the PepsiCo Theatre, but are subject to availability. The PepsiCo Theatre is located at 1073 North Benson Road, on the campus of Fairfield University, in Fairfield, CT. This production was made possible by the generous support of the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation.
“The Independent Project offers a valuable opportunity to learn the ins and outs of putting on a play under ‘real world’ circumstances,” said Fairfield University theatre major Michael Maio, ‘13, who is directing this year’s production. “The company returned early from winter break and labored tirelessly over the past three weeks to put together a show we are proud of that is completely our own.”
Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive” tells the story of Lil’ Bit, a young woman reflecting on her life and the relationships she has had. It focuses on one relationship in particular, her relationship with an older man. Vogel’s play challenges society’s conception of what love is and what defines a healthy, stable connection. “This play makes us all look at our concept of love and stretch out minds,” explains Maio, who chose it for this year’s project. “It forces us to face some difficult subject matters, and leaves us to ponder why humans are the way they are, is it nature vs. nurture? The show itself is also witty, funny, and thought-provoking. The characters are larger-than-life, and all are challenges for our performers. We wanted a show that would challenge the audience and the entire company."
The cast and crew of Theater Fairfield’s “How I Learned to Drive” includes: director Michael Maio; scenic designer Joe Plouffe, ’13; Maggie Greene ’15, as Lil’ Bit; Plouffe as Peck; Brendan Freeman ’15, as Male Greek Chorus; Katie Premus ’15, as Teenage Greek Chorus; and DiMenna- Nyselius reference librarian Elise Bochinski as Female Greek Chorus. Ms. Bochinski, the only non-student member of the company, returns to Theatre Fairfield after playing the Nurse in “Romeo & Juliet,” and the Teacher/ Reporter in last year’s Independent Project “Speech & Debate.” The crew on this production includes, Kelan McDonnell ’15; Ryan Champlin ’16; Mary Corigliano ’14; Logan Pratt ’15; and Christina Barry ’15.
The Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation provides educational and career development opportunities in the arts. The Hulley Foundation accepts student proposals and has previously supplied funds for Theatre Fairfield’s Independent Project.
Photo caption: Rehearsing a scene from Theatre Fairfield’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “How I Learned to Drive” are Fairfield University’s Joe Plouffe ’13, as Peck, and Maggie Greene ’15, as Lil’ Bit (left-to-right).