As if being sexually abused by an older relative weren’t traumatic enough, incest victims are sometimes drawn into codependent long-term relationships with their molesters that leave them wracked with guilt for years thereafter, instead of putting the blame where it rightfully belongs. Playwright Paula Vogel won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her tragicomic exploration of this painful theme in How I Learned to Drive. Set in the 1960s, it follows the adolescence of a girl called Li’l Bit in flashback as her alternatingly supportive and abusive Uncle Peck exacts a high emotional price for driving lessons on the rural roads of Maryland.
This is strong stuff, for mature audiences. Under the direction of Tracy Carney, CenterStage Productions presents How I Learned to Drive this weekend at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck. Alex Petrova and Chris Gilbert star, with Amy LeBlanc, Chris Pius and Sara Sa as the Greek Chorus. Performances begin at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, February 10 and 11, with a 3 p.m. matinée on Sunday, February 12. Tickets cost $24 and $22 in advance, $20 and $15 at the door if not already sold out.
For reservations and more info, call (845) 876-3080 or visit www.centerforperformingarts.org. The Center for Performing Arts is located at 661 Route 308, 3.5 miles east of the Rhinebeck village center.