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About Paula Vogel
Paula Vogel is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of How I Learned to Drive. Her other plays include Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq, A Civil War Christmas, The Long Christmas Ride Home, and The Baltimore Waltz, among others. She has also had a distinguished career as a teacher and mentor to younger playwrights, first at Brown University and then at the Yale School of Drama.
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“As I try to come to grips with the lack of control I have in terms of my own visibility and commercial success within the American Theater, I remain convinced that I have control in terms of how I see my identity. How I Learned to Drive gave me that gift. It felt as if the play was rewriting me, and I will always remember the sensation of lightness I had in the middle of the night as I wrote it. This is the gift of theater and of writing: a transubstantiation of pain and secrecy into light, into community, into understanding if not acceptance.” — Paula Vogel, from her Preface
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive is widely recognized as a masterpiece of contemporary drama. It is published here for the first time as a stand-alone edition. Paula Vogel is the author of Indecent, The Baltimore Waltz, The Long Christmas Ride Home, Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq and A Civil War Christmas, among many other plays. She has held a distinguished career as a teacher and mentor to young playwrights, first at Brown University and then at the Yale School of Drama.
“Brilliant . . . even more ambitious than Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive . . . it covers more ground and is bolder in its storytelling. Vogel’s language is at its most poetic, eloquent and elegiac. In fact, its vivid imagery rivals the prose style of any great American short story writer. The play sounds like it might have been adapted from a beautiful, undiscovered novella.”—New Haven Register
“One of the most absorbing evenings of theatre to come along in some time.”—Variety
Past and present collide on a snowy Christmas Eve for a troubled family of five. Humorous and heart-wrenching, this beautifully written play proves that magic can be found in the simplest breaths of life. Combining the elements of No theatre and Bunraku with contemporary Western sensibilities, Vogel’s Ride is a mesmerizing homage to the works of Thornton Wilder, including Our Town. A moving and memorable study of the American family careening near the edge of oblivion.
Paula Vogel’s plays include The Baltimore Waltz, Mineola Twins, Hot ‘n’ Throbbing, Desdemona, And Baby Makes Seven, among others. Ms. Vogel will be the resident playwright during the Signature Theatre’s 2004–05 season dedicated to her works. She has taught at Brown University in the MFA playwriting program since 1985.
"A rich and moving play with music . . . it taps into seasonal themes of redemption, forgiveness and community, with a decidedly American bent."Variety
Set on a chilly Christmas Eve during the latter days of the Civil War, Paula Vogel's new pageant for the holiday season weaves a tapestry of both fictional and historical characterstogether with period holiday music and lesser-known marches, hymns, and spiritualsto tell a story of peaceful companionship and communal hope.
Paula Vogel's plays include How I Learned to Drive (winner of the Pulitzer Prize, OBIE, Drama Desk, and New York Drama Critics awards), The Long Christmas Ride Home, The Mineola Twins, The Baltimore Waltz, Hot 'N' Throbbing, and Desdemona. She is chair of the playwriting department at the Yale School of Drama, and is playwright-in-residence at Yale Repertory Theatre.