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Drive @ Theatre Works
June 15, 2019
Theatre Works and Rebecca Meston Present
By Rebecca Meston
Drive is an exploration of fallen, deviant women set against long stretches of open road. It is inspired by the true story of former NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak, who in 2007, got into her car and drove non-stop 14-hours from Houston to Orlando to confront her ex-lover’s lover. Disguised in a dark wig, glasses and trench coat, she had in her car a knife, mallet, BB gun, duct tape, rope, photos of women in bondage – and allegedly wore an adult nappy so that she didn’t have to stop.
This new theatrical work re-imagines Lisa’s story and her 14-hour drive, putting the spotlight on a particular kind of female implosion that’s as old as Anna Karenina and Hedda Gabler and as recent as any number of news articles about a woman, usually in her 40s, seemingly the image of perfection, who suddenly snaps, and drives her life into a ditch. Over 50 minutes, Drive tracks the unravelling of a highly capable woman, filled with mess, nuance and controlled rage.
The work is situated across four worlds: Space; the inside of a car; the open road; and the realm of Lisa’s imaginings. She drives, but in the back seat of her car, memory and fantasy come and go, like a dark, otherworldly version of Taxicab Confessions. The text is blended with strong choreographic elements and a richly evocative soundscape to mine the terrain of grief, loss, disappointment and the ways we find hope in the darkness.
Pushing together vast galaxies with cramped, hedged-in spaces; loneliness with unfettered desire; and motherhood with the requirements of being an elite professional, Drive asks the ultimate question, how close are any of us, at any time, to snapping? To getting into a car and not looking back?