“I didn’t really want to change anything about it.”
She said her admiration and respect for “How I Learned to Drive” led her to submit the idea to board members of LAB! during their planning season as a prospective show.
After a follow-up interview, Gunsteens’ proposal was approved, and the senior found herself at the helm of one of her favorite plays.
The focus of the play is, at the very least, hard not to find interesting, Gunsteens said.
“It is a play that is relevant to everyone,” Gunsteens said. “The show is about how you deal with things in the past, and how the way you handle those things makes you who you are.”
The character Li’l Bit is dealing with her past in the play.
After being molested by her uncle at a young age, Li’l Bit faces a unique set of circumstances as she ages. Her memories make up the majority of the play.
Renee Jackson plays Li’l Bit. She said she plastered pictures of the Maryland countryside around her room to recreate the environment of the story.
The challenges that come with the character are abundant, Jackson said in an email.
“The stakes are terribly high, and every scene takes place in a sort of pressure cooker situation,” she said.
Jackson, whose character ages from 11 to 18 throughout the play, said she worked to tweak her posture and voice to show the changing age of Li’l Bit.
Scott Vicari, who plays Uncle Peck, was far from discouraged by the challenges. He said they are his favorite part of the play.
“I struggle to portray Uncle Peck in a way that people understand and sympathize with him,” Vicari said.
“It’s very easy for people to categorize him as someone taking advantage of a young girl. I am trying to play him in a way that people focus on his love for her, not his lust for her.”
Vicari said plays like “How I Learned to Drive” are great for those in LAB!
“We are all here to learn,” he said. “It is nice to treat this not as a final product but as a learning and growing experience.”
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