Lee Street tackles tough topics in upcoming production

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

SALISBURY — “Sometimes to tell a secret, you first have to teach a lesson…”

The current production about to open at Lee Street theatre has a lot of secrets to tell, but also a message of growth and moving forward with retrospect. Also, performing the production in the 50-seat Lee Street LAB creates a very personal and intimate setting, which Lee Street hopes will allow a safe space to discuss, dialogue and process these very real and relevant themes.

“This piece resonates with audiences young and old alike, and allows us to discuss and process feelings and baggage we may need to throw out, to move on, “ said Rod Oden, Lee Street’s executive artistic director and production director. “This was very recently revived on Broadway in 2022 because of the voice of power it gives to victims. I want everyone to know Lee Street is a safe space to talk about these harder themes, discuss solutions that provide access to tools and means for help, and that people are not alone in these battles. They need to know there is hope and help available.”

Compassionate, heartbreaking and sometimes even funny, this Pulitzer Prize-winning play chronicles one woman’s journey to break the cycle — and silence — surrounding the years of sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of a beloved family member. A story of boundaries, personal agency and how hindsight is not always 20/20, “How I Learned to Drive” has earned its place as a modern masterpiece and achieves a powerful new resonance in the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp.

The cast includes the local talents of Raquel Oden, Jonathan Wallace, Andrew Williams, Caitlyn Brown and Kelly Sandoval. The production is designed and directed by Oden, technical directed by Sandoval and the scenic artwork is by Brown. The costume designer is listed as Jacquelyn Loy.

Performances of Lee Street theatre’s production of “How I Learned to Drive” are this week only, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 13-15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be obtained at leestreet.org. Audiences are warned that this production is engaging and thought provoking, however it does contain highly triggering themes, imagery and actions involving grooming, incest, pedophilia and sexual abuse.