A Driving Beat

2,000 miles, a cross-country car ride
adopted son and mother travel side by side
white woman, brown son in the same space
9 states to the hospital, the teen’s birthplace
4 days, if all goes according to plan
5 nights, of doing all that they can
to find his birth mom, identity, or home
but by the end of their journey
will any answers be known?
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A Driving Beat

Recommended by

  • Cheryl Bear:
    22 Feb. 2021
    A beautiful, heartfelt journey of the search for identity and the relationship of a mother to her son that moves you. Well done.
  • Nick Malakhow:
    25 Feb. 2020
    What a beautiful and tenderly written play! Mateo and Diane's relationship was realistically drawn, subtly shaded, and poignantly sweet and intimate. The poetry that punctuates deftly drawn scenes provides key insights into Mateo's identity and journey. Because we have those moments, Ramirez Puckett is able to tell us so much about Mateo without betraying that realistic tendency of teens to hold back and pick and choose what to share. I'm floored by how the dramatic action is so crystal clear, but entirely based off these small little seismic shifts within and between characters that are exquisite to watch.
  • Belle Frahm:
    24 Feb. 2020
    This play was a marvelous documentation of what felt like a real road trip. Above all else, Puckett was able to depict a very raw and true relationship between a mother and son and a road. I appreciated the love and dedication put into this writing along with the premise of moving on from one's past along while learning how to cope with it to build a better future.

Character Information

  • Mateo
    Filipino, Filipino American, Filipino-American
    Cis Man, Male
    Brown skin, on the verge of fifteen, a yearning son, speaks his truth in rhymes
  • Diane
    Cisgender Female, Female
    White skin, forty-five, a protective mother, a verbal steamroller
  • Reina
    Latina, Latino, Latinx
    Cisgender Female, Female
    Brown skin, thirty-two, a healer, listens more than she speaks

Development History

  • Reading
    The Los Angeles Queer New Works Festival (canceled due to Corona Virus)
  • Reading
    Athena Project
  • Residency
    HBMG Foundation