Drive

A community of truckers in a small town in Iowa are forced to shift gears when they lose their jobs to self-driving vehicles. When Gloria becomes the only trucker in town still employed, resentments begin to surface. Tensions escalate as they grapple with a mystery: Haygen, a driver with close ties to all of them, has disappeared. Set in a future not far down the road, DRIVE explores our collective fears...
A community of truckers in a small town in Iowa are forced to shift gears when they lose their jobs to self-driving vehicles. When Gloria becomes the only trucker in town still employed, resentments begin to surface. Tensions escalate as they grapple with a mystery: Haygen, a driver with close ties to all of them, has disappeared. Set in a future not far down the road, DRIVE explores our collective fears surrounding the next stage of automation and what happens when individuals in a country where we’re so defined by our work are forced to reevaluate what drives them.

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Drive

Recommended by

  • Nick Malakhow:
    26 Oct. 2022
    A subtle, powerful, potent work that captures so many of the fears, anxieties, and questions swirling around in the United States right now. In a society that so often equates self-worth and power with money and employment, each of these characters' dashed dreams or hopes for the future (sometimes coexisting at once) feels so urgent. It's so easy to see how and why these tensions and characters bristle against one another, but Deborah renders all conflicts with such a light, deft hand. With its intersectional focus and relevant themes, this play needs to be produced now, many times!
  • Sarah Tuft:
    24 Oct. 2022
    DRIVE takes us on a journey into the not-too-distant future where a group of truckers has just lost their jobs to self-driving trucks. But as timely as DRIVE is, this is not an issue play. Yarchun has drawn a rich tableau of distinct characters struggling to, not just survive, but find meaning in life after the road. Yarchun’s ear for dialogue and gift for language are matched only by her capacity for empathy in this play about loss, love, and the despair of having work define our worth in a culture driven by capitalism.
  • Cheryl Bear:
    10 Jul. 2021
    A timely story of the human struggle in a capitalistic world to find their way in an increasingly automated world. Well done.

Character Information

  • Ainsley
    15,
    biracial
    ,
    Female
    Gloria and Arthur’s daughter. Full of boldness, reserve, and curiosity.
  • Gloria
    38,
    African American / Black
    ,
    Female
    One of the world’s last truck drivers, on the road to realizing her full power.
  • Arthur
    43, Array,
    Male
    A former truck driver, working to regain his ground.
  • Jo
    36, Array,
    Female
    The local bartender/manager of the Drive Bar. Kind, driven.
  • Arlene
    55, Array,
    Female
    A former truck driver.
  • Cliff
    55,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Arlene’s husband, a former truck driver.

Development History

  • Workshop
    ,
    The Playwrights' Center
    ,
    2022
  • Reading
    ,
    Northern Stage
    ,
    2021
  • Workshop
    ,
    Dartmouth College's VoxFest
    ,
    2020
  • Reading
    ,
    The Civilians'
    ,
    2019
  • Reading
    ,
    Martha's Vineyard Playhouse
    ,
    2019

Awards

Winner
,
Neukom Literary Arts Award for Playwriting
,
Neukom Institute at Dartmouth College
,
2020
Finalist
,
Seven Devils Playwrights Conference
,
2020