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

  • Emma Goldman-Sherman:
    30 Jul. 2020
    Drive feels so "this minute" because it's dealing with joblessness in the future that feels an awful lot like right now. It is prescient, but more than that, the despair is real. How we make meaning and feel valuable is one of those large questions that Yarchun addresses here with her marvelous ear for language, fabulous dialogue and so much poignancy.
  • Donna Hoke:
    9 May. 2020
    Yarchun is chronicling the demise of the trucking industry through the eyes of displaced drivers in one Iowa town, but the melancholy tone of the play and the despair of the newly unemployed cut across so many industries that have eroded in the wake of technology. This particular take on automation--unemployment--strikes a particular chord in May 2020 when so many are dealing with unemployment and these same questions of identity and value in the wake of forced joblessness. A gnawing, powerful, and poignant work.

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,
    Arthur is white or white passing
    ,
    Male
    A former truck driver, working to regain his ground.
  • Jo
    36,
    Jo can be any race.
    ,
    Female
    The local bartender/manager of the Drive Bar. Kind, driven.
  • Arlene
    55,
    Arlene can be any race except Black.
    ,
    Female
    A former truck driver.
  • Cliff
    55,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Arlene’s husband, a former truck driver.

Development History

  • 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