Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Susann Suprenant


This thesis documents my experience playing the role of Li'l Bit in Paula Vogel's Pulitzer Prize-winning play How I Learned to Drive in the fall of 2003 at the university of Nebraska Omaha. Chapter One explores my past as a part of the theatre community, focusing on my experience as both a theatre educator and as a part of the theatre outreach program called R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Chapter Two examines the social issues within the play- alcoholism, incest, pedophilia and sexual identity- and how they play an important role in the life of Li' l Bit. Experts from the field of psychology and social work are referenced in order to help understand how these issues affect the life choices Li' l Bit makes. In Chapter Three the plays unique dramatic structure is studied in order to understand its function. Interviews with Vogel help to shed light on her playwriting choices. Chapter four applies the social issues and dramatic structure to the play, in order to break down the series of acting choices that I made in order to play Li' l Bit. Chapter Five is a reflection of the work that I did and how it changed me as an actor.


A Thesis-Equivalent Project Presented to the Department of Theatre and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in Dramatic Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 2004 Stephanie Kidd

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