Deliver Us From Nowhere: TRACK SEVEN


Track Seven:  'The Drive,' inspired by 'Used Cars' We spend some time today with three of the artists involved in 'The Drive,' Mary Laws' piece inspired by the song, 'Used Cars.'  Here's what they had to say:

What’s your name and what are you doing here?

Mary Laws: My name is Mary Laws.  I'm not really here [in Chicago].  I'm in New Haven.  But my play is there, so I guess I am, too.  In spirit.  I'm an f-ing ghost, mutha.

Michael Carnow: My name is Michael Carnow and I’m directing 'The Drive' which is inspired by 'Used Cars.'

Sergio Soltero: I am Sergio and I am performing in 'The Drive' and in 'Winning Ugly'.

How did you find yourself being a part of Deliver Us From Nowhere?

ML: I love Tympanic.  I met Dan [Caffrey, Artistic Director] and Susan [Myburgh] in Sweet Briar at the Endstation Theatre's Playwrights Initiative in 2010.  They are fantastic collaborators, and I wanted to work with them again.  When Dan suggested they produce my play, Wonderful, in Chicago that year, I was truly excited.  'The Drive' is my second play with Tympanic.  They are awesome.  Work with them.

MC: Joshua Davis, Associate Artistic Director of the Ruckus, and I went to Brandeis University at the same time (though we didn’t know each other).  Upon moving to Chicago last summer, I got in touch with him and he put me in contact with Dan Caffrey.  Then one fateful October day, over burritos, I was able to charm Dan enough for him to offer me the last directorial slot.

SS: I have auditioned a few times to Tympanic productions and have NEVER been cast. So I kinda feel like a high-schooler who finally got the prettiest girl in class to say yes to a date!

What about a night inspired by Bruce Springsteen gets you most jazzed?

ML: He's the Boss.  I mean... come on.

MC: Springsteen at his core is a storyteller.  I was excited at the potential to see how his stories and atmosphere could help shape a night of theatre.

SS: The complete lack of jazz. And that I get to do a show with many of my friends, and one that I'm proud of.

What about the song ‘Used Cars inspired you?

ML: The tone of the song is absolutely what inspired this play.  I was also moved by the idea of a family taking a car trip together.  So much happens and doesn't happen on those trips.  Put your hands together, and you get 'The Drive.'  I wrote it while listening to the song on repeat.  It played about 140 times.

MC: I was deeply drawn to Mary’s beautiful script.  The lyricism and delicacy of her words moved me as a reader and I knew I had to work on this piece.  I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s truly a magnificent piece of writing.

SS: Before researching these plays and the album that inspired it I have to admit - I wasn't a big fan of Bruce Springsteen. I was mostly unaware of his work and the little I was exposed to seemed sugary and overly earnest. But Nebraska shatters that impression for me. This not only a great Springsteen album but a brilliant work of art. He dares to shine a light into America's heart and he doesn't flinch at what he finds. Deliver Us From Nowhere had so much material to work with and it has been so much fun to delve into its themes and pathos.

What’s one of your favorite Springsteen lyrics?

ML: 'Now mister the day the lottery I win I ain't ever gonna ride in no used car again.'  I love this line from Used Cars.  Don't we all dream like this?  Don't we all want to be better than where we came from?  Even if where we came from isn't even bad at all.  Springsteen is like a universal pulse.  He beats through everybody with lines like these.

MC: 'Sometimes it’s like someone took a knife baby / Edgy and dull and cut a six-inch valley / Through the middle of my soul'  -'I’m on Fire'

SS: 'You'll be fine, long as your pretty face holds out, then it's gonna get pretty cold out.'  -'You'll Be Comin' Down' from Magic

In five words or less, why should people come see Deliver Us From Nowhere?

ML: Five words?  Shoot!  Five?  Can I have six?  Dang it, now I am up to fifteen!  Sixteen!  Because it rocks!  Twenty!  Uhm...  Because Tympanic rocks!  Because the team for 'The Drive' rocks!  Thirty-two!  Er, wait... thirty-one?  Is 'uhm' technically a word?  Oh, Lordy.  Because it is SPRINGSTEEN!  BECAUSE I SAID SO!  And also... Pizza!

MC: Ninja turtles and pink tutus.

SS: I'm a 7 year old.


Deliver Us From Nowhere: Tales From Nebraska is currently running through May 20th at The Right Brain Project.  Get your tickets here!