Ever since they acted together in a production of the Holocaust play Kindertransport at Appalachian State University, Scott and Sloane Warren have smoothly merged their personal and professional lives. Character actors and members of the Dad's Garage Theatre improv ensemble, the spouses add "playwright" to their list of collaborations with Drove, a world-premiere comedy about car culture – playing at Dad's Garage Theatre's Top Shelf Space from July 27-Aug. 18.
Scott: We used to share one car ...
Sloane: An old 1987 325 BMW with a hand-cranked roof. For many, many years.
Scott: We spent so much time driving it, it was insane. One day I picked Sloane up from work and saw a woman on her cell phone, with a baby in the back seat, running a stop sign. I remember thinking, "What's going on in her mind?" Sloane said we should make a short film where we interview people doing stupid things in their cars, and it evolved into a play. It's about how we spend so much time in our cars, and there's this community of people in the cars around us. You might see the same people commuting every day, or the same kinds of people as you drive.
Sloane: We want Drove to be entirely in cars, to not even show people getting in and out of cars.
Scott: The plan is to develop the script as an ensemble. I suspect that the way we'll convey the different kinds of cars, on stage, will be with the costumes of the drivers.
Sloane: Like a Mercedes will be a Buckhead mom with a short haircut. I think the music will be very important, too. Mashups are very popular now; I can see that we might have one guy having an experience in one car and maybe listening to old Queen, and the guy in the car next to him is listening to hip-hop.
Scott: We all have our own soundtracks when we drive. I think the music will help with the framing and interstitial structure of the show.
Sloane: This is our world – especially in Atlanta, where everyone spends so much time in cars. I've made some major life decisions in cars.
Scott: And they're important places for personal milestones and other things. I can't tell you the number of bad dates I've had in a car. They also can bring out the worst in people, but great things can happen in cars, too. I remember our first conversation about being in love was in a car.
Sloane: That's true. That was 11 years ago.
Scott: Of the two of us, I tend to be the driver, because I'm a little bit of a control freak.
Sloane: A little?
Scott: When I drive, if we're going to Dad's, I usually get in a lane and stay in that lane miles and miles ahead of when we need to. Sloane doesn't do that.
Sloane: I'm a Gemini – I'm not as structured.
Scott: Sloane's kind of a weird driver. I'm not sure how she drives without me saying, "Shit, there's a car!" I'm usually gripping the "Oh shit" bar when she's driving.
Sloane: But which of us has had the most tickets, or been in the most accidents?
Scott: Me. I have bad driving luck. I usually stay within 5-10 mph of the speed limit, and the times when I deviate are when I get caught.
Sloane: I'll say that I have the best parking luck. Wherever I drive, I get a parking space right outside wherever I want to go.
Scott: She really has the parking mojo. If I were to have a superpower, it would be to make traffic lights turn red when I approach them. My biggest fear about Drove is that it'll just feel like an hour in traffic, and people will say, "I do this all day!"