“Driver’s Seat” takes a deep dive into an often unspoken struggle that many people hide. In this extremely heroic and brave personal journey into her battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder known as “OCD,” Ellie Brelis describes how it shaped and influenced her personal relationships along with her sexuality. She performs this one-person show with vitality and determination to not let this disorder take control of her life, or to let it define her solely as human, daughter, and partner.
The title “Drivers Seat” suggests that this disorder has some sort of influence on her being in the driver’s seat, both figuratively and literally. It made me think of my own experience behind the wheel, “what if my foot just hits the gas by mistake? What if this gigantic bridge overpass collapsed on me? What if I put the pedal to the metal the wrong way on a one-way?” These things can happen at any moment in life for people dealing with OCD in a multitude of facets, and it usually comes with a tidal wave of force.
Ellie Brelis expresses some astute humor in her struggles while navigating the ups and downs of the disorder. She dances, sings, laughs, cries, and pours her heart out to the audience with passion.
Director Emily Mikolitch did a superb job in keeping the set simplistic with the use of lighting, music, and one simple set piece that only enhanced the story, never pulling focus from the issue at hand. The use of a projection screen upstage from Ellie was strategically introduced with photographs and other visuals that helped drive her story in a very creative way.
Ellie used every inch of the stage, impressively transitioning into each part of her story with passion and undeniable energy which proves that a disorder or a driver’s license test cannot stop her. The audience can feel that Brelis is using this piece in an extremely cathartic and liberating way that projects joy and a positive outlook for her future. I can’t wait to see what she tackles next!
Where: Theatre 68 Arts Complex 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601
When: 8 pm Fridays and Saturdays, 3 pm Sundays through November 20, 2022.
Tickets: $25: www.Onstage411.com/DriversSeat
Run time is approximately 60 minutes.