“It’s definitely a challenge to do the flying and take care of even one child and do all the other things you have to do. But I learned that you can do it.” Lisa Nowak, Ladies Home Journal.
“I know in my heart she wanted me dead.” Colleen Shipman, Daily Mail UK.
In 2007, NASA astronaut Lisa Nowak got into her car and drove for fourteen hours from Houston to Orlando, to confront her lover’s much younger lover, Colleen Shipman, in a parking lot at Orlando International Airport. Disguised in a dark wig, glasses and trench coat, she allegedly wore an adult nappy used in space so that she didn’t have to stop.
A few years earlier, a forty-something woman beams out at the camera, holding her helmet, in her orange, medaled space suit. All of her dreams as a little girl, looking up at the sky, watching the Apollo moon landings, fixated on the introduction of female astronauts, had paid off. High school valedictorian, Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering, test pilot, NASA mission specialist in robotics, Nowak is killing it. At home she is devoted to her husband and her three children, who cheer her on from solid earth.
In the aftermath of the 2007 car park attack, Nowak is painted as a dark, grim, menacing, messed-up, psychopath. Shipman comes across as perky, compassionate, sweet. She’s untainted: the girl-next-door, the girl-you-take-home-to-meet-Mum. Nowak has an extensive Wikipedia page. Colleen Shipman does not.
Inspired by these events, Drive is a contemporary exploration of lost, deviant women and carefully constructed avatars, set against long stretches of road and suffocating sky. Drawing on satire, choreography and contemporary modes of story telling, you are invited out into the open road of freeways, highways, northern expressways, and the outer space between safety and success, and loneliness, unfettered desire and unwavering drive.
Rebecca Meston is a theatre maker and writer, based in South Australia. Her work has a particular focus on contemporary storytelling, tragi-comedy and the exploration of subversive female voices. Rebecca studied Performance Studies and English at the University of Sydney while also devising and presenting theatre at PACT Centre for Emerging Artists. She has had her work performed at This Is Not Art, Performance Space’s Nighttime, Fraser Street Studio’s Uncoordinated, Metro Arts, Format Festival, Brisbane Festival, Queensland Theatre Company, HotHouse Theatre and the Adelaide Fringe.