Playwright Paula Vogel doesn’t just write from the heart; she writes from the bleeding heart. Her plays throb with real—and sometimes autobiographical—grief. Vogel’s first hit, The Baltimore Waltz, for instance, rewrites real life, fulfilling her brother’s unrealized dying wish: that his sister accompany him on a European tour. In her Pulitzer Prize winner, How I Learned to Drive, the ache is fabricated but feels no less authentic. Growing up in suburban Maryland (where the playwright herself did), Li’l Bit is the anti-Lolita, maneuvering the pitfalls of driver’s ed while her Uncle Peck molests her. It’s a brilliant device (driving as metaphor for coming of age), and the play is, quite simply, one of contemporary literature’s most painful love stories. Vogel reads from and signs The Mammary Plays, which collects Drive and The Mineola Twins—in which two sisters, one bad and one good, deconstruct womanhood through the decades—at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s, 1200 F St. NW. Free. (202) 347-3686. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)