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Playwright Paula Vogel has a gift for turning personal trauma into riveting drama. Her hilarious satiric odyssey, The Baltimore Waltz (a Pulitzer nominee that was performed two seasons ago at Studio Theatre) was inspired by her brother’s battle with AIDS. Her harrowing current off-Broadway hit, How I Learned to Drive, slightly fictionalizes an incident from her childhood in which she was sexually molested. And her flights of pure fancy have been no less arresting in such raucous comedies as And Baby Makes Seven and Desdemona. All of which argues that she’ll have plenty of tales to tell when Shakespeare Theatre artistic director Michael Kahn throws questions her way in the first of four evenings with American playwrights at the Corcoran Gallery. Subsequent chats feature Terrence McNally (March 4), Christopher Durang (March 18), and John Guare (March 25). Series tickets are available. Vogel speaks at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Hammer Auditorium, 17th & New York Ave. NW. $30. For reservations call (202) 639-1770. (Bob Mondello)