Test Drive

2m/1f – 2 acts


The life and times of a car man are chronicled in this new play, which premiered in 2004 at Ontario’s famous Blyth Festival. A revised version was produced at the Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover,  Showboat Festival Theatre in Port Colborne, and Prince Edward County Festival in summer 2014.

Stephen Sparks and Carolyn Hall in the 2014 Lighthouse Festival production of Test Drive.
Photo by Daniel J. Wiest.

To read the full play, Click Here.



Earl Hughes loves his wife, children and cars – and not always in that order. He also considers his life to be resoundingly ordinary, except that every ten years or so he sets out on a test drive that rocks his world. Earl’s trip begins in 1954 – a hurricane is brewing but he still thinks he can sell a Nash Metropolitan to a would-be starlet. From there he drives through the Cold War, detours around Woodstock and eventually comes to a screeching stop in 2004 – when he must really go to war to keep his driver’s licence.

Test Drive - Blyth

Eric Coates and Jane Spidell in the Blyth Festival production of Test Drive. Miles Potter directed. Photo by Terry Manzo.

The summer of 2014 was a busy one for Earl Hughes and his stories of running a car dealership over the course of fifty years. Three theatres produced it , including Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover and Showboat Festival Theatre in Port Colborne. The play was also produced in August by Festival Players of Prince Edward County at their Grand Tent venue at Rosehall Run Vineyards.

From the 2014 production at Festival Players in Picton:

"Step on the gas. Don't let TEST DRIVE pass you by!"
      (The Wine Tourist)

"Test Drive is a well-crafted, fast-paced, unrelentingly funny work - a special, unique and powerful theatrical experience."
      (The Wellington Times)

"In the lead, Douglas S. Hughes is a marvel... his performance is well-rounded, honest and funny - an absolute delight!"

From the 2014 production at Lighthouse Festival:

"Test Drive is a cheeky three-hander... it opened at Lighthouse Festival Theatre to a standing ovation for its bittersweet comedic journey through the life and times of a car salesman...
(Port Dover Maple Leaf)

"Test Drive is a perfect vehicle for a thoroughly enjoyable evening of summer theatre...Test Drive was wildly embraced by the audience who gave the performers a well-deserved resounding standing ovation."
(Simcoe Reformer)

The playwright and a 1954 Nash Metropolitan, Port Dover 2014