Does the first line of your play make an impression?

  Plenty of plays start with “Hello?” and go on to be good plays; I’m not disputing that. What I am disputing is why any playwright, when there is an opportunity to deliver an opening line that creates the world of a play, that establishes something, would choose not to take it.   You don’t have to […]

My 2016 Year in Review

  In my continual quest to prove that submitting does work, I again offer up total transparency in my year’s submission and results. As with 2014’s Recap: You Can’t Argue With Numbers and 2015’s Review in Numbers, the goal is always to show that submitting yields results. More than that, consistency yields momentum, which is […]

RED FLAGS! Or here we go again: beware this submission call

UPDATE: Outvisible has responded that they are willing to talk to the Dramatists Guild to revise their guidelines; however, there’s been no response to emails since. Please watch the company website, linked in the second paragraph, for changes. I would advise not submitting until the guidelines have actually been changed.   In August 2015, I wrote […]

Three dialogue clunkers we’re better off without

Having seen an unusual number of readings lately, I’ve noticed things that are not quite bad habits, because they’re deliberate, not automatic, but that are detrimental nonetheless. Maybe the best word is indulgences, things perceived as necessary, even clever, but that—at least for me—have the opposite effect, which is almost always making the playwright too present, […]


  I haven’t posted anything in a while, for a few reasons. I’ve been busy writing other things. I feel like many of the advocacy points I’ve made are still relevant (I often reply to a post on Official Playwrights of Facebook with one of my former posts because the information bears repeating). I haven’t […]

Theater doing important work: the Grief Dialogues

    Elizabeth Coplan has collected and compiled short grief plays, and the interest in them has gone beyond her wildest imaginings.   Please follow me on Twitter @donnahoke or like me on Facebook at Donna Hoke, Playwright. Playwrights, remember to explore the Real Inspiration For Playwrights Project, a 52-post series of wonderful advice from Literary […]


  If you clicked on this title, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the thing that makes us obsessively check our email because, at any moment, an acceptance could arrive—and what if we don’t see it immediately? The thing that makes us cough up fees—maybe even against our better judgment—because that opportunity could lead to […]


  Imagine seeing this in the guidelines of a playwrights’ opportunity:   *If your play is selected, you are responsible for a $100 participation fee. You are also responsible for finding a director, casting the show, supplying sets, figuring out tech and lighting, running rehearsals, and, in all truth, filling seats. Just so you know, […]


  Every so often, on Official Playwrights of Facebook, a debate erupts about the merits of the ten-minute play. Naysayers contend that there’s no such thing as a ten-minute “play”; it’s an exercise, it’s not real writing, it’s a sketch, and so on. Proponents counter that a good (and they do acknowledge that, as with […]

How my play, SAFE, got a “safe” first production that guaranteed its future success

Safe had been a long time coming. I first wrote it in 2012, put it through the Emanuel Fried New Play Workshop, where it had peer review and a staged reading, got some private dramaturgy for it, and started sending it out. I was fortunate that it was a semi-finalist for nuVoices at Actors Theatre […]