Gratitude journals and their more public cousins—gratitude Facebook posts—have become mindful ways to connect with what is good in our lives. I’ve never done one, but it occurred to me a while back that doing a 365 Grateful for playwriting might illuminate a year’s worth of reasons why we’re so loyal to this sometimes discouraging pursuit. In 2014, there were many times I became aware of people, situations, events that only touched me because I wrote that first play and kept on writing–a phone call from a producer who wanted to share the tearful reactions my play evoked that evening, being part of the Buffalo theater community, meeting some super cool people during a production in a small town in the Catskills, the Dramatists Guild regional reps meeting, having actors in Ghana speak my words– as well as all the people, places, and things that just make it easier to keep on. Productions are wonderful, but being a playwright has generated so many rewards beyond just those, so, this year, now that Real Inspiration for Playwrights Project is finished, recording them all is my project for 2015. I’ll tweet once each day under #365gratefulplaywright (follow me @donnahoke) and also post to my Donna Hoke, Playwright page on Facebook, then post the updated blog every two weeks so that nobody is overwhelmed. (I’ll also start a new blog post every two weeks, so that this file doesn’t become impossible!) If you’re a playwright, think about what might go on your own list; it’s humbling to see how lucky we really are.
October 1: Roughly my eighth anniversary of becoming a playwright. It was then I decided, “I’m going to write a play.” Twelve full-length plays and more than two dozen shorts later, I’m still doing it. (Check out my Musings on Momentum post here.) Better to have found love late than not at all!
October 2: Opening night of FLOWERS IN THE DESERT with Actors Repertory Theatre Luxembourg!
October 3: A super fun, exciting, and productive day with HRC Showcase Theatre, which chose BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART as one of the winners of its annual contest. I spent the day rehearsing with director Barbara Waldinger, excellent actors Johnny Segalla, Steven Hauck, Kate Hettesheimer, who presented an enhanced staged reading to an enthusiastic audience who were properly disturbed, unsettled, and entertained. This play is ready for production so I can see what remaining fat needs to be trimmed. Special thanks to Betty and Bob Pagnani, who put me up for the night, sharing wine, food, and hospitality. Click here for lots of pictures!
October 5: Onstage/Offstage, Cocktails and Creampuffs, In The Room, and Rob Has A Podcast for making my rides to and from Hudson go by like lightning when lightning means feeling like I’m hanging out with friends. I’m taking the same company with me to Michigan later this month.
October 6: My Perry Award, shipped lovingly from New Jersey!
October 7: EM Lewis; our two-hour-plus #PLONY interview was the highlight of my day. Reading the plays she sent me was a close second.
October 8: The participating theaters in the Dramatists Guild New York State Roving Readings Series: KNOW in Binghamton, the Kitchen in Ithaca, Geva in Rochester, and Road Less Traveled in Buffalo. The series, which allows four NYS playwrights to hear their plays read at theaters outside their hometowns is an effort to increase exposure for these produced plays, support new works and NYS theaters, and foster a broader, stronger community in our large Western and Central New York Regions. We couldn’t do it without the volunteer efforts and participation of these theaters!
October 9: My sons’ 15th birthday and the news that “Jack Pork” will be seen in Tel Aviv next month, which marks my ninth country on five continents, and my second in Asia.
October 10: The generous and talented 2016 cast, director, and stage manager—Chris Evans, Matt Gilbert, Lisa Ludwig, Michele Marie Roberts, Jesse Tiebor, Kyle LoConti, and Lucas Lloyd—of SAFE, who generously gave time for three workshops to get this script in shape for next month’s production at Saginaw Valley State University.
October 11: Another stellar reading of BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART, as the winner of the Firehouse Festival of New American Plays. It was a quick day but SO MUCH FUN, so many great people, such welcoming hospitality! I forgot to take ANY pictures; that’s how engrossed I was! Audience feedback was overwhelming positive; this play is ready!
October 12: Comfy couches at the Richmond airport, and flights that run on time. Home sweet home by 11:30 a.m.
October 13: Hope that springs forth for a play you’d all but given up on. I’ve heard there’s a home for every play; I guess for some, it just takes a little longer to find it.
October 14: A super fun time recording “You Haven’t Changed A Bit” for Amy’s Horse podcast. Not only did producer Christopher Flockton choose the play, but he also taught me all about the technology of Google Hangouts and Sound Recorder (and cried twice during the reading!). The actors were wonderful, and it really was like hanging out in a room doing the show—the next best thing to being there.
October 15: The opportunity to promote my artistic home, Road Less Traveled Productions (more details forthcoming). (My apologies: I did NOT take enough pictures this month!)
To read more entries in this series, click here or #365GratefulPlaywright in the category listing at upper right.