Playwrights will understand this

March 10th, 2013 donnahoke

I am thrilled with how well SEEDS is going. Weekend #2, and last night was a near sellout with a responsive audience and lots of wonderful feedback. Which of course is always going to lead to the question: “So… do you have any plans to get this produced elsewhere?” or “Next time, we’ll be seeing this in New York!”

Playwrights, don’t you WISH we could just say, “Oh yes, because this play is doing so well here in [insert small theater in midsize city] here, my phone has been ringing off the hook, I now have an agent, and my only problem is whether or not I want Reese Witherspoon or Mary Louise Parker to play the role on Broadway.” Wouldn’t that be a dream?

Instead, I find myself trying to succinctly explain the PROCESS of TRYING to export something, even a successful something. Which I am, of course, always trying to do, as are we all, no?  To which I am usually countered with: “You just don’t know. I just know it’s going to happen.” Or, from my mother, “Well, you’ve submitted it to theaters. Have have you tried submitting it to Hollywood?” (So in case she has a point, If anybody has that Hollywood address, please pass it on.) 

I’m not sure what my exact rant is here, but I guess it’s just that it’s so hard to explain the challenges of being a working playwright. And maybe the answer is that I just shouldn’t. Next time somebody says something about what is sure to be my runaway success, I should just say “From your mouth to Moises Kaufman’s ears.” But then I’d probably have to explain who Moises Kaufman is.

Written by donnahoke


Dramatists Guild Council member and ensemble playwright-in-residence at Road Less Traveled Productions, Kilroys List and award-winning playwright Donna Hoke’s work has been seen in 40 states, and on five continents. Her full-length plays include THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (Princess Grace semi-finalist, currently in its third year in rep in Romania), SEEDS (Artie award winner for Outstanding New Play), FLOWERS IN THE DESERT (AACT top 20 finalist), SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest, Naatak National Playwriting Contest, and the 2015 Great Gay Play and Musical Contest), and BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2016 Kilroys List, Winner HRC Showcase, Firehouse Festival of New American Plays, top ten Woodward/Newman finalist); she’s also authored more than two dozen short plays that have had hundreds of productions. Donna is also a New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor; author of Neko and the Twiggets, a children’s book; and founder/co-curator of BUA Takes 10: GLBT Short Stories. For three consecutive years, she was named Buffalo’s Best Writer by Artvoice, the only woman to ever receive the designation.

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