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 46 states, and on five continents. Her full-length plays include ELEVATOR GIRL (2017 O’Neill finalist), THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (Princess Grace semi-finalist, currently in its fourth year in rep in Romania), SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests), and BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2016 Kilroys List, Winner HRC Showcase, Firehouse Festival of New American Plays); she’s also authored more than three dozen short plays that have had hundreds of productions, and has been nominated for both the Francesca Primus and Susan Blackburn prizes. She’s also a two-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Best New Play (SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS).

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.

In addition, Donna is a blogger, advocate, and moderator of the 12,000+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook. Recent speaking engagements include Citywrights, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, the Dramatists Guild National Conference, Chicago Dramatists, Austin Film Festival, and a live Dramatists Guild webinar. Her commentary has been read at #2amt, howlround, the Official Playwrights of Facebook, the newly released Workshopping the New Play, and

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