New Works 4

August 2nd, 2011 donnahoke

originally posted on May 23, 2011

Rather than go into the details about the other plays in the New Works 4 International Short Play Festival, I’ll let reviewer Rachel Lynn Brody do that:

Review of New Works 4
Though Director James Ashcraft, whom I finally had the pleasure to meet, told me myriad horror stories about the process that brought this show to fruition, none of those were evident on Saturday night (though admittedly, I suspect the previous three nights of performance were much-needed dress rehearsal). The six shows went off seemingly without a hitch and I had to remind myself after the first three that I was actually there to see my own play, Gift Horse, which was slated fifth out of six.
Under Ashcraft’s direction, actors Suzann Capra and Joe Russo brought Jade and Peter to life with a keen understanding of the transient emotional relationship between the two characters. Two complete strangers had taken my words and made them meaningful for an audience of strangers. It’s always surreal, and always gratifying. I can’t thank these three talents enough for their time and commitment under adverse conditions.

So what did I learn from this experience? Here are my top five:
1) Not every short play festival is created equal, and they’re akin to boxes of chocolates.
2) Under adverse conditions, professionals will still create something to be proud of.
3) Be grateful for professionals who put up with a lot of bullshit because they believe in your play.
4) Meeting new theater professionals is always a pleasure.
5) Never look a gift horse in the mouth.

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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