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


Donna’s work has been seen in 46 states and on five continents. Plays include BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2016 Kilroys List), ELEVATOR GIRL (2017 O’Neill, 2018 Princess Grace finalist), SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests), and TEACH (Gulfshore New Works winner). She has been nominated for both the Primus and Blackburn Prizes, and is a two-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play (SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS). She has also received an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop HEARTS OF STONE, and, for three consecutive years, she was named Buffalo’s Best Writer by Artvoice—the only woman to ever receive the designation.

Donna also serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and is a blogger and moderator of the 12,000+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook, as well as 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. Speaking engagements include Citywrights, Kenyon Playwrights Conference, the Dramatists Guild National Conference, Chicago Dramatists, the Austin Film Festival, and a live Dramatists Guild webinar. Her commentary has been seen on #2amt, howlround, The Dramatist, the Official Playwrights of Facebook, Workshopping the New Play (Applause, 2017), and at

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