Write This Way to be produced!

August 2nd, 2011 donnahoke

originally posted on June 15, 2011

The other day, I got an exciting email from David Carnevale, Managing Director of Theatre Out. My short play, Write This Way, has been selected as one of six to be part of their second annual Briefs Festival. The show runs ten nights, and last year, every night sold out, so I’m pretty excited about this opportunity.

The downside? I likely cannot travel to San Diego to see this performance, and it got me to thinking how difficult it must be for playwrights whose work is performed regularly to not get to see their finished products. Stephen Adly Guirgis told me that he often gets packages (most often for The Last Days of Judas Isacriot)  in the mail from theaters who have done his plays–photos, DVDs, programs–but he’s Stephen Adly Guirgis and he even he admits that that doesn’t always happen. Many times, he finds out that his play was produced only when he receives the royalty check (and we all know that sometimes he won’t even get that…). Hey, I’ve already had that experience once myself, so imagine if my plays were being produced at a Guirgis level.

When I write magazine articles or create crossword puzzles, I may not get to see a reader’s or solver’s reaction, but I do get to see it in print. Not so with plays. It’s kind of sad that the very collaborative nature of our work–which we love–means that the finished product involves others, but also means we often don’t get to see it because, let’s face it, how many playwrights can afford to?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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 donnahoke.com.

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