Three dialogue clunkers we’re better off without

Having seen an unusual number of readings lately, I’ve noticed things that are not quite bad habits, because they’re deliberate, not automatic, but that are detrimental nonetheless. Maybe the best word is indulgences, things perceived as necessary, even clever, but that—at least for me—have the opposite effect, which is almost always making the playwright too present, […]

TEN PLAYWRIGHT MOMENTS I ABSOLUTELY LOVE

  I haven’t posted anything in a while, for a few reasons. I’ve been busy writing other things. I feel like many of the advocacy points I’ve made are still relevant (I often reply to a post on Official Playwrights of Facebook with one of my former posts because the information bears repeating). I haven’t […]

Theater doing important work: the Grief Dialogues

    Elizabeth Coplan has collected and compiled short grief plays, and the interest in them has gone beyond her wildest imaginings.   Please follow me on Twitter @donnahoke or like me on Facebook at Donna Hoke, Playwright. Playwrights, remember to explore the Real Inspiration For Playwrights Project, a 52-post series of wonderful advice from Literary […]

PLAYWRIGHTS AND THE STATE OF PERPETUAL HOPE

  If you clicked on this title, you know what I’m talking about. It’s the thing that makes us obsessively check our email because, at any moment, an acceptance could arrive—and what if we don’t see it immediately? The thing that makes us cough up fees—maybe even against our better judgment—because that opportunity could lead to […]

DIY PLAY FESTIVALS: LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP!!

  Imagine seeing this in the guidelines of a playwrights’ opportunity:   *If your play is selected, you are responsible for a $100 participation fee. You are also responsible for finding a director, casting the show, supplying sets, figuring out tech and lighting, running rehearsals, and, in all truth, filling seats. Just so you know, […]

TEN REASONS YOU SHOULD BE WRITING TEN-MINUTE PLAYS

  Every so often, on Official Playwrights of Facebook, a debate erupts about the merits of the ten-minute play. Naysayers contend that there’s no such thing as a ten-minute “play”; it’s an exercise, it’s not real writing, it’s a sketch, and so on. Proponents counter that a good (and they do acknowledge that, as with […]

How my play, SAFE, got a “safe” first production that guaranteed its future success

Safe had been a long time coming. I first wrote it in 2012, put it through the Emanuel Fried New Play Workshop, where it had peer review and a staged reading, got some private dramaturgy for it, and started sending it out. I was fortunate that it was a semi-finalist for nuVoices at Actors Theatre […]

THE BEST PLAYWRITING ADVICE EVER

  It started with my simple post on the Official Playwrights of Facebook: What is the single best piece of piece of playwriting advice you’ve ever received distilled to one line–talking about craft only? I have two, but the best one is probably: Questions are the weakest form of dialogue.   What followed was an […]

SLIPPERY SLOPE: NO ROYALTIES FOR FULL-LENGTH PLAYS #playwrightrespect

      I fear the writing on the wall.   Before I was ever a playwright, I was a freelance writer. It’s a flexible career that has allowed me to live where I want, raise kids while I work from home—and one I never thought would be outmoded. I write primarily for smaller publications, […]

WHAT I LEARNED FROM INTERVIEWING 10 SUCCESSFUL #PLONY (Playwrights Living Outside New York)

  After completing 10 #PLONY (Playwrights Living Outside New York) interviews with Eric Coble, William Missouri Downs, Lauren Gunderson, Michael McKeever, EM Lewis, Aditi Brennan Kapil, Don Zolidis, Catherine Trieschmann, Topher Payne,  and Tammy Ryan, I summed up the commonalities I observed in the careers of these successful playwrights:   What I Learned from Interviewing […]