October 31st, 2013 donnahoke


If you don’t know what RIPP: Real Inspiration for Playwrights Project is about, please click here to get some context before reading.




“We did not have any prior relationship with the Hawaii-based playwright, Lee Tonouchi, but he took advantage of our open submission policy and we found his play about the real life story of Coach Soichi Sakamoto—who trained swimmers in the irrigation ditches of Maui in the 1930s, some of whom went on to Olympic glory—so compelling that we asked him to expand it from theater for youth to full-length, and produced Three Year Swim Club in February 2012. In this case, a playwright found a piece of neglected, inspiring history from his own community and brought it to life. And that’s the advice: look for neglected stories that deserve to be remembered.”


My nutshell takeaway: This one is short, but sweet and successful. I definitely applaud and agree with Mr. Liu’s advice to find neglected stories that deserve to be remembered; it ensures you’re not telling a story that’s been told countless times before. But as my SO always says when I say “What do you think of this idea?”—“It’s all in the execution.”


I have some great stuff coming up in future posts, but the interviews were long, and it’s going to take some time to wrangle them into something cohesive. I’m going to shoot for one next week.


Until then,




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 40 states, and on five continents. Her full-length plays include THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR (Princess Grace semi-finalist, currently in its third year in rep in Romania), SEEDS (Artie award winner for Outstanding New Play), FLOWERS IN THE DESERT (AACT top 20 finalist), SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest, Naatak National Playwriting Contest, and the 2015 Great Gay Play and Musical Contest), and BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2016 Kilroys List, Winner HRC Showcase, Firehouse Festival of New American Plays, top ten Woodward/Newman finalist); she’s also authored more than two dozen short plays that have had hundreds of productions. 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.

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