November 7th, 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.




Note:  Emerging Artists Theatre’s submission window is currently CLOSED.


“I read all submissions, because if someone’s taken the time, the least I can do is read it. I had a very moving experience with a female playwright who submitted a one-act play and she broke down in tears in the lobby. She said, ‘No one has responded to me in three years; you’re the first person who has actually asked for a copy of my play.’ She ended up having a three-week run here and got to sit back and watch an audience experience her work.


“We also have a new work series, and Cheryl Howard submitted her one woman show, The Sensational Josephine Baker, and we did a workshop, and it has a fourteen-week run off-Broadway [at Beckett Theatre]. And that was a cold submission; I didn’t know her or anything.


“One thing that drives me crazy is when submitted plays don’t include a title page. I have plays that I’m interested in and I have no way to contact the playwright because there’s no address, no email, or I’ll try to trace them through email and the email is now dead. I hold onto things, so contact information is important.


“The other thing is that everybody has their own unique voice, and a lot of times, I think people are writing to be commercial or write something they think people will be interested in. But when people write from the truth, even when they’re writing fiction, I don’t care if it’s two characters or twelve characters, it’s not usually a certain subject matter that attracts me—it’s their voice.”


My nutshell takeaway: I am moved by the story Mr. Adams shared of the woman who’d gone three years without a response to her submissions. Three years is a long time; I don’t know if I would have had the fortitude to soldier on if I never got a word of encouragement in THREE years. I don’t know who that woman is, but I salute her. She is worth remembering any time we feel discouraged and need to remember that it only takes one person to read, one person to notice, one person to believe. This is such a feel-good post for me, because it not only reminds me of that but that there are, indeed, people like Paul Adams who really do read every submission.


Until next time,







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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  1. 1 Wayne Paul Mattingly said at 3:26 pm on November 8th, 2013:

    I submitted my one act play, STRIPPING EDEN,cold to Paul & Emerging Artists Theatre for their EATfest a few years ago & it was selected & given a production in NYC. Warm group all around.

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