Donna Hoke offers page-by-page script analysis and career coaching for a reasonable fee. If interested, please inquire at

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

April 25th, 2016 donnahoke

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 of Charlotte and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, as well as a finalist for T. Schreiber New Works—great accolades that did nothing to further development. Winning the 2014 Todd McNerney and Naatak Playwriting Contests, and particularly the 2015 Great Gay Play and Musical Contest, garnered it three more readings, but, when I was finished with those, I didn’t feel like major script changes were necessary. I needed to see it on its feet.

Fortunately, a world premiere was scheduled for March 2016. But, what became even more fortunate was an informal “out-of-town tryout” that we’d arranged with a university. You’d think a play that had one several awards wouldn’t be much cause for worry, but there’s no such thing as a sure thing, as we discovered. Read about what we learned, and how it helped ensure that the play will have ongoing life:

Perfect Partnership: Workshopping a New Play with a University 



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 Managers and Artistic Directors on getting your plays produced. Click RIPP at the upper right.

To read entries in Playwrights Living Outside New York series, click here or #PLONY in the category listing at upper right.


Leave a Reply