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Stage Door Productions welcomes back Ms. Donna Hoke to the 2014 edition of the One Act Festival, as Ms. Hoke’s selection entitled, “Life Lines”, was selected for performance in the Festival last year! We caught up with Donna to see where she is at this year, what inspired her to write her selection entitled “You Haven’t Changed a Bit”, and why, if you subscribe to the New York Times, you might be more familiar with Donna than you think!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in Western New York, where I’m a playwright in residence at Road Less Traveled Productions. I live with four kids, three cats, and a bass player who inspired my children’s book about a family of mice living in a double bass; it’s called Neko and the Twiggets. I’m also a New York Times-published crossword puzzle constructor, and make custom puzzles. My big claim to fame is making a Sunday size for Wendy Davis’ birthday!

What is your background in theater?
Years and years of attendance and years and years of writing all sorts of things for both fun and money—about seven years of marrying the two. I don’t understand why it took me so long to realize they belonged together because they’re such a happy couple.

How did you find out about Stage Door Productions’ One Act Festival?
Email alert? Official Playwrights of Facebook? One of those two.

What inspired or motivated you to write this One Act?
In a nutshell, two things. One, moving back to my hometown and spending some time with some people I went to high school with. Two, my mother losing her two older sisters in a space of six months. At 86, she’s always having to make new friends, and having just experienced that feeling of being with people who knew me when, I felt like, at her age and in that situation, you must long to be with someone—anyone—with whom you don’t have to start over. There’s a certain comfort in that.

How did you feel upon the selection of your Act to be performed by Stage Door Productions?
Very excited! This is my second time in the festival, and this play is a favorite.

What do you hope the audience takes away from your story?
That whether or not you remained friends with people from your youth, there will always be value in those relationships because you shared a seminal time together. And that life isn’t over, until it is—there is always another phase to explore.

What doors do you expect to be opened for you from this selection and process?
I hope Stage Door would be willing to look at some full-length plays…

What’s next for you?
I have several short plays coming up in other festivals; in the full-length arena, my comedy, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, continues in rep in Romania through 2016; I have a world premiere of FLOWERS IN THE DESERT coming up in May; I’m honing SAFE for a 2015/16 production; I just started workshopping BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART; I’m shopping my new Christmas comedy, CHRISTMAS 2.0; and I’m knee deep in research for the current play I’m writing, which takes place in 1955. And soon, I’ll be taking submissions for BUA Takes 10, the ten-minute festival I helped found and co-curate, so I’ll be reading a ton of ten-minute plays!

Be sure to check out Donna Hoke’s One Act “You Haven’t Changed a Bit” on April 11th, 12th, and 13th at 7:30pm at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on 1201 Caroline Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia!

Be sure to follow Donna at her Twitter account @donnahoke

Ms. Donna Hoke

Ms. Donna Hoke