Donna Hoke:Playwright

Read plays at indie theater now and the New Play Exchange

Donna Hoke is a Buffalo-based, award-winning playwright whose work has been commissioned, produced, and/or developed in 38 states and on 5 continents, and counting. She makes her artistic home as an ensemble playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions, where the premiere of her first full-length production, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, was the theater's top-grossing world premiere and the sixth highest grossing play in the theater's history. Hoke is also author of the full-length plays COCKEYED TODAY, LOST AT SEA, SEEDS (winner of the 2013 Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play), FLOWERS IN THE DESERT (finalist for the inaugural American Association of Community Theaters contest),SAFE (winner of the 2014 Todd McNerney and Naatak National Playwriting Contests, 2015 Great Gay Play and Musical, 2014 Bay Area Playwrights Festival semi-finalist), CHRISTMAS 2.0 (Hormel Festival of New Works, 2015), BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2015 Last Frontier Theatre Conference, TADA! fifth place finisher, top ten finisher Woodward/Newman Drama contest, top three finisher Rising Sage Visiting Playwrights, semi-finalist Playwright First, winner Firehouse Festival of New American Plays), ON THE ROOF, THE WAY IT IS, OPEN AND SHUT, MEET ME AT THE GATES, MARCUS JAMES as well as more than two dozen short plays (see links to the side for more information).

A member of the International Center for Women Playwrights, Chicago Dramatists, and the Dramatists Guild, Hoke serves as the Western New York representative for the Dramatists Guild, which allows her to foster the playwright community in her home region. 

Click HERE to read The Buffalo News feature on Donna Hoke.

Read an in-depth interview with Donna at the Fourth Wall Review HERE.

Listen to Donna's interview on Onstage/Offstage: HERE.












"Donna Hoke writes dialogue brilliantly, a natural flow, pauses, spurts, silent moments speaking volumes."__Ted Hadley, Buffalo News, SAFE

"Hoke’s writing is clever and intellectual... [Her] greatest triumph is that while the subject matter of the piece is obvious, she... is not heavy-handed... allowing audiences to draw their own feelings based on the human experiences they witness. The production is thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking."__Nathan Andrew Miller, New York Theatre Guide

"Hoke manages to avoid clichés and sentimentality throughout, even though the situation at the heart of her text would readily lend itself to tear-floods. Instead, she concentrates on fluctuating emotions and on sharp dialogue, while intimating that old habits will hardly ever die."__Janine Goedert

“Flowers in the Desert” by Donna Hoke is disguised as a simple piece of drama about relationships. In some moments it is funny, touching and sometimes raw. But what it really is, is anything but simple."__Marina Lai

"What follows is an exploration of what lies in a marriage and the couple’s struggle to find the happy medium between retrieving what they had whilst embarking on a fresh start. This is achieved through a wonderful symbiosis of comedy and drama, set against the running backdrop of Mo’s, a perfect metaphorical purgatory between a symbol of their stale previous marriage and a declaration of their endeavours to renew their love for each other once more." (Luxembourg review of FLOWERS IN THE DESERT)

"The scenes, many punctuated by Bruce Springsteen songs (in one scene Bruce himself appears in a bar much to the delight of both Joe and Britt), are underpinned by riveting dialogue and I find myself thinking that the Actors Rep brings to Luxembourg some absolutely fantastic plays."--Sarita Rao, Luxembourg Wort (review of FLOWERS IN THE DESERT)

"With plays like SeedsThe Couple Next Door, and Safe, she examines the anxieties of modern living with palpable apprehension about the future, and in that regard, would seem to be the quintessential Buffalo playwright—but with far more foreboding than A. R. Gurney and far less innocent merriment than Tom Dudzick."__Anthony Chase, The Public

"Donna Hoke’s “You Haven’t Changed a Bit” ... is a sweet and tender scene, lovely in just the right, small ways."__Ben Siegel, Buffalo News

"There’s enough in Hoke’s perceptive dialogue to convey the gist of the situation and lead to a moving conclusion... a well thought-out play with a unique ending."__ Rita Moran, Ventura County Star

The most resonance [of the evening] comes in Donna Hoke’s melancholic exploration of awkwardness in the reunion of “You Haven’t Changed a Bit."--Jonathan Levine

"Contrasting superficial Facebook minutia with efforts to communicate some emotional truths, the conversation in
'Face Time' was sharp, tart, funny, and uncomfortable."--Judith Reynolds, Durango Herald

"One of the most effective pieces addressing our society’s obsession with smart phones and social networking is 'Face Time' by Donna Hoke. In just ten minutes, this well-written scene impressively tells a full and complete story of two old high school friends catching up while waiting in line... The social commentary of these smart phone pet peeves and the inability to truly communicate is easy to swallow in this fun, not-preachy package."--Mia Resella, Life in L.A.

"Hoke's...clever comedy...serves as a smart commentary on technology's constant intrusion into the social sphere"--Colin Dobkowski, Buffalo News

"Buffalo's Donna Hoke is not yet a household name. She's working on it though."--Ted Hadley, Buffalo News

"'The observant and insightful "Seeds" is Hoke's best work to date...a matchless comfortable with the offbeat and the right-on, perfectly, naturally bringing to life the characters Hoke has crafted with what keen and sensitive director Kelley calls "humor, wisdom and heart."

"'You Haven't Changed a Bit' is a short play that tells a real human story, perfectly written. Donna Hoke's dialogue was natural. The words and the characterizations were just magical. A gem."--Berkshire OnStage

"The creativity at work in this script is a great example of the intellectual material of the evening."--Spectrum writer Sean Barbineau on "Black and White"

"Hoke's Gift Horse displays clear master of craft, and is a well-structured 10-minute play that draws clear portraits of its characters and their lives. The layered emotional subtexts gives way to a clear, if bittersweet, message about human interactions."--Rachel Brody, playwright, theater reviewer, blogger

"Playwright Hoke can write…dialogue flows naturally, real people saying real things…. The story has verve, it lives and breathes."
--The Buffalo News

"The play challenges notions of what defines a stable relationship, as neither couple leaves the encounter unchanged. This is not a cautionary tale warning against the evils of swinging; neither does the play condemn the practice. We see characters learn about themselves and learn about their relationships in surprising ways. That is the pleasure of 'The Couple Next Door.'"--Anthony Chase, Artvoice

"'The Couple Next Door' is humorous and topical and hot. There are a lot of laughs, but Donna Hoke treats these characters with a lot of sensitivity and humanity, as well.”

"'Write This Way' is inventive, sweet, and funny.”--Joe Godfrey, playwright

"Donna Hoke's plaintive and realistic style of dialogue lets the audience see into the inner conflict of her well-constructed characters.”
--David Carnevale, Managing Director of Theatre Out



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