Sons & Lovers


Sons and Lovers
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WINNER! 2018 Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play

Ellen knows the score— her son is gay and her husband is cheating— but it's so much easier to pretend than to talk about it. It takes fantasy, farce, and one fabulous makeover before the truth flies free, mother and son discover just how much they have in common, and Ellen realizes the reality she's been avoiding most is her own.


Ellen knows three things: her son is gay, her husband is cheating on her, and she’s about to be 50 years old. The problem? She’s in denial about all three, which means she won’t let her son throw her a party, she maintains the fiction that his lover is a woman who might someday give her grandchildren, and she allows her airplane mechanic husband to placate her by adding to her snow globe collection each time he returns from all the exotic places Ellen longs to visit herself.

As the stress mounts, the realities of Ellen’s life begin to plague her subconscious in the form of sexy foreign men, and then her conscious in the form of ladies’ undergarments in her husband’s suitcase and her son’s insistence on the truth. Forced to a crossroads, Ellen faces her fears head on, and charts a new direction for her life. First stop, France.


Hoke arguably evokes such current writers as Sarah Ruhl or Paula Vogel…



Ellen – 50, a real woman catching up with the world; she is not a model-thin type.

Bill – Ellen’s son, 24, totally out but for a conversation with his mom.

Marq – Early to mid-30s (he should look older than Bill).

Butch – Ellen’s husband, a good-looking, lean, 54-year-old, the kind who appeals to younger women.

Giancarlo – Super hot waiter, Italian with a real Italian accent, not a stereotype.

Pierre – Super hot hairdresser/makeup artist; French with a real French accent, not a stereotype.

Parisian Waiter – Clichéd French accent, stereotypically French.

Trevi Dude – Clichéd Italian accent, stereotypically Italian.

Casting Note: Marq/Pierre/Giancarlo are triple cast. Butch/Waiter/Trevi Dude are triple cast.

Setting: Time: Now.

Scene 1: Ellen’s kitchen.

Scene 2: Bill’s apartment.

Scene 3: Parisian cafe.

Scene 4: Bill’s apartment.

Scene 5: The More Fabulous You Salon.

Scene 6: Ellen’s bedroom/Bill’s apartment.

Scene 7: Trevi Fountain, Rome.

Scene 8: Tre Uomoni restaurant.

Set Note: Sets can be as elaborate as needed. The Buffalo production was black box and used four plywood setpieces painted black: two “chairs” that worked separately or as a “couch,” a table that doubled as a fountain, and an oblong piece that was a bed, a counter top, and a room divider in Scene 6.

Performance Royalties for AMATEUR and EDUCATIONAL Groups, please fill out an application for your personalized quote. 

Performance Royalties for PROFESSIONAL Theaters will be quoted as a box office percentage, with a minimum guarantee based on ticket prices and theater particulars. Please fill out an application for your personalized quote.

Authorized Materials must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement (see Materials). 

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement.

“This is an engaging comedy that plays with love, sex and commitment at all stages of life.”

"It's a twist on the coming-of-age story only the protagonist is a middle-aged woman!"

"Even when dealing with secrets and betrayals, the play retains it lightness of being."

"Donna Hoke’s new play, Sons & Lovers, is a clever little invention about a middle-aged woman named Ellen who is at a crossroads in her life." –ArtVoice

Authorized Materials must be purchased from Stage Rights as a part of your licensing agreement. Your materials will be sent to you digitally by your Licensing Representative. 

The Authorized Materials/Production Package for  Sons & Lovers are all fulfilled digitally and consist of: 

Acting Edition

Stage Manager Script