Sons & Lovers
Sons & 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 fifty 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-thirties (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: cliched French accent, stereotypically French 
Trevi Dude: cliched 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.

Resident playwright at Road Less Traveled Productions, Donna’s work has so far been seen in 46 states and on five continents. Plays include SAFE (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests), BRILLIANT WORKS OF ART (2016 Kilroys List), ELEVATOR GIRL (2017 O’Neill finalist, Princess Grace finalist), and TEACH (2018 O'Neill semi-finalist, Ashland finalist); she has also been nominated for both the Primus and Blackburn Prizes, and is a two-time winner of the Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play (SEEDS, SONS & LOVERS). For three consecutive years, she was named Buffalo's Best Writer by Artvoice—the only woman to ever receive the designation. 

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. She serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and also as Western New York regional representative. In addition, she is a blogger, and moderator of the 12,000+-member Official Playwrights of Facebook. Check her out at

Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote. 

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for Sons & Lovers, click here.

“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

Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.
The required materials for Sons & Lovers include:
Production Scripts
Available Products:
Print Edition – Beautifully bound scripts available at wholesale costs to sell in your lobby!
Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes.
Logo/PR Pack –Includes high-resolution artwork, ready-designed posters, and reference photos.