SAFE

In 1986, Nancy is a sheltered high school girl unable to stand up to her overprotective father, or the bullies who torment her and her best friend. Twenty-five years later, married to the controlling Kirk, Nancy finds she's raised a bully herself. Faced with tragic consequences for her inaction, Nancy struggles to break the cycle of intolerance that haunts her.

This play is the winner of...
In 1986, Nancy is a sheltered high school girl unable to stand up to her overprotective father, or the bullies who torment her and her best friend. Twenty-five years later, married to the controlling Kirk, Nancy finds she's raised a bully herself. Faced with tragic consequences for her inaction, Nancy struggles to break the cycle of intolerance that haunts her.

This play is the winner of the 2014 Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest, the Naatak National Playwriting Contest, and the 2015 Great Gay Play and Musical Contest. It was also a finalist in T. Schreiber New Works, and a semi-finalist in the 37th Bay Area Playwrights Festival and nuVoices at Actors Theatre of Charlotte.

See photos, trailer, and mini-doc here: http://www.donnahoke.com/plays/Safe.html
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SAFE

Recommended by

  • Nick Malakhow:
    31 Mar. 2020
    What a beautifully-constructed play that makes such excellent and poignant use of double-casting. I loved how repeated gestures/tics were employed across generations. Donna Hoke explores homophobia and other kinds of prejudice, societal structures that keep us in cycles of oppression, and redemption in a briskly-moving 90-or-so minutes! I appreciated the way the play wound back and forth through time, yet always felt as if it was structurally moving forward at a steady clip. Hoke has rendered some very three-dimensional and vividly-realized characters here. The final stage image is gorgeous and well-earned. I'd love to see a production!
  • Doug DeVita:
    27 Dec. 2019
    Powerful, gut-wrenching look at homophobia and bullying, and what has, and more importantly, has not changed in 30 years. What makes it even more touching is how it’s told through the memories of one person, and how she reacts to what she did, and didn’t, do at two key stages in her life. Compelling dialogue, seamless time shifts, and recognizably human characters make “Safe” a worthy addition to the LGBTQ canon.
  • Siegmund Fuchs:
    16 Jul. 2019
    SAFE is a great piece about homophobia and bullying, leading up to a wonderful and haunting climax that is both theatrical and dialogue-driven. SAFE would be a great pick for a queer festival or for Pride Month.

Character Information

  • Younger Nancy/Older Nancy
    17-42,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    1986, high school junior/2011, Rex’s mother
  • Brett/Todd
    16-17,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    BRETT: 1986. High school junior
    TODD: 2011. High school sophomore
  • Kirk/Tom
    40s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    1986: TOM: Nancy's father
    2011. KIRK: Nancy’s husband, Rex’s father
    This actor also plays Jimmy/Rich:
    JIMMY: 1986. High school boy
    RICH: 2011. High school boy
  • Rex/Ace
    18,
    same as Nancy
    ,
    Male
    1986: Ace, high school boy
    2011: Rex, high school senior
  • Officer Vivek/Kathy
    40s-50s,
    same as Todd
    ,
    Female
    Officer Vivek in 1986, Kathy in 2011
  • Optional sixth actor: Jimmy/Rich
    teen,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    OPTIONAL SIXTH ACTOR: If you find yourself unable to find an actor capable of Kirk’s quadruple casting, or even if you just wish to add an actor, the roles of Jimmy/Rich may be cast separately.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Winner, Great Gay Play and Musical Contest
    ,
    2015
  • Workshop
    ,
    Winner, Naatak Playwriting Contest
    ,
    2015
  • Reading
    ,
    Piccolo Spoleto Festival/Todd McNerney Winner
    ,
    2014
  • Reading
    ,
    Road Less Traveled Productions
    ,
    2013

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Road Less Traveled Productions
    ,
    2016
  • Professional
    ,
    Queer Theatre Kalamazoo
    ,
    2016
  • University
    ,
    Saginaw Valley State University
    ,
    2015

Awards

Selection
,
Gwen Frostic Reading Playwright
,
Western Michigan University
,
2016
Winner
,
Great Gay Play and Musical Contest
,
Pride Films and Plays
,
2015
Semi-Finalist
,
Bay Area Playwrights Festival
,
Playwrights Foundation
,
2014
Finalist
,
T. Schreiber New Works
,
T. Schreiber Studio
,
2014
Semi-Finalist
,
nuVoices
,
Actors Theatre of Charlotte
,
2014
Winner
,
Todd McNerney National Playwriting Contest
,
College of Charleston
,
2014
Winner
,
Naatak National Playwriting Contest
,
Naatak Theatre
,
2014