HEARTS OF STONE

Lydia Stokes is dreaming about dead psych patients--while she’s awake. She believes they need her help; her husband believes she’s out of her mind. Is there any way they can both be right?

Semi-finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival
Recipient Individual Artists Grant, New York State Council on the Arts
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HEARTS OF STONE

Recommended by

  • Nick Malakhow:
    22 Jan. 2020
    Part ghost story and part intrigue-filled mystery, HEARTS OF STONE is propelled by a compelling and sympathetic protagonist and populated by an eclectic cast of well-drawn characters. I appreciated the subtle foreshadowing of revelations to come throughout, and the pace at which major plot points were revealed. Hoke uses Lydia's motivation to uncover the mystery behind those haunting her as a skillful way to explore and flesh out Lydia's own issues with grief, mental health, and her anxieties of falling into unhealthy familial patterns. A warm sense of humor woven through the piece provides needed levity between urgent discovery.
  • Claudia Haas:
    21 Jan. 2020
    Hoke has crafted both a ghost story and a mystery amid a background of our country’s early growth of “insane asylums” that populated all 50 states. At the core is a loving couple at odds with each other as the ghosts of forgotten patients fill Lydia’s dreams and eventually her waking hours. There is magic here mixed with care and love. Grief meets the past, permeates the present and may destroy a future. Smartly written with humor and goodness, this is an original look on the development of mental health in our country. Highly theatrical and very poignant.
  • Chuck Lipsig:
    6 Jan. 2019
    This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, but likewise heartmending, ghost story.

Character Information

  • Lydia
    50s,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    Schoolteacher in a rural area
  • Roy
    50s-60s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    Lydia's husband, a medical equipment repairman
  • Lizley
    mid-20s,
    Latinx
    ,
    Female
    lesbian, butch, institutionalized for 7 years
  • Doomsday
    30s-40s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    alarmist, depressed
  • Dummy
    40s,
    same as Lydia
    ,
    Female
    deaf, institutionalized since late teens;
    NOTE ON DUMMY’S SIGNING: She was institutionalized at a young age and does not know ASL nor has anybody bothered to teach her; her signs are organic, and should be fairly easy to decipher. She and the other patients have intuitive understanding, as a result of living together for so long.
  • DeGaulle
    30s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    likely autistic; NOTE ON DEGAULLE: It can be very easy to forget about him when he doesn’t have active stage directions. Please don’t. He should always be active, either in movement, practicing his RPS moves, or trying to engage someone in a game. He and the actress playing Dummy should be allowed to build nonverbal moments together.
  • Daniel Cosgrove
    same as DeGaulle,
    same as DeGaulle
    ,
    Male
    Principal at Lydia’s school, doubled with
  • Jack Hellum
    same as Doomsday,
    same as Doomsday
    ,
    Male
    mental health professional
  • Armstrong
    teen,
    same as Doomsday
    ,
    Male
    male high school student
  • Alvarez
    teen,
    Latinx
    ,
    Female
    Female high school student
  • Reporter #2
    same as Dummy,
    same as Dummy
    ,
    Female
    reporter
  • Reporter #1
    Same as Doomsday,
    same as Doomsday
    ,
    Male
    reporter
  • Bureaucrat #1
    same as DeGaulle,
    same as DeGaulle
    ,
    Male
    bureaucrat
  • Bureaucrat #2
    30s,
    Latinx
    ,
    Female
    bureaucrat

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    5th Wall Productions
    ,
    2019
  • Reading
    ,
    Town and Country Signature Series
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    Women's Theatre Festival of North Carolina
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    Buffalo East
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Western New York Players
    ,
    2016

Production History

  • Workshop
    ,
    Arts at the Palace
    ,
    2020
  • Workshop
    ,
    Buffalo Infringement Festival
    ,
    2017

Awards

Finalist
,
PlayFest Santa Barbara--current
,
PlayFest Santa Barbara
,
2020
Semi-Finalist
,
Bay Area Playwrights Festival
,
Bay Area Playwrights Foundation
,
2019
Finalist
,
Inaugural contest
,
Hive Collaborative
,
2018
Winner
,
Individual Artist Grant
,
New York State Council on the Arts
,
2017
Honorable Mention
,
Panndora
,
Panndora Productions
,
2017