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Recommendations

Recommendations

  • Sarah Tuft:
    13 Aug. 2020
    Though rich with everything we love about the supernatural, HEARTS OF STONE is not your usual ghost story. Yes, there’s a sense of mystery and allure that there’s more to life than just death. But Hoke’s story also gives us a rare, multi-layered window into who we are based on our relationship to mental illness - past and present. A special bonus in this play, for me, the brilliantly crafted portrait of a marriage that has some significant structural weaknesses. So much truthful humanity in this play!
  • Diane Almeter Jones:
    6 Aug. 2020
    Donna Hoke’s characters: Lydia, Lizley, Doomsday, Dummy, and DeGaulle thoroughly engage the audience with their mysterious relationships. The ghostly dialogue between a small-town teacher and long dead inhabitants of an insane asylum is magnetic. Hoke’s exploration of institutionalization for reasons other than mental illness during the turn of the century 1800’s to the 1900’s, is to be applauded.
  • Sheila Rinear:
    26 Jul. 2020
    In her play, Hearts of Stone, Donna Hoke effectively tackles tough issues (mental illness, suicide). But she also tells an ethereally poignant story while delivering a 1-2 punch to society's often unaddressed and unapologized for assignment of shame to the victims of mental illness and suicide. With strong characters, an amazing story line, and important social issues effectively championed, this play is a winner!
  • John Minigan:
    25 Jul. 2020
    A gripping and compelling play that begins as a ghost story/thriller and ends up with powerful things to say about what happens when we don't know history--including (and especially) family history. An excellent use of an ensemble of six to create a sweeping story.
  • 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.
  • Chelsea Frandsen:
    10 Dec. 2018
    What an amazing journey! I absolutely adored the beautifully written dialogue. The magic of this story kept me hoping, and thinking, and wondering--I was nearly moved to tears more than once. I was grateful for the moments of levity which perfectly balanced out the moments of drama and tragedy. Donna Hoke deals with the subject of mental health in a sweet, open and honest way that reminds us of one of the important conversations we should be having.
  • Rachel Lynett:
    30 Apr. 2018
    Hearts of Stone is a brilliant reminder of what connects each of us beyond the limits of time and space. While exploring how grief affects us as we navigate through tragedy, the play also maintains subtle humor and wonderful dialogue. As the two storylines merged, I found myself wanting to believe in a miracle too and became incredibly moved by the magic of the play and in the honesty of how mental health is approached in modern times.