Elevator Girl was never meant to be more than an urban legend, a sexual revenge fantasy created by Vanessa and her graphic illustrator boyfriend. But when the comic superhero unleashes her boyfriend’s darkest fantasies, as well as a flesh-and-blood copycat, Vanessa must stop EG in her tracks—with the truth.
Relationships—with coworkers, friends, lovers, or community—are built on narratives, and whoever controls the narrative controls the story. Controls the norm. Controls the power. Elevator Girl uses the lens of comic book tropes to demonstrate how difficult it is for women to change the story, and how difficult and essential it is for men—even well-meaning ones—to listen and commit to rewriting it.
There are uncomfortable scenarios we’ve all been a part of, even understand, because tropes can be shorthand for people to understand themselves and the world. This play was written years ago, pre-#metoo and #WhyIDidntReport. In their wake, it’s become clear that narratives surrounding sexual violence and even happy, functioning, healthy heterosexuality are still controlled by men, even as women are feeling more confident and empowered to speak out. Even really good men unintentionally speak over women, ignore them, and discredit them—not out of malice, but out of ignorance and generations of cultural conditioning.
Elevator Girl shows how easy it is for narratives to be taken over by the dominant culture, and how healing it can be to rewrite your story and speak your truth without obfuscation or apology. This is an ideal all women understand and want to put forth, with male allies by our side.
|Stage directions||Annie Paul|
Donna Hoke’s work has been seen in 46 states and on five continents. Plays include Brilliant Works of Art (2016 Kilroys List), Elevator Girl (2017 O’Neill, Princess Grace finalist), Safe (winner of the Todd McNerney, Naatak, and Great Gay Play and Musical Contests), and Teach (2018 O’Neill semi-finalist, Gulfshore New Works Festival, Athena Plays in Progress).
She has 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). She has also received an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts to develop Hearts of Stone, and, 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 also serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and as Greater New York State regional representative. In addition, she is a blogger and moderator of the 12,000-plus-member Official Playwrights of Facebook. Her commentary has been seen on #2amt, howlround, The Dramatist, the Official Playwrights of Facebook, and Workshopping the New Play (Applause, 2017).
Reading, InProximity Project W Festival, New York, 2018
Finalist, Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, Princess Grace Foundation, 2018
Finalist, O’Neill, O’Neill Center, 2017
Finalist, First Flight Festival, Boomerang, 2017
Reading, The Road Theatre Company Summer Play Festival, Los Angeles, 2017
Residency, Road Less Traveled Productions, 2016
Residency, Department of Theatre Western Michigan University, 2016