When Acting major Paige Hoke ’10 wrote The Princess Rescuers as a class project, she never expected to see it actually performed onstage. With the guidance of her professors and peers, however, her play was included in Arcadia’s 2009 fall theater lineup.
That was just the initial stage for Hoke, whose play was one of only two from the region nominated for a national student playwriting award. A scene from her play was performed at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, which put her in contention for a Kennedy Center National award.
Hoke wrote The Princess Rescuers in Play and Screenwriting, a class taught by Adjunct Professor of Theater Arts Larry Loebell. Her play is about three children who enter a painting of a castle at their babysitter’s house and embark upon a journey to save a princess. Throughout the quest, they learn the importance of working together.
“I wanted to write something that would be fun, magical and exciting for children,” Hoke says. “I was lucky enough to see a good amount of theater as a child, and the stories and experiences I had at those performances have always stayed with me.”
In class, Hoke received constructive feedback. “Professor Loebell gave me a lot of suggestions on how I could revise the play to make it stronger,” she says.
“I make suggestions about how students might discover or develop good story ideas and characters, but mostly they invent these things,” Loebell says. “This was true in Paige’s case, where she invented a fantasy world and developed it. In class critique sessions, suggestions were made and questions were asked that helped her to focus and shape her story.”
Mark Wade, Assistant Professor and Director of Theater Arts, heard about The Princess Rescuers and asked Hoke to submit it to him. Her play was one of 100 that he read for possible inclusion in the fall lineup. “The Theater program is committed to doing new plays. It’s part of the learning process for actors.”
The Alumni Association collaborated with Wade and the Theater program to highlight Hoke. The show was added to the Arcadian Adventure series as a Family Theater and Cast Party. This special performance gave alumni and their children and grandchildren the chance to meet the characters at a magical reception.
As for Hoke, seeing her play come to life was a fulfilling experience. “It was a huge honor to have my piece performed at Arcadia.”
Listen to Paige Hoke ’10, Chris Kleckner, Production Manager, and Alisa Kleckner, Costume Shop Supervisor, talk about bringing The Princess Rescuers to life as you watch a slide show of images from the play.