Dori Appel Playwright and Poet 


Meet Dori Appel

What matters to me is connection and relationship.

I write plays and poems that I hope will resonate with important personal experiences- and these range from the very comedic (yes, I love that people find my work funny!) to material that includes more complex, thoughtful, and sometimes poignant explorations. Although I write about both women and men of all ages, there is a definite focus in my plays on the important experiences of women throughout their lives. All three of the plays published by Samuel French, Girl Talk, Hot Flashes, and Hat Tricks, reflect this. As I grow older myself, providing high quality roles and material for older actresses has become a major goal. Hot Flashes, co-authored with Carolyn Myers, is about menopause, but more significantly, it's about the important changes and experiences that take place in women's lives during this time of life. The great popularity of Hot Flashes and the many enthusiastic and heartfelt comments we've received from those who have seen it, have shown us that we succeeded in doing what we intended- and we are delighted!

I originally wrote Hat Tricks for three brilliant older actresses in our community, for whom I wanted to create a play that would provide an opportunity to demonstrate their remarkable talents while giving them challenging material to work with- plus some real fun! The show was a runaway audience and critical success in its premiere production in Ashland, Oregon in 2006, directed with remarkable insight, humor, and precision by my dear friend and theater partner of twenty-five years, Carolyn Myers, and starring Shirley Patton, Brandy Carson, and Judith Sanford. Later in the fall of 2006, it was presented as a main-stage reading at the Senior Theatre Festival in St. Louis, where again, the response was beyond anything I could have hoped for. It seemed immediately clear to everyone in that large audience that this is a play about the variety of experiences involved in the second half of women's lives, and that it provides tremendous performing possibilities for older actresses while avoiding themes and clichés often identified as "Senior Theatre". The material is, however, very accessible, and like my other plays which consist of compilations of short pieces, may be happily and very successfully performed by less-experienced actresses.

Regarding my dual playwright/poet identity, I'm including two poems from my collection Another Rude Awakening, my YouTube video of a piece called "The Future", and a clip of "Meaning Menopause" from a DVD of Hot Flashes. "Meaning Menopause" was widely published as a poem before evolving into a dramatic monologue. Similarly, although I originally wrote "The Future" as a poem (yes, inspired by a girlhood memory!), with Carolyn Myers' incredible sense of how things play on stage, it became a lively little scene in The Lunatic Within (1999 Winner of the Oregon Book Award in Drama,) performed by a cast of four. It is now also published as a monologue in the anthology, The Ultimate Audition Book: 221 One-Minute Monologues From Literature, (ISBN 1575254018), which has received excellent reviews. (The book may be ordered directly from Smith and Kraus, toll free : 888-282-2881, or from Amazon and other book sellers.)

My work as a playwright and poet is challenging, occasionally frustrating—  but always exciting!

Have fun exploring my web site!