Dori Appel Playwright and Poet 


Hat TricksHat Tricks, available from Samuel French, is full of friendly surprises

Hat Tricks is a lively compilation of 6 scenes and 3 monologues designed for performance by mature actresses. Covering a range of women's experiences in the second half of life, these 9 pieces range from the purely comedic to those that combine humor with thoughtful and sometimes poignant explorations. This is a richly varied collection featuring a single intriguing commonality: Each scene or monologue includes the presence and compelling use of a HAT!

Hat Tricks is extremely flexible in relation to casting, set, and length: The cast may range from three to a dozen actresses, and all scenes may be performed on a single unit set. Although running time is approximately two hours, the structure of the play allows for the selection of fewer pieces if a shorter program is desired.

Hat Tricks is available from Samuel French, Inc. 45 West 25th Street, New York, N.Y. 10010. 212-206-8990 fax: 212-206-1429

Hat Tricks may be purchased at or
Arrangements for production of Hat Tricks may be made through Samuel French, Inc. 45 West 25th Street, New York, N.Y. 10010. 212-206-8990 fax: 212-206-1429,

Scene Descriptions.

Specs (monologue) The speaker for a community center lecture about leisure activities for seniors struggle to  juggle three pairs of eyeglasses set for different distance viewing, then compounds both confusion and hilarity by attempting to replace all with her new trifocals.

Bon Voyage (scene).  Three older unmarried sisters prepare for the Caribbean Cruise that is not only the trip of a lifetime, but their first shared vacation since childhood. In the midst of their excitement, however, they make some startling discoveries about the past that require their immediate attention.     

Dream On (scene). Are these two elaborately dressed ladies, sharing coffee and dessert in a restaurant dripping with surreal chic, friends or complete strangers? That is only one of the questions raised by this Alice- in- Wonderland adventure in which reality slips quite casually into the mischievous imagery of dreams.  

Junk Yard Dog (monologue). 'Nothin' tougher than a junk yard dog, 'ceptin' maybe a junk yard woman,” says the survivor of a wild encounter with “the biggest, ugliest, meanest lookin' beast I ever saw in my whole life.”

Retribution (scene). A woman recalls a childhood event involving a mother's mistake and a narrow escape -- back in the days when everyone wore a hat!

Gift Exchange (scene). Close friends with very different temperaments share confusion, humor, and heartbreak, and also learn more about each other, while practicing tai chi.

Treasure Hunt (scene). A pair of bag ladies compete for a trashcan treasure, until an unforeseen event robs it of all value, while providing the audience with an unexpected and very delicious surprise.         

Vocabulary Lesson (monologue).  A woman dressing for a costume party finds herself giving her five year old grandson a more truthful history of the Valkyries than she had ever intended.

Alchemy (scene). A successful poet in her eighties and her sixty-something daughter, the author of a popular newspaper column, are thrown into a  situation that exposes both their long-standing rivalry and their closely-guarded vulnerability. Matched in outspokenness, humor, and wit, they arrive at a new level of understanding through a circuitous, highly entertaining route. 

Optional Finale Song.
The Hat Trick Song (ensemble)

A delightfully clever and spirited song, composed by Richard Koldwyn, with lyrics by David Hyman, celebrating the magic of hats of all kinds: berets, fedoras, turbans, the trilby, Easter bonnet, and more -- including the baseball cap!

Honors and Awards

Finalist, 2008 Oregon Book Award in Drama, Alchemy, first runner-up, one-act category, 2005 Eileen Heckart Drama for Seniors Competition, sponsored by The Ohio State University, 2005.  Gift Exchange, finalist, 2006 Kernodle One-Act Play Contest, sponsored by the University of Arkansas.  Bon Voyage, second runner-up in one-act category, Eileen Heckart Drama for Seniors Competition, 2007.


". . a fine balance between a sense of comedy verging on the absurd and a sensitivity to the poignant that pricks the heart. . . In hockey, a hat trick occurs when one player succeeds in scoring three times in a single game . Dori Appel's new play Hat Tricks scores more times than I can count.”  --Ashland Daily Tidings, Ashland, Oregon

"A funny, sad, wise and often whimsical look at the second half of women's lives. . . "Hat Tricks" delivers its laughs with heart and chemistry from all concerned. It may be some of the smartest therapy around for women of a certain age."  --Medford Mail Tribune, Medford, Oregon