Hook the Holy Hollow


This three-act surrealistic play opens as Penny, a homely young Mormon woman, is prepared for a date by her mother.  Although Penny behaves quite chastely and innocently on this, one of her first dates, the young man she has accompanied castigates her for her wanton licentiousness and reports her to their local Mormon bishop for discipline.  As the play moves further toward satire, Penny faces questioning by an unseen bishop, and promises to remain obedient to church regulations.  The first act follows Penny’s further dating difficulties and her frustrated attempts to express her newly budding sexuality, ending in her desperate call to an escort agency.

The second act of the play shows Penny’s dating difficulties being compounded by forays into prostitution which she must keep secret, and by an unexpected pregnancy that is discovered by her family.  Penny experiences persecution from her righteous brother, while her parents desperately try to get Penny married off (while disallowing dating) to prevent scandal.  Yet, Penny’s new husband believes that Penny must master marital sex as she might memorize vocabulary, and Penny finds herself compelled to escape his tyrannical grasp.  Throughout it all, visual and aural effects help illustrate the “horror show” in Penny’s head.

With divorce even more scandalous than Penny’s pregnancy or her husband’s abuse, Penny and her parents work in the third act of the play to restore an image of propriety to Penny’s life.  The bishops demand that Penny write letters to them describing her sex life and the penitence she is undertaking to achieve forgiveness.  As the birth of Penny’s baby nears, she sinks into deep depression and no longer finds solace in her church.  Penny’s mother fights to keep her from returning to the escort agency, finally getting Penny absorbed in useless craftwork developed by the church to fill women’s time.  But it is up to Penny to make the mental journey toward acceptance or rejection of her role as a woman in contemporary Mormon society.




Play Structure:

3 Acts:  Act I, 10 scenes;  Act II, 12 scenes;  Act III, 8 scenes

Cast size:




2 female, 2 male




Any west coast town with a substantial concentration of Mormons.


An empty stage with sparse utilitarian furniture, such as folding chairs.






Production History


Hook the Holy Hollow received its premiere production by The Experimental Theatre Project (White Cat Productions) at the Chamber Theater in Seattle, Washington, on June 3 – 18, 2005.  The play was directed by R. Nina Ruchirat, and was performed by the following cast and crew:




Maya Ray


Elisa Hays


Tom McIntire


Jessica DiSalvo


Andrew Loviska


Sulo Turner


David Nance


James DuRuz

Bishop/TV Show host

J. Spyder Isaacson


Costume Designer

Alison Park-Douglas


Amy Christie

Set Designer

Katie Lawrence

Props Designer

Julie Campbell

Lighting Designer

Jason Thiroux

Sound Designer

Andrew Hamilton

Media Designer

Sulo Turner

Light Operator

Noah Benezra

Sound Operator

Alejandro Gutierrez

Sound Assistant

Ryan Smith

Stage Manager

Ashley Ellsworth

Asst Stage Manager

Julie Campbell

Fight Choreographer

Aaron Orensky

Makeup Consultant

Elizabeth Finan

House Manager

Amy Hartwell