The Thought Doesn't Count


Emily Hageman



Rebecca and Tim don’t talk about their problems–but come on, could a sock monkey really be the thing to bring them back together?




Emily Hageman is a music and theater educator currently residing in Sioux City, Iowa. Her plays have seen production with Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival, Heartland Theatre Company, A Light in Dark Places, the Red Eye 10s International Play Festival, Midwest Dramatists Convention, the Growing Stage Theatre, Theatre Evolve, Spokane Stage Left, Iowa State University, Memoriam Development Nightshade, Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, and Gi60s. Emily is published with YouthPLAYS and Stage Partners.



1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?


Ever since my third grade teacher read my short story in front of my class, I’ve been in love with writing. My realization that I wanted to write plays came later. I had a hunger to provide my high school students with a play that was challenging, honest, sincere, and powerful and since I was tired of reading scripts, I decided to try my hand at writing my own–and here we are! Well. There were a few other things that happened between then and now, but for the sake of brevity, let’s move on.


2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?


One of my friends had just suffered a miscarriage, and I literally Googled “things to say to a friend who has had a miscarriage.” I was surprised to find that many, many women blame themselves, and carry the burden of this alone. So I imagined a couple walking down this path–and I walked with them with all of the empathy and compassion in my heart.


3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?


Empathetic, creative, honest, compassionate, insightful.


4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?


While I adore Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare–all those wonderful dead white men–I am constantly inspired by the writing my fellow playwrights, people I am proud to call friends. Jennifer O’Grady, Lindsay Partain, Franky Gonzalez, Nelson Diaz-Marcano, Matthew Weaver, Kevin King, Mike Pisaturo, Rachael Carnes. And beyond my wonderful writer friends, I am inspired by my students and the remarkable lives they lead. Special shoutout to my wonderful seniors who just graduated: Ayla, Harrison, Brynn, Jackson Hannah, Nick, Nathan, Lexi, and Megan. Love you all and may your journeys be filled with beauty and light.


5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?


I spend a lot of time playing Mario Kart. Like A LOT of time. And not even the cool new one. And when I say that nobody would guess that about me, everyone would guess that about me because I am in a constant state of post my Mario Kart woes on social media. It makes me feel more connected with the universe.


6. What are some of your favorite plays?


We just wrapped the most marvelous production of Newsies, so that ranks pretty high up there. Jump by Charly Evon Simpson, Paletas de Coco or, The Letter Unspoken or, The Christmas Eve Play by Franky Gonzalez, Charlotte’s Letters by Jennifer O’Grady, literally ANYTHING by Lindsay Partain. Actually, anything from my list of playwrights above. I don’t know how a human could ask me to narrow it down. I am not a narrow person.


7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?


I’m absolutely stoked to unveil my new plays for next year for my students, but right now, I’m forcing them to wait on pins and needles. They’ll just have to deal with. But as far as plugs, tons of my plays are published by Stage Partners and are ready to jump into the hands of high school and middle school teachers across the country. So if you’re looking for something sweet and funny and honest and also probably emotionally devastating, I’m your playwright.