Author's Corner: A chat with Hank Haskell, author of 'P.S.'

eshaw@islandpacket.comMay 17, 2014 

Name: Hank Haskell

Residence: Hilton Head Island

Book: "P. S."

Printed by: Curry Printing

Where to buy: On the South Carolina Repertory Company's website,, or by emailing the author at

First sentence: "It was 8:30 p.m. on a March evening in 1993, and Hilton Head Island's Park Plaza Theatre was full."

Plot summary: To celebrate 22 years at the South Carolina Repertory Company, my book commemorates more than two decades of professional live theater in our small black box theater on Hilton Head Island. The SCRC has defied the odds and assembled an exceptional community of artists. Like all good theater, my story is full of adventure, unexpected turns, suspense and high stakes.

Story behind the book: This is my sixth book, and it is a continuation of my book, "Encore," written a few years ago. Since the theater is closing, I decided to write about the more than 111 productions SCRC brought to the stage and the off-stage drama of this theater company.

Best part of running a theater company: Getting to meet and interact with the many people who supported SCRC by attending our shows and donated to our fundraisers, seeing so many superb shows and actors on our own stage.

Most challenging part of running a theater company: Selecting the shows and raising the money to meet expenses for shows.

Something surprising that happens behind-the-scenes: In the theater world, nothing surprises me. Every show and almost every performance brings challenges. I am a problem solver, and there are plenty of them in live theater.

Favorite SCRC memory: Seeing my wife of 57 years performing on stage in so many wonderful shows, especially in "Eleemosynary" in 2012.

Black box theaters are special because: The audience is so close to the stage and actors.

Previous writing experience: I started writing in high school and college (Bowdoin) as my college roommate became an English professor and later became my editor. He and I published our first book together in 1983, "Brunswick's Legacy: A Learned Man," which was a biography of my father. I later wrote a biography of the longtime owner of the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan, "Sailing with the Salty Four," about my sailing activities, and "Brunswick Yarns: An American Family Business," a book about the textile company I ran for more than 40 years.

Earliest writing memory: Reports in high school and college. I loved doing research, especially on famous people, and found my reports earned A's and raised my GPA, which needed a boost.

Favorite books: "The Path Between the Seas," "The Mind of the South" and "War and Peace."

What's next: I'm writing a book about Peru and a Peruvian couple that my wife, Pat, and I have known for many years. We recently visited Peru, and I'm inspired to write about another fascinating family.

Follow reporter Erin Shaw at


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On Stage: 'The Outgoing Tide' last production for long-running South Carolina Repertory Company

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