I Hate This

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I Hate This (a play without the baby)
I hate this.jpg
Promotional image, 2003 (Anthony Gray)
Written byDavid Hansen
Date premieredFebruary 28, 2003
Place premieredCleveland Public Theatre
Cleveland, OH
Original languageEnglish
SubjectLoss of a stillborn child, told from a father's perspective.
Setting2001, in a hospital, various other locations

I Hate This (a play without the baby) is a solo performance by David Hansen detailing his experiences as the father of a stillborn child.


First produced at Cleveland Public Theatre in 2003, this award winning performance [1] has been presented at the Minnesota Fringe Festival and the New York Fringe Festival, as well as for numerous bereavement organisations in the United States and in Great Britain, and as a training event at hospitals for midwives, nurses and doctors.[2] The production was revived by the playwright at Cleveland Public Theater in April, 2011.[3]

In October 2014 the play was first performed in its entirety by a different actor than David Hansen. Freerange Theatre Company produced I Hate This at The Lowry Studio Theatre in Manchester, England. The role of David was played by John Dayton, directed by Hugo Chandor. In November 2015 I Hate This was produced at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York in a fully realized production directed, designed and performed by Brian Chandler Cook.[4]


At their thirty-week prenatal appointment, the playwright and his wife discover their first child has died due to preeclampsia. The events of the play cover the thirty-six hours between that revelation and the birth of their son, and also events during the year that leads up to this child's first birthday, all from the point of view of the father. In twenty-seven short scenes, the narrator performs a dozen characters including members of his family, friends, and a number of health care professionals and counselors.

"By elucidating such mundane moments as his futile attempts to be removed from a baby-food company mailing list, Hansen gives us a glimpse into day-to-day life after a baby dies."

- Laura Seftel, Grief Unseen[5]

Critical response[edit]

New York Times critic Jason Zinoman called I Hate This, "A well-made and often affecting drama."[6] Deb Hoodiman, writing for nytheatre.com called the production, "Powerful, sad and enjoyable,"[7] and Kate Morris writing for The Skinny (UK) called the play, "sincere and powerful."[8]

Radio Drama Adaptation[edit]

Northeast Ohio NPR affiliate WCPN 90.3 FM created a radio adaptation of I Hate This which was first broadcast on November 25, 2005.[9] For this adaptation, David Hansen provided the voice for his own character, with all other characters and the narrator voiced by notable Cleveland-area performers including Dorothy and Reuben Silver, Nina Domingue, Betsy Hogg and Nick Koesters. The program was produced by Hansen, Dave DeOreo, and Al Dahlhausen.

This radio drama adaptation of I Hate This received awards from the Ohio Society for Professional Journalists Awards (Best Radio Documentary, First Place, 2006)[10] and the WBEZ Third Coast International Audio Festival (Finalist, 2007).[11]


  1. ^ "Best Actor 2003". Cleveland Scene. Archived from the original on 2007-09-22. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
  2. ^ "Critically acclaimed play, 'I HATE THIS (a play without the baby)', to be performed across the UK for the first time this summer". SANDS UK. Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2007-10-19.
  3. ^ Cleveland Public Theatre website
  4. ^ "Hartwick senior to perform one-man show". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
  5. ^ Seftel, Laura (2006). Grief Unseen (paperback). Philadelphia, PA and London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 1-84310-805-4.
  6. ^ "A Chilling Account of a Child Never Known". New York Times. 2004. Retrieved 2014-10-15.
  7. ^ "nytheatre.com review". Indie Theater Now. 2004. Retrieved 2014-10-15.
  8. ^ "I Hate This @ The Lowry". The Skinny. 2014. Retrieved 2017-01-12.
  9. ^ "Ideastream presents David Hansen's I Hate This". 2005. Retrieved 2014-10-22.
  10. ^ "Ideastream Awards 2006". Archived from the original on 2014-10-18. Retrieved 2014-10-24.
  11. ^ "Re:sound #61: The I Hate This Show". Retrieved 2014-10-24.

External links[edit]