Born and raised in Indiana, Donald E. Baker is the author or editor of several non-fiction books and articles on Midwestern history. After earning graduate degrees in history and library science from Indiana University, he worked as a public librarian in Evansville and Newburgh, Indiana, and Cincinnati, Ohio. He began writing Indiana-themed plays after retiring with his husband to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Baker has written five plays. “Grand Dragon in Power” concerns the downfall of the KKK Grand Dragon who was the political boss of Indiana in the 1920s; it is available in a full-length stage version and as a radio play. The radio play was performed before a live audience on March 26, 2018, by the Radio Theatre Project at the Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and then uploaded to Soundcloud.com.
Indiana's Klan era is also the background for his full-length play "Trade With Klan" and his 10-minute play "Samaritan." Both concern choices and compromises forced on small-town Hoosiers in the face of Klan influence.
Baker's “My Brother Paul” is a play with music about the sibling rivalry between Theodore Dreiser and his brother Paul Dresser, a popular song writer and actor. He has also written a one-person play about a Civil War-era steamboat captain entitled “Web-Footed Dreams, or, Paddlewheels and Politics in Peace and War.”
Ordinary people face difficult choices as the Ku Klux Klan sets Protestants against Catholics against one another in a small Indiana town in the 1920's.
KKK Grand Dragon D.C. Stephenson becomes the political boss of Indiana in the 1920's. He is brought down after being convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend. Based on true events.
KKK Grand Dragon D.C. Stephenson becomes the political boss of Indiana in the 1920's. He is brought down after being convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend. Radio adaptation of the author's stage play.
Concerns the siblilng rivalry between novelist Theadore Dreiser and his brother, songwriter Paul Dresser, at the turn of the last century. Based on Dreiser's memoirs and using Dresser's songs.
A play for solo actor. An elderly gentleman tells witty and dramatic stories of his experiences as a young German immigrant, as a Civil War steamboat captain, and as a county sheriff fending off a lynch mob. Based on the memoirs of Julius Augustus Lemcke.
Trade With Klan received a Red Ribbon--Workshop Award in the SWTProductions, Austin TX, First Annual Playwriting Competition, February 24, 2019
Trade With Klan received a reading at the Dramatists Guild "Footlights" series at Atlantic Stage, Myrtle Beach, SC, on January 25, 2019.
The radio version of Grand Dragon in Power was performed before a live audience by Radio Theatre Project, St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 26, 2018, and uploaded to Soundcloud.
My Brother Paul received a reading at Theatre of the Republic, Conway, S.C., on July 19, 2016.