The Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University is more than a traditional three-year program. It’s like an intensive workshop/retreat or conference. It fosters inclusivity and collaboration, not exclusivity and competition. Students work with some of the most important names in new play development.
Students get their M.F.A. in three to five six-week summer sessions. You’ll work with visiting professional faculty, artists-in-residence, and guest speakers, developing personal and professional relationships. This can lead to reading and production credits before graduation.
The Playwright’s Lab features two professional certificate training programs that model best practices. These programs focus on the special skills required to work on new plays in production. They also pair playwrights with actors and directors in dynamic collaborations.
New Works Initiative
Playwright’s Lab students have had readings and productions in major theatre centers. These include Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Manhattan. Smaller regional theatres in places like Roanoke and Burlington, Vermont, have also welcomed our students.
The New Works Initiative helps cover the cost of student readings/productions in legitimate theatres. This encompasses the playwright’s travel expenses as well as production costs.
The initiative also makes it possible for student writers to work with guest professional directors. It supports their work as actors, dramaturgs, and designers on plays by important guest writers.
Mill Mountain Theatre
MMT has been a major contributor to the performing arts in the Roanoke region for over 40 years. It provides a variety of production and reading opportunities for Playwright’s Lab students. MMT also features a February Showcase written by one of the Playwright’s Lab’s M.F.A. students each year.
No Shame Theatre
No Shame is a weekly venue for new work that’s part of a national network. It has launched some of American theatre’s most important artists and groundbreaking plays. Guest artists and visiting faculty perform with Playwright’s Lab students on the No Shame stage.
“I could not be happier with the M.F.A. playwriting program. The Hollins Playwright’s Lab is one of the few low-residency programs in the country. My classmates were geniuses, and my instructors were working theatre professionals. At every step, I was challenged to create bigger and more unique work. Nearly every production or collaboration I’ve been part of for the last several years has come through a connection that I made or strengthened at Hollins.”
Adam Hahn M.F.A. ’11
“It’s the working person’s playwriting program.”
Elizabeth Heffron M.F.A. ’14
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
- Undergraduate transcripts
- Letters of recommendation
- Summer 2015 tuition: $798 per credit hour, or $9,576 for the normal load of three four-credit courses
- New students must pay a nonrefundable deposit of $400 within two weeks of their acceptance. Returning students must pay a nonrefundable deposit of $200 by May 15 (deposits credited toward summer tuition charges).
- Technology fee: $85/summer
- Housing: $1,080
- Health services: $30
Student scholarships are available. To apply for these, students must complete the FAFSA annually.
Want to Know More?
Program Director Todd Ristau is happy to answer your questions.