Home : Coed Graduate Programs : Playwriting : Faculty

Hollins University
Graduate Center
PO Box 9603
Roanoke, VA 24020-1603
(540) 362-6575
(540) 362-6288 (Fax)

Current faculty

Todd Ristau
Program director

Todd is a distinguished graduate of the Iowa Playwright's Workshop. His work has been performed in theatres across the U.S. and England, including London's West End. He founded No Shame Theatre in 1986 and oversaw its evolution into a national network of venues for new works in dozens of cities. He has an extensive theatre background, with expertise in acting, directing, and design. He worked with Mill Mountain Theatre for six years as coordinator of their second stage and as literary associate overseeing new works programming. Ristau served as the first artistic director of Studio Roanoke, a storefront theatre space dedicated to new works development in downtown Roanoke. Todd is an active member of the Dramatists Guild, and member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America.

Todd Ristau
Nicole B. Adkins
Playwright, Youth Theatre Professional

Nicole B. Adkins is a playwright-in-residence at SkyPilot Theatre Company. She has worked with youth theatres for more than 15 years, including Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Tarradiddle Players, Oklahoma Children's Theatre, and Aimee Art Productions of Los Angeles. In addition, her plays have been performed at Creative Drama Children’s Theatre in Winston-Salem, NC, Studio Roanoke, the Bonderman Symposium at the Indiana Reparatory Theatre, the American International School in Guanghzou China, as well as various other theatres, schools, and museums nationally and abroad. Awards include the 2011 Waldo M. and Grace C. Bonderman Award for her play The Lost Princess, and recognition in the 2012 Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Marilyn Hall competition for her play Iphicles: A Greek Dramedy. She has published three plays with YouthPlays, including Andy and Chrys in the collection Aesop Refabled, Herby Alice Counts Down to Yesterday, and The Story Club. Plays in development include Or We Run Ourselves Aground, an adaptation of The Fir Tree by Hans Christian Anderson, as well as the curation of a collection of short plays for teens about bullying. She is currently collaborating with Matt Omasta of Utah State University on a book exploring approaches to playwriting for youth. She has taught writing workshops at Utah State University, Determined to Succeed Los Angeles, The Book Truck (Los Angeles), Aimee Art Productions, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and Oklahoma Children’s Theatre. Nicole has an M.F.A. in Children’s Literature with an emphasis in Playwriting from Hollins University, and is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, and Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.

Nicole Adkins
Art Borreca
Dramaturg (2012)

Art is associate professor of dramatic literature and dramaturgy and head of the playwriting and dramaturgy programs at the University of Iowa. He has worked as a dramaturg with a number of leading theatre artists, including Athol Fugard, Wole Soyinka, Theodora Skipitares, David Gothard, and Naomi Wallace in such venues as the Yale Repertory Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, LaMama ETC, Oxford Stage Company in the U.K., and T.P.T (Theatre Project Tokyo) in Japan. His research interests include contemporary British and American theatre, new play dramaturgy, and political dramaturgy. His articles and reviews have appeared in TDR (The Drama Review), Modern Drama, and Theatre Journal; as well as in several books, including Dramaturgy in American Theatre, What is Dramaturgy? and Approaching the Millennium: Essays on Angels in America. Professor Borreca is a contributor to the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Drama and is at work on a comprehensive study of the British history play since World War II.

Podcast »

Bonnie Metzgar
Megan Gogerty
Playwright, Solo Performer

In 2010, Megan’s play Bad Panda was officially banned in China. Other career highlights include Feet First in the Water with a Baby in My Teeth, which will debut in a variety of theatres across the country in 2011. Her album of comic songs, Big Damn Heroes, is a tribute album to the defunct TV show Firefly and is available on CDBaby.com, iTunes, and wherever online music is sold. She also has an album about Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Her musical Love Jerry, a fact-based drama about the long-term effects of child sexual abuse, continues to be produced around the country despite the odds of a sex abuse musical getting produced anywhere. It was last seen in Philadelphia in June 2010. Her solo show, Hillary Clinton Got Me Pregnant, was listed in the Top Ten Best Shows of 2009 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Megan Gogerty
Bob Moss
Director (2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)

Bob Moss, Robert Moss ran the Edward Albee Playwrights' Unit from 1970-71. He founded and ran Playwrights Horizons from 1971 to l981. He was the Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, New York from 1983 to 1996. In the Fall of 1996, he became the Artistic Director of Syracuse Stage, and ran that theater until January 2008. In the summer of 2008, Moss took the reins of the Hangar again, as they searched for another new Artistic Director. He ran the Playwrights Horizons Theatre School (an affiliate school of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts for more than ten years. He has guest directed at theatres across the country. Favorite playwrights include, but not limited to, Michele Lowe, Wendy Wasserstein, Max Posner, David Hare, Tom Stoppard, and the Mssrs: Shakespeare and Shaw. Prior to all this directing and running of theaters, he was an active stage manager, a career that culminated with the APA Repertory Company in residence at the Lyceum Theater on Broadway. Bob has returned as visiting faculty to the Playwright's Lab as well as frequently coming to campus to direct plays by our students and conduct workshops on directing. In 2012, he directed The Arctic Circle and a Recipe for Swedish Pancakes by M.F.A. playwright Samantha Macher which was produced at Mill Mountain Theatre, transferred to the Playwrights Horizons Studio in Manhattan and published by Original Works. In 2013 he will direct our main stage production of Independence Day at Happy Meadows by M.F.A. playwright Laura King.

A talk with Bob Moss »

Bob Moss

Planned guests for current summer session*

Mark Charney, Dramaturg/Playwright

Mark Charney joined Texas Tech University in the summer of 2012 as the new Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. Most recently, Charney served as Director of Theatre for the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University, where was named Professor Emeritus. A past Chair for Region IV and a past member of the National Selection Team for KCACTF, Charney is a playwright and professor. The first two works in his “male dysfunction trilogy” have been read in both New York and Washington, and the first — 37 Stones or the Man Who Was a Quarry — was produced by Charter Theatre in D.C. and in 2008 Off Off Broadway by Working Man Clothes Productions. The second, Double Hernia, was developed at both theatres. Mark serves as National Coordinator of the Institute for Theatre Journalism and Advocacy and Dramaturgy Initiative through the Kennedy Center, and works each summer with Dan Sullivan and the National Critics Institute in Waterford, Connecticut at the O’Neill as their Associate Director (poised to take over in 2015). One of his most recent plays, The Balloon Handler Makes Good, was performed and published by the New Works Festival in California and Shooting Blanks was just staged in Jakarta and Singapore. Charney won the Outstanding Theatre Educator Award from SCTA in 2005. His play, Cat Scratch Fever, is published in the journal Grist, and The Balloon Handler Makes Good was recently produced in Tennessee, California, Connecticut the summer of 2012, and was developed at the 2012 ATHE Conference. His play The Power Behind the Palette won the David Mark Cohen Award for Playwriting in 2010. Finally, his most recent play, Clayton Tells a Fib, was produced at Mill Mountain Theatre as part of the CenterPieces Series and will go up in California in April of 2013. Mark is completing a chapter for a book on the Contemporary Screenwriting Marketplace to be published by Rutgers Press in 2013, edited by Andrew Horton. His play Pogrom in Pelzer will premiere in Denver in 2014 and tour the country at several Jewish theatres. Charney is a ten-time recipient of the Clemson University Board of Trustees'J Award for Faculty Excellence and a recipient of the gold and bronze medallions from the Kennedy Center. He just finished his second term as Secretary of the Southeastern Theatre Conference, where he now serves on the Executive Task Force. He is the Focus Group Coordinator for the Playwrights and Creative Team group at ATHE.

Jane B. Jones, Education Manager

Jane B. Jones is the Education Manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville. At Actors, Jane teaches playwriting to middle and high school students, is the Literary Manager of the New Voices Young Playwrights Contest, and heads the theatre’s lobby enrichment initiative. Jane has directed and dramaturged for the Apprentice/Intern Company solo performance series and directed in the New Voices Young Playwrights Festival. In 2012, Jane’s short play, Dress Up, was produced in the A/I Tens and she was commissioned to write TMI: a sex-ed puppet show for Squallis Puppeteers. Jane is a board member and contract artist for Squallis Puppeteers where she has written and developed several original puppet shows. Jane graduated cum laude from Smith College.

Marya Sea Kaminski, Actress, Playwright

Marya Sea Kaminski is an actress, writer and solo performer. On stage, she’s recently premiered an original solo rock musical, Riddled, for Richard Hugo House in Seattle and appeared as Brooke Wyeth in Other Desert Cities at ACT with Pamela Reed and Kevin Tighe (directed by Victor Pappas), as well as the title role in Hedda Gabler and The Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at Intiman Theatre, Betsy/Lindsay in Clybourne Park at the Seattle Repertory Theatre and as a member of the ensemble for a staged reading of Robert Schenkkan’s award-winning new play All the Way in the Seattle Rep’s New Play Festival. Other favorite roles include: Janet in Dan Savage’s Miracle! at Intiman, the title role in Electra for Seattle Shakespeare Company; Hedda Gabler in Washington Ensemble Theatre’s original adaptation titled BlahblahblahBANG! for On the Boards; the titular role in the regional premiere of My Name is Rachel Corrie and the esteemed mural painter in Tina Landau’s The Time of Your Life at the Seattle Rep. She’s performed her original solo work at PS 122 in New York, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Myrna Loy Center in Helena MT, Bumbershoot and On the Boards in Seattle, and on subway platforms across lower Manhattan. Her writing has been featured in The New York Theatre Review, Seattle City Arts Magazine, Rivet Magazine, msn.com/Womanity and KNOCK. On screen, Marya has played principal roles in the feature films Dichotomy by Funkbuddha Productions, Waxie Moon in the Fallen Jewel with Wes Hurley, and Pacific Aggression directed by Shaun Scott (upcoming). Marya has been awarded the Genius Award in Theater from The Stranger, Artist of the Year from Seattle Magazine, the Seattle Gregory Award for Outstanding Actress, Best Local Stage Actor and Best Performing Artist by the readers of the Seattle Weekly, as well as multiple City Artist Awards from the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. A founding member and co-artistic director of the Washington Ensemble Theatre from 2004-2008, Marya directed the regional premieres of Adam Rapp’s Finer Noble Gases and Jordan Harrison’s Museum Play, performed as the former First Lady in the national premiere of Jane Martin’s Laura’s Bush (Seattle Times Footlight Award, 2004) and as M in Sarah Kane’s Crave, and served as Literary Manager for the development of new and original works including Stephanie Timm’s Crumbs are also Bread and Paul Mullin’s The Ten Thousand Things. Marya holds a BA in English and Theatre Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and an Acting MFA from the University of Washington. Currently, she teaches Acting at Cornish College of the Arts, where she has been honored with the Drama Department’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Jessica Litwak, Playwright, Director and Associate Artistic Director

Jessica Litwak, MFA, RDT, is the artistic director of The H.E.A.T. Collective (www.heatcollective.org) an organization dedicated to Healing, Education, Activism and Theatre, and the New Generation Theatre Ensemble, a theatre for youth (www.ngte.org) Litwak’s work has been published by Applause Books, Smith and Krause, and The New York Times. Plays include: Emma Goldman: Love Anarchy and Other Affairs directed by Anne Bogart. A Pirate’s Lullaby, The Oregon Book Award, produced in Portland, at Rattlestick Theater and at The Goodman Theatre. The Promised Land, commissioned by The National Federation of Jewish Culture, was produced in Budapest. Secret Agents and Victory Dance were produced in Los Angeles at The Renberg Theatre, and the DR2 in New York. Terrible Virtue was developed by The Lark and The Culture Project, Wider Than The Sky at The Lark, UCONN and Epic Theatre. The Snake and The Falcon, and Nobody Is Sleeping (the second two installments of the Emma Goldman Trilogy) have developed by the Lark, and Serious Play! Her plays for youth GRIM, Postcards from Canterbury, The Great Journey Home, Verona High, War: An American Dream, and The Moons Of Jupiter written and directed by Litwak, have been produced in New York and Massachusetts. Litwak has taught at San Francisco State University, the Theatre Academy at Los Angeles City College, Stella Adler Academy, Marymount Manhattan College, Columbia, NYU and Lesley University. She conducts workshops around the world in Peacebuilding and Performance for Acting Together On the World Stage. Litwak is on the steering committee of Theatre Without Borders (TWB) and co-leads Artist Distress Services for freeDimensional. She is currently a Visiting Professor in the MFA Program at Naropa University.

Dámaso Rodriguez, Director (2015)

Dámaso is co-founder and resident director of the acclaimed Furious Theatre Company, where he served as Co-Artistic Director from 2001-11. From 2007-2010 he served as Associate Artistic Director of the Pasadena Playhouse, where he directed main stage productions and oversaw all programming for the Playhouse’s second stage, including its Hothouse New Play Development Program. He has directed over 25 award-winning, critically acclaimed productions at theatres such as Seattle's Tony Award-winning Intiman Theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse, A Noise Within, The Theatre@Boston Court and Furious Theatre. Directing credits include Ruth & Augustus Goetz' The Heiress (starring Richard Chamberlain), Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes (starring Kelly McGillis) and Austin Pendleton’s Orson’s Shadow (starring Sharon Lawrence) at the Pasadena Playhouse; the reading of Steven Drukman’s The Prince of Atlantis for the Pacific Playwrights Festival at South Coast Repertory, Clifford Odets’ Paradise Lost at Intiman Theatre; Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit (starring Scott Lowell), Tennessee Williams’ The Eccentricities of a Nightingale and Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms at A Noise Within. Furious Theatre credits include the Los Angeles premieres of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s Boom and Hunter Gatherers, Bruce Norris’ The Pain and the Itch (a co-production with the Theatre@Boston Court), Craig Wright's Grace, Yussef El Guindi's Back of the Throat, Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things, and the world premieres of Alex Jones’ Canned Peaches in Syrup and Matt Pelfrey’s An Impending Rupture of the Belly and No Good Deed, among many others. His film directing credits include the darkly comic feature Pure Shock Value, which was selected as the "Centerpiece Film" of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and episodes of the web series A G.A.N.G. by screenwriter Matt Pelfrey (MTV’s Skins). Dámaso is a recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, the Back Stage Garland Award, the NAACP Theatre Award, and the Pasadena Arts Council’s Gold Crown Award. In 2010, Furious Theatre Company was named to LA Weekly's list of "Best Theatres of the Decade." He is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Jim Stark, Screenwriter and Producer

Jim’s first involvement with film came when he helped Jim Jarmusch finance, produce and sell the low budget independent hit Stranger Than Paradise (winner of the Camera D’Or in Cannes and the U.S. National Society of Film Critics’ award as Best Picture of the year). He went on to work on three more feature films for Jim Jarmusch Down by Law (co-producer), Mystery Train (producer), Night on Earth (executive producer)], as well as producing two short Coffee and Cigarettes films. Jim’s other producing credits include such critically acclaimed and prize winning films as Alex Rockwell’s In the Soup (winner of the Grand Prize, Sundance Film Festival), Gregg Araki’s The Living End, Christopher Munch’s Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day (winner of the Best Cinematography Prize, Sundance Film Festival), Adrienne Shelly’s I'll Take You There (Best Director, U.S. Comedy Arts Festival), Sergei Bodrov’s The Quickie (Best Actor, Moscow Film Festival) and Kevin Asher Green’s Homework (Best Picture, Slamdance Film Festival) and Vladan Nikolic’s thriller "love" which had its premiere in the Venice Film Festival. In 2008, he co-produced Country Wedding, the first film directed by internationally renowned editor Valdis Oskarsdottir which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, in 2009 he co-produced Here & There, a first feature by Serbian director Darko Lungalov that (among many other prizes) won the award for Best Narrative NY Feature Film at the Tribeca Film Festval and in 2010 he was one of the producers of Vladan Nikolic’s multi-platform "experiment" Zenith, which premiered in New York’s IFC Cinemas in October, 2010. In addition to his producing activities, Jim co-wrote and produced Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s Cold Fever (which won the top prizes at the Edinburgh and Troia Film Festivals) and Factocum, which he adapted as co-screenwriter with director Bent Hamer from the Charles Bukowski novel (international premiere: Directors Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival). In 2010, Jim executive produced Gerard Hurley’s film The Pier (financed by the Irish Film Board and now in post-production) and is developing the script The Package for a new film to be directed by Vladan Nikolic in 2011.

Dominic Taylor, Playwright and Associate Artistic Director

Dominic is a director, playwright and the head of Penumbra's OKRA New Play Development Program. Most recently, Mr. Taylor directed Black Nativity: A Season for Change at Penumbra. Other select directing credits include the new opera Fresh Faust at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, The Negroes Burial Ground at the Kitchen, N.Y.C., Uppa Creek at Dixon Place, and Ride The Rhythm in the Hip-Hop Theatre Festival. He is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota where he has directed The Wiz, Night Train To Bolina and Execution of Justice. Mr. Taylor has worked with Crossroads Theater, Rites and Reasons Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre, The Public Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, and Ensemble Studio Theatre, among others. He is an alumni member of New Dramatists and holds a Bachelor's and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Brown University.

* Because of the rotating nature of the program, faculty and guests are listed subject to availability. Please check this Web page frequently for updated information.