Summer 2021 Events

All events are open to the public unless otherwise noted. Subject to change due to the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic.  


No Shame Theatre

June 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28, 11 p.m.

No Shame Theatre is an experiential performance lab where writers, performers, and audience are constantly changing roles. Anything can happen and usually does in this late night venue for original work. We take the first 15 pieces to walk in the door and there are only three rules: pieces must be original (no copyright violations), short (five minutes or less), and not break anything (including the law). Inside those rules you can do pretty much anything you’re interested in trying in front of a live audience — plays, monologues, songs, dance, poetry, mime, juggling, comedy, tragedy, Improvisation, dada, magic — we’ve even seen people do floral arrangements! Admission: $5.

Wednesday night lab readings

June 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 7 p.m.

These readings, which are early drafts of student-written plays, are presented as part of the Playwright’s Lab course. The reading is followed by a two-tier feedback session. The first tier is based on the Liz Lerman Critical Response, with the playwright taking notes on audience reactions to things that worked, questions they feel are still unanswered, things that didn’t work as well as the strengths we identified earlier, and questions that the playwright might have. The second tier of feedback is closed, and only students registered for the course and faculty attend. This session is less structured and playwrights can engage with commenters directly. In this way, students are exposed to both kinds of feedback so that they have a nurturing environment as well as preparation for the more raw responses one could encounter in a review or blog comments.

Monday Night guest speaker series

June 28, July 5, 12, 19, 26, 7:30 p.m.

Each Monday night the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins presents a talk by a prominent working professional theatre artist. This year, our planned guests include Bonnie Metzgar and Nicole B. Adkins.

centerpieces Reading

July 8, 12:10 p.m.

This joint venture by Mill Mountain Theatre and the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University brings new plays and new audiences together over lunch.

Overnight Sensations 2021

July 10, 8 p.m.

Since 2006, the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University has partnered with Mill Mountain Theatre to present a micro-brewed theatre festival. On Friday night six playwrights are randomly paired with six directors, who then randomly draw from a hat a variety of writing prompts and a pre-selected cast of local actors. Before 8 am the next morning, they have to write a 10-minute play. They meet with their directors over a continental breakfast on Saturday morning and make any last minute changes before the actors arrive for lunch and the plays begin rehearsal. When 8 pm rolls around, and the audiences are in their seats, the show begins!


July 23-25

Each summer at the end of July, we present a three-day event showcasing 10 readings of student work from the Playwright’s Lab. Normally, these eight readings are minimally staged at Mill Mountain Theatre’s Waldron Stage for the general public and close to a dozen guest professional responders from all over the globe. As part of the festival there will be a panel discussion when our guest respondents will introduce themselves, talk briefly about their own background, and then give a moderated response to the festival as a whole. Get acquainted with these plays and playwrights before they are famous, and engage in a conversation about theatre with our students, faculty, and some established theatre professionals.