Summer 2017 Events

All events are open to the public. Free admission, unless otherwise stated. 


No Shame Theatre

June 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28, 11 p.m., Upstairs Studio Theatre, Hollins
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! Pieces are accepted starting at 10 p.m., doors open at 10:30 p.m., and the show starts at 11 p.m., running on average an hour and a half. Admission: $5.

Gillett’s Crossing Halt  by Claire Wittman

June 23-24, 7:30 p.m., Upstairs Studio Theatre, Hollins
On the eve of the First World War, a young doctor prepares to forgo the comfort and complacency of his seaside cottage hospital in favor of the Western Front, with the help of his dear friend and colleague, a nurse of noble birth who finds it hard to bear the thought of being left behind. Admission: free, open to the public.

Monday night guest speaker series

June 26, July 3, 10, 17, 24, 7:30 p.m., Mill Mountain Theatre’s Waldron Stage, 20 Church Ave., S.E., Roanoke
Each Monday night on the Waldron Stage of Mill Mountain Theatre, the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University presents a talk by a prominent working professional theatre artist. This summer’s guests include Gary Garrison, Paul Pierce, Jim Beaver, Alea McKinley, and Morgan Jenness. Admission: free, open to the public.

Ten-Minute Plays for Teens

July 6, 6:30 p.m., Upstairs Studio Theatre, Hollins
A debut of short plays written for and about young adult audiences, by Hollins Playwright’s Lab’s Writing for Young Audiences class, in partnership with Roanoke Children’s Theatre. An exploration of what matters most to today’s teens, this selection is to be conceived of and developed in the first weeks of our summer intensive. A talkback will follow the reading. Admission: free, open to the public.

Overnight Sensations 2017

July 8, 8 p.m., Mill Mountain Theatre’s Trinkle Main Stage, 1 Market Square, Roanoke
Since 2006, the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University has partnered with Mill Mountain Theatre to present our version of the 24-Hour Plays. On Friday night six playwrights are randomly paired with six directors, then randomly draw from a hat a variety of writing prompts and a pre-selected cast of local actors. Before 8 a.m. 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 at 11 a.m. and the play begins rehearsal. When 8 p.m. rolls around, and the audience are in their seats, the show begins! Always a packed house, always free, and always lots of fun for everyone. Admission: free, open to the public.

CenterPieces Reading: The Gymnast by Shelby Taylor Love

July 12, 12:10 p.m., Mill Mountain Theatre’s Waldron Stage, 20 Church Ave., S.E., Roanoke
The CenterPieces Reading Series is a joint venture by Mill Mountain Theatre and the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins University to bring new plays and new audiences together over lunch.

Hollins Festival of New Works

July 21, 6 p.m., and 8 p.m.; July 22-23, 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m., Mill Mountain Theatre’s Waldron Stage, 20 Church Ave., S.E., Roanoke
Each summer at the end of July, we present a three-day event showcasing ten readings of student work from the Playwright’s Lab. These readings are minimally staged for the general public and close to a dozen guest professional responders from all over the globe. Guest responders include publishers, arts administrators, playwrights, professional actors, artistic directors, and come from as far away as Los Angeles and as close s downtown Roanoke. Many of our festival shows have gone on to have full productions, not only at Mill Mountain Theatre but also in New York and Los Angeles! 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. Admission: free, open to the public. Due to limited seating, advance tickets required. Tickets available online: (search by play title)

Final Presentation showcase: plays with music class

July 25, 8 p.m., Upstairs Studio Theatre, Hollins
Admission: free, open to the public.

FINAL PRESENTATION showcase: viewpoints class

July 27, 8 p.m., Upstairs Studio Theatre, Hollins
Admission: free, open to the public.