Summer 2022 Events

Due to Hollins University’s Culture of Care protocols regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, all audience members will be required to show proof of full vaccination (either two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson) and at least one booster AT THE DOOR to attend a performance. Everyone is also required to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times while in the theatre. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Go to for additional information.


No Shame Theatre

June 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 11 p.m.
Location: Hollins Theatre, Upstairs Studio

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: suggested donation of $5.

Wednesday night lab readings

June 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27, 7 p.m.
Location: Hollins Theatre, Upstairs Studio

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.

June 29: Charon, by Mac Mitchell
July 6: Haunted Hostings, by Ben Abbott
July 13: Writer’s Block, by ArLynn Parker
July 20: Truth or Dare, by Emily Fleischhauer
July 27: Forgiveness Comes After We’re Dead, by Jay Stringer*
*This reading will be presented virtually.

Monday Night guest speaker series

June 27, July 4, 11, 18, 25, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Mill Mountain Theatre, Waldron Stage

Each Monday night the Playwright’s Lab at Hollins and Mill Mountain Theatre present a talk by a prominent working professional theatre artist.

June 27: Dale Savidge
July 4: Chris Rich and Megan Gogerty
July 11: Katie Coleman
July 18: Shaun Landry and Hans Summers  
July 25: Edward B. Smith

Overnight Sensations 2022

July 9, 8 p.m.
Location: Hollins Theatre, Main Stage

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 9 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 and the plays begin rehearsal. When 8 p.m. rolls around, and the audience are in their seats, the show begins!


July 22-24
Location: Mill Mountain Theatre, Waldron Stage

Each summer at the end of July, we present a three-day event showcasing 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.

Friday, July 22
8 p.m.: To You and Back, by Gwyneth Strope

Saturday, July 23
11 a.m.: When the Light Gets Loud, by Rachel Graf Evans
2 p.m.: Happy Accidents Inc, by Tatiana Durant
4 p.m.: Death of the Dead, by Stephen Baltz
8 p.m.: At the Hour of Midnight, by Chris Kaminstein

Sunday, July 24
11 a.m.: The Hand of One, by Ami Trowell
2 p.m.: Mud Summer, by Richie Cannaday
4 p.m.: Red Curtain Rivalry, by Amy Lytle
8 p.m.: Festival Guest Respondent Round Table

Go to for additional information.