What Do Our Students Say About the Playwright’s Lab?

Ally Thomas

Ally Thomas

“The certificate program at Hollins was a great foundation for applying and eventually getting into the program at Sarah Lawrence because part of what I think they were looking for in their students is that ability to cross-train and be well-rounded in multiple skillsets and Hollins really prepared me well for that.” – Ally Thomas, Certificate Performer


Lauren Brooke Ellis

Lauren Brooke Ellis“While I sit in the Hollins laundry facility on my morning off, I’m reflecting on my first week here. I have never been anywhere that is so full of passionate, intelligent, and kind artists. The community here is absolutely incredible and I feel so, so fortunate every minute to be a part of it. I have met some wonderful people and already made some excellent friends. I’ve felt validated in my path and my art, and supported by an amazing network of human beings. They challenge my points of views and open my eyes to levels of life and the human experience I was blind to previously. Every day I find new reasons to love where I am, my stage in life, the people in it, and encouragement to keep on keeping on. I am so happy to be here at Hollins.” –  Lauren Brooke Ellis, Certificate Director and M.F.A. Playwright

Nick McCord

Nick McCord“First week nearly behind me and god, I love my program. My neurotic insecurities were met with the welcoming grace you’d expect in a room full of old buddies, and I’m surrounded by a group of individuals who very clearly find as much joy in cohort successes as their own. Ever feel like you’ve just found your people? I’m just hitting myself; I had more fears of whether I was worth it than reasons to do this sooner.”  –  Nick McCord, M.F.A. Playwright


Taylor Gruenloh

Taylor Gruenloh“Sat down in the library two hours ago wondering what the future is going to hold, feeling like the old graduated student who wouldn’t leave the program, then a random phone call happened to come from the head of a theatre minor program at the Missouri University of Science & Technology. She talked to her friend, who happened to be a guest speaker last year at Hollins, and after a glowing recommendation, offered me an adjunct faculty job to help her get engineers and scientists excited about theatre. And after one year, if I wanted to stay, it could be full time with benefits. She told me I was on her short list because it looked like I could do everything, including being a helpful aid in the development of a play she’s writing The STEM Monologues. Monologues about women in science. And the only reason it looks like I can do anything is because Hollins and Todd taught me everything. And she loved how I kept referring to scientists and engineers as a ‘special population’. It looks like I might have landed my dream job.”  –  Taylor Gruenloh, Certificate Director and M.F.A. Playwright

Amy Lytle

Amy Lytle

“Said see you later to a bunch of my favorite people this weekend! Just like that, my first term at grad school is complete. Hollins Playwright’s Lab has easily been the most supportive and encouraging theatrical environment I’ve experienced, and it’s a joy to constantly be surrounded by incredible, talented, kind, creative people! I have learned and created so much in such a short amount of time, and I never felt like I was competing with or judged by anyone else. Who knew you could fall in love with so many people in just six weeks? Can’t wait to go back next summer!!”

Stephen Baltz

Stephen Baltz

“When I first walked on to campus this summer, I said to myself, ‘This is where magic happens.’ Well, the work that was done over the past six weeks, both on and offstage, was nothing short of magical. Every person in the program, be they a student, faculty, guest, or just a friend of the program, helped make magic happen this summer. I can’t think of a better group of people to be with.”

Sarah Cosgrove

Sarah Cosgrove“Creating an experience in the theatre is a collaborative process: from the beginning with an idea for the script, all the way through and up until, the end with the audience. It has been a gift to collaborate and create with these artists at the Hollins Playwriting Program. If I’ve become better at anything, it is because of them. Learning a craft and putting it into practice requires a gigantic leap of faith — one I would happily take again.”

Sara Katerina Smith

Sara Katerina Smith“My first year in the Hollins Playwriting Lab has been spectacular, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Can’t wait to go back!”




Walter Dodd

Walter Dodd“To develop as an artist, you must first develop as a human. So thankful for these people who not only love and support one other through each new draft of a play but through each new phase of life as well. Hollins is the most collaborative, uplifting community I have ever experienced. I love it and these people with all of my heart.”