The Art of Musical Collaboration with Michael Hollinger
This event takes place on the following dates
10/14/2019 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
10/18/2019 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
10/19/2019 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
10/20/2019 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Whether you're writing lyrics, book, or music, the process of creating a musical is all about forging strong creative partnerships, in order to best tell your project's story. Led by PlayPenn regular and The Foundry co-founder Michael Hollinger—who has authored more than two dozen plays, including comedies, dramas, musicals, and plays for children—the course will bring playwrights, lyricists, composers, and book writers together in a "speed-dating"-style introduction to musical theater collaboration. Through written exercises and open conversation, the class will delve into how music and text can work together to tell complex and theatrically rigorous stories.

When: October 14 and 18: 6-9pm, October 19 and 20: 2-5pm

Where: TBA: Center City Philadelphia

Preparation Required: None

Tuition: $250

Bio: Michael Hollinger is a playwright, librettist, lyricist and composer whose works have enjoyed numerous productions around the country, in New York City and abroad. Plays premiered at Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company include the recent musical TouchTones (co-authored with Robert Maggio) and the plays Opus, Red Herring, Incorruptible, Ghost-Writer, Under the Skin and others. Work premiered elsewhere includes the musical A Wonderful Noise (co-authored with Vance Lehmkuhl) at Colorado’s Creede Repertory Theatre, Hope and Gravity at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre, a new translation of Cyrano (co-adapted with Aaron Posner) at the Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C., and Sing the Body Electric at Philadelphia’s Theatre Exile. Awards include the Frederick Loewe Award for musical theatre, a Steinberg New Play Citation from the American Theatre Critics Association, a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy, an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award, four Barrymore Awards (including the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist), nominations for Lucille Lortel and John Gassner awards, and fellowships from the Independence Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Michael holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Villanova University, where he is currently Professor of Theatre and Studio Art, as well as Artistic Director of Villanova Theatre. He is a proud alumnus of New Dramatists and the PlayPenn new play conference.

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Cancellation/refund policy

PlayPenn is always working to secure amazing artists to teach our classes and our teachers often go out of their way to fit teaching with us into their busy schedules. Our class sizes are limited to support individual attention, and as such, we are not able to offer refunds if you are unable to attend. So, before you register and pay, make sure you’ve cleared space on your calendar so that you can guarantee your opportunity to work with our master artists! In very extreme circumstances, we may need to cancel a class for reasons beyond our control and will offer full refunds.

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A Note From Our Education Department:


Sharing your play with the world is an incredible rush—but it’s also unarguably terrifying. After an often isolating writing process, your work is exposed for everyone to see. We know just how vulnerable writers are in these moments, and we’re passionate about helping to navigate them.


Here at PlayPenn, we offer our students supportive opportunities to test out new work and hone their craft, providing them with a sense of camaraderie at all stages of their writing careers. Our PlayPenn classes encourage writers to bounce ideas off of one another, commiserate about industry challenges, and be inspired by the world-class writers and industry experts leading each course. We apply this same ethos to The Foundry, our intensive writers group for emerging Philadelphia playwrights; and to our public readings of our students’ works in progress throughout the year.


By taking a PlayPenn class, you become part of a welcoming community of experienced playwrights, avid playgoers, recent grads, and everyone in between. Please join us!