This June, eight students traveled to London, England with Assistant Professor and Murphy Fellow in Theatre Lavinia Roberts for a playwriting intensive at St. Mary’s University. Ivy Branum ’26, Elijah Dilday ’24, Lovey Krone ’25, Lydia Autumn Nguyen Le ’26, Linc Dyer Luke ’26, Charlotte Miller ’26, Thomas Moslander ’25, and Madeline Mundkowsky ’26 participated in workshops and practicum seminars, attended guest lectures by produced playwrights, and toured theatrical institutions to fully immerse themselves in the craft, execution, and history of theatre.
“Playwriting is my newest medium of storytelling,” Murphy Scholar Thomas Moslander ’25 said. “This trip was the perfect opportunity to go a step further and craft my own 10-minute play alongside my peers. Seeing actors perform our own work at the end of the week was inspiring, and it really tied together the whole experience of writing for the stage.”
After their morning masterclasses in the vaulted practice rooms of St. Mary’s University, the students were free to work on their own writing. “Spending time in local pubs writing and eating with friends was one of the best parts of the trip,” Murphy Scholar Madeline Mundkowsky ’26 said. “It was part of our solo exploration time which ended up feeling so communal, just like theatre is.”
Some nights, students would venture to the West End or down the Thames to Shakespeare’s Globe—a functional replica of Shakespeare's famous theater where performances adhere to the limitations of Shakespeare's day—for an evening performance. “Seeing A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Globe was my favorite,” Mundkowsky said.
“Watching shows at different venues has helped me understand the importance of the physical space actors command,” Moslander said. “Writing dialogue is one thing but seeing the physical stage itself adds so much more to your own understanding of your play.”
Students left London with a completed original script, an understanding of how theatre is created and produced, and a deep appreciation of London’s contributions to dramatic literature.
“This eight-day intensive gave me the tools I need to further my writing,” Moslander said. “I now feel more confident that I can excel and succeed.”
Be on the lookout for more Hendrix-Murphy Foundation projects this summer. To learn more about the Murphy Scholars Program and study travel opportunities, click here.