Inspired by Paula Vogel’s playwriting Bake-Off process, 4:48 is a creative sprint to the finish. Four playwrights lock themselves away for two days of furious writing, at the end of which they’ll have four brand new plays all based around the same source material, all incorporating 5 shared story elements.

This project was developed through the Theater Emory Breaking Ground Project in conjucture with the Playwriting Center. 

More information on 4:48 here.

The 2016 4:48

Source Material: The Briarcliff Campus at Emory University.

The Briarcliff Estate was built by Asa Candler Jr., Coca-Cola heir, real-estate tycoon and noted eccentric, in 1922 on 42 acres in what is now the Druid Hills neighborhood of Atlanta. The estate included a mansion, servants quarters, tennis courts, stables, greenhouses, a zoo, a golf course and a community pool.

In the late 1940s, the Candlers sold the estate to the General Services Administration with plans to build a veterans hospital that never came to be. Instead, it became the site of Georgia’s first alcohol rehabilitation center in 1953 (the year of Asa Candler’s death). From 1975-1997,  Briarcliff housed the Georgia Mental Health Institute—operated by the state with assistance from Emory University. Many of the buildings are connected via a series of underground tunnels and though its fallen into disrepair, much of the mansion’s original architectural features are intact. Also, there are rumors of several hauntings. All of this makes Briarcliff a popular production location for creepy film and TV projects.

While the location is protected by landmark status and the buildings can’t be torn down, they can be left to fall apart on their own. At that point, they could be destroyed through “demolition by neglect.” There is a small but active group of local preservationists trying to ensure that that does not happen. While Emory claims to be in support of the preservation efforts, they estimate the cost of restoring Briarcliff to be around $30 million.


Kudzu by Bennett Fisher

The Play that Used to be Titled 1247 Likes goes Swimming in a Cemetery by Dana Lynn Formby

The Animals Have Escaped and the Chandelier Has Vanished by Jireh Breon Holder

The Briars by Briandaniel Oglesby


Christopher Hampton, Matt Mercurio, Kristyl Tift and Natalia Via.


Edith Freni

Lisa Paulsen