I’m a Los Angeles-based writer, reporter and teacher with deep roots in Chicago and the upper midwest. The most consistent theme in my writing is the impact of history and politics on ‘ordinary people.’ My three great loves are my wife, Tracey, Iowa State basketball and The Wire — usually in that order.
My television pilot, The Bang, about a female combat veteran who deals with PTSD by looking for dangerous highs, is available for option and received 2nd place in the 2016 Page International Screenwriting Awards out of 700+ entries. The script has also been honored by Screencraft Pilot Launch, Acclaim TV, Staffing Survey and The Black List, which named me one of the 15 most staffable new writers of 2016. Another pilot, Shitty Hall, about corrupt politics in small town Iowa, is a semifinalist in the 2017 PAGE Awards.
As a journalist, I’ve written for Chicago Magazine, the Quad-City Times, TimeOut Chicago and a number of sites on the Rivals.com network. I recently completed this 750-word profile of Chicago filmmaker Sam Bailey, who found her voice making webseries about women of color. I’m working now on another piece for Chicago Magazine, as well as a longer profile for The Progressive. I studied magazine writing at Columbia College with ASME nominee Noah Isackson. I love reading long form narrative, and I’m a big fan of writers like Taffy Brodesser-Akner and Michael Lewis.
I’m the author of four full-length and eight short plays, which have been produced in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis and Philadelphia. Cooperstown was nominated for one Joseph Jefferson Award, two Black Theatre Alliance Awards and was named Best of the Fest in The Road Theatre’s 2012 Summer Playwrights Festival. Burying Miss America was produced in Chicago and called “ideal American realism” by TimeOut Chicago. Unwilling and Hostile Instruments was the result of a collaboration with eight other Chicago writers crafting original work on extraordinary Chicago women from the last century.
From 2006 – 2014, I was the Managing Artistic Director of Theatre Seven of Chicago. We produced 20 full-length productions, collaborated with over 300 artists, and won Broadway in Chicago’s coveted Emerging Theatre Award. Among the company’s notable projects were Diversey Harbor, The Water Engine, BlackTop Sky and The Chicago Landmark Project, where twelve playwrights penned new short plays about twelve specific Chicago intersections, culminating in a production involving over seventy artists. I’m really proud of that one. It was fucking hard.
For eight years, I taught classes on sexual assault, harassment and hate speech for Catharsis Productions. That job gave me the chance to travel the world — eight countries, almost every state, college students of all stripes and military personnel of every rank. I taught solo and duo classes in sizes from 6 to 500 — it was wildly rewarding and rewardingly wild. At Catharsis, I also edited the company blog, The Scribbling, developed new scripts, trained new educators, and helped create Fawzia Mirza’s one-woman show, Me, My Mom and Sharmila.
I’ve served on the Board of Directors of the League of Chicago Theatres and as a panelist for conversations at Chicago Director’s Lab, Northwestern University, the Chicago theatre anti-conference and more. I earned a BA in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis, was a two-time winner of the A.E. Hotchner Playwriting Contest, and was honored with the Leota Diesel Ashton Award for Playwriting and the John J. Jutkowitz Award for excellence in the performing arts.
Nice to meet you.