Past Faculty

Aaron Carter is a play developer, literary manager and playwright who has served as the literary manager at Victory Gardens Theater for nearly four years. There, he played a key role in the IGNITION Festival, and was involved in the production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Year Zero, Love Person and Living Green, among others. As a new play developer and dramaturg, he has worked with many theatres and labs including WordBRIDGE, the Kennedy Center, Timeline Theater, Route 66 and Chicago Dramatists. His latest play, Start Fair in the Common Race, was presented in a workshop production in the "What's Next Lab" at Next Theater in Evanston.

John Green's play, THE LIQUID MOON, was first produced at Chicago Dramatists where it won Chicago's Jeff Award and After Dark Award for best new play. It subsequently produced at the Barter Theatre, nominated for the Pulitzer and published in the anthology, “New Plays from Chicago.” His musical, LET IT PLAY, was first produced at Chicago's Body Politic Theatre and then moved to the 78th Street Playhouse in Manhattan. The short and full length versions of his play, TWILIGHT SERENADE, were both published by the Dramatic Publishing Company and was recently optioned for film by Top Tog Films in L.A. John's play, HIDING, was a finalist in the national Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival One Act Play Contest. MENTOR was performed at Manhattan's Cherry Lane Theatre as part of the Fresh Fruit Festival and nominated as Best Writing. He is a resident writer with Chicago Dramatists. As an actor, John won the Joseph Jefferson Award (OF MICE AND MEN) and was nominated two other times. He has appeared in film, television and on stages across the United States and Europe.

David Kukoff, a 16- year veteran of the entertainment industry, has 11 produced film and television credits to his name, including the production polish on the hit Nickelodeon film “Clockstoppers.” In addition to his numerous Disney-related projects, Kukoff has sold and rewritten feature film projects at every studio in town, has worked in conjunction with producers Brain Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Cinderella Man”) and Gale Anne Hurd (“The Terminator,” “The Incredible Hulk”), and has held television development deals at Twentieth Century Fox Television and Touchstone Television.

Weiko Lin (MFA, UCLA) started his career in the theater writing and directing plays and musicals produced at UCLA's Royce Hall, Veterans Wadsworth Theatre, and Century City Playhouse. His last play The Best Man premiered at East West Players' David Henry Hwang Theater. In summer 2010, his newest play 100 DAYS had its first Chicago staged reading at Silk Road Theatre Project. In film, Weiko wrote a dramatic feature for The Mark Gordon Company (2012) and Good Worldwide, Inc. (The Messenger). He also has a comedy with Madhouse Entertainment (The Bounty Hunter) attached to produce. Currently, Weiko is developing a crime thriller remake with Atlas Entertainment (The Dark Knight). As writer/producer, he optioned the English language remake rights of the biggest Taiwanese box office hit Cape No. 7 of which he is currently adapting. As a Fulbright Senior Specialist, he has taught screenwriting at Taipei National University of the Arts; he has also taught at University of California at San Diego and University of California at Riverside. A member of the Dramatist Guild of America and Writers Guild of America-West, Weiko serves as co-chair of WGA's Asian American Writers Committee.

According to Elaine Romero, she has led "a writer's life." She saw Disneyland with the King of Zululand, learned Transcendental Meditation from the family Guru, and once fed the poor with Mother Teresa in Paris. Elaine's work has been developed, produced, and commissioned(*) by such theatres as Goodman Theatre, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts*, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Alley Theatre*, Magic Theatre*, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, InterAct Theatre Company*, Curious Theatre Company*, Kitchen Dog Theater*, Urban Stages, Women's Project and Productions, Working Theater, Short+Sweet Festival, (Australia), InspiraTo Festival (Toronto). Sample publishers: Simon and Schuster, Samuel French, Vintage Books. Residences: Sundance Playwrights' Retreat, Voice & Vision, Orchard Project. Sample awards: $100,000 TCG/Pew National Theatre Artists in Residency grant, NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, National New Play Network's New Play Commission. Elaine co-chaired the National Association of Latino Independent Producers' (Board) National Conference with Frida Torresblanco (PAN'S LABYRNITH). TV: CBS Diversity Institute's Writer's Mentorship Program, NBC's Writers on the Verge Program. Film: LA Film School, Latino Producers' Academy, Latino Writers' Lab. Elaine has a script in development with Back Fence Productions. She is collaborating on a spec with Steve Barancik. She holds a BA from Linfield College (Summa Cum Laude) and an MFA from UC Davis.

Regina Stewart is a network television writer-producer who has authored more than thirty episodic scripts and six original pilots. A graduate of the highly competitive Warner Bros Writers Workshop, her writing and executive producing credits include Empty Nest, The George Lopez Show, The Norm MacDonald Show, Still Standing and Dharma and Greg, for which she garnered two Golden Globe nominations and a People's Choice Award. She is also the recipient of an Environmental Media Award and two SHINE awards for honest portrayal of teen sexuality issues in half-hour comedy.

Geoff Tarson truly embodies the interdisciplinary nature of the MFA. He is a television writer who has worked on the staffs of such shows as Suddenly Susan, Half & Half and That's So Raven.  Most recently, he worked as a Story Editor on the Disney animated series Groove High set to premiere in England later this year.  He also sold and developed two pilots for Disney Channel – Hoo Knows Kung Fu and the animated Big Man on Planet.  Geoff has written over fifteen produced episodes of television and is a member of the Writers Guild of America.  He also has a background in theatre, having acted in regional theatres around the country as well as on America's Funniest People and Saturday Night Live.  He is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and co-wrote and performed in the two-person sketch comedy show Out on a Whim in NYC.  Geoff is pursuing an MFA in Playwriting at Goddard College and has been the Artistic Director of Half Moon Theatre since 2009. 

Carla Waddles has been working as a television comedy writer in Los Angeles for the past 13 years. She has written on and produced such shows as For Your Love (Warner Bros.), That's So Raven (Disney), Half & Half (UPN), The Bill Engvall Show (TBS), and the Fresh Beat Band (Nickelodeon). Currently, she is developing a half-hour comedy pilot with Jerry Weintraub's production company. She holds a B.S. from Northwestern in Journalism, an M.A. in Advertising from Michigan State and an MFA in Screenwriting from USC.

Barbara Wallace and Tom Wolfe have written together for nearly 20 years. Their plays include Early and Often, which ran at the Famous Door Theatre in Chicago in 2000-2001 and The Great Society, also a Famous Door production in 2003. Barbara and Tom have also written for television. They wrote an episode of Murphy Brown and then, in the next three years, worked on staff at three other shows before spending the past eight or nine years writing commissioned pilots. They also wrote the series Welcome to New York.

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