(June 10) Writing Disabled Characters

May 21, 2014

The Writers Guild of America, East and Tom Fontana
in partnership with the Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

present

Writing Disabled Characters

RSVP

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Panel: 6:30-8pm
Reception: 8-9pm

Writers Guild of America, East
250 Hudson Street, Suite 700, NYC

Join us for a conversation about the portrayal of characters with disabilities on screen, from cartoons to adult dramas.

PANELISTS:
George Gallego, founder and CEO of Wheels of Progress
Susan Kim, writer, WONDER PETS!, ARTHUR
Kristen Lange, writer, THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW
Marygrace O’Shea, writer, LAW & ORDER
Alexandria Wailes, actor, NURSE JACKIE
Moderator: Howard Sherman, Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts

ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS:
 
George Gallego, founder and CEO of Wheels of Progress
George Gallego is the founder and CEO of Wheels of Progress, an organization whose mission is to create permanent, accessible, supportive housing and transformative environments for people living with disabilities.  From 2007-2012, he was the president of the New York Chapter of the National Spinal Cord Injury Association and is currently on the Executive Board of Directors. In 2013, George received the prestigious Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award and prize to continue his advocacy work nationally.  In New York State, he was named to Gov. Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team’s Housing Workgroup.  George is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild as well as the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.  In 2013 he was a consultant to a Tony Award-winning director and an Emmy Award-winning writer/director/producer on disability related projects.

Susan Kim, writer, WONDER PETS!, ARTHUR
Susan Kim is a playwright, TV writer, and author. She has written and produced documentaries for PBS, National Geographic, HBO, and AMC. Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival and won special jury and audience awards at the Hamptons and Fort Lauderdale international film festivals. She also won the Writers Guild of America award for the PBS documentary about feminism in the 1950s, Paving the Way. Susan has also written for and story-edited more than three dozen children’s TV series, including Astroblast!, Peg + Cat, Jungle Junction, Martha Speaks, Wonder Pets!, Arthur, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and Reading Rainbow, and has been nominated for the Emmy five times and the Writers Guild award four times. Plays include the stage adaptation of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club (Dramatists Play Service) and numerous one-acts, including Death and the Maiden, Rapid Eye Movement, Dreamtime for Alice (Dramatists Play Service and Farrar Strauss), and Memento Mori (Smith & Krauss). She won the Drama League Award for her play, Open Spaces. Her work has been produced around the country and internationally. With husband Laurence Klavan, she has written graphic novels (City of Spies, Brain Camp), as well as the current YA trilogy, Wasteland.

Kristen Lange, writer, THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW
A native New Yorker, Kristen Lange has worked her way up through some of New York's most respected shows, including stints at The Late Show with David Letterman, The Sopranos, and Bored to Death.  She's also written for BBC's The News Quiz and most recently spent her days in the writers room at The Michael J. Fox Show.  When she’s not writing, she can often be found recommending restaurants to people who didn’t ask.

Marygrace O’Shea, writer, LAW & ORDER
Marygrace O'Shea is a film and television writer living in New York. She has written for LAW & ORDER CRIMINAL INTENT and SVU. Her pilot GOLDEN PARACHUTES was optioned by FTVS. She received an MFA in screenwriting from Columbia University. While living and working in Rome and Florence, she wrote THE PAINTING after she became interested in the story of Guilia de Medici and the Pontormo Portrait of Maria Salviati and Child—a portrait which is currently the focus of the exhibit Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe at the Walters Museum of Art in Baltimore. She has just completed her latest pilot, SCHOOL.

Alexandria Wailes, actor, NURSE JACKIE
Alexandria Wailes’ acting credentials include Broadway: BIG RIVER and numerous NY/regional theatre: MOTHER COURAGE, A KIND OF ALASKA, GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, FETES DE LA NUIT, PIPPIN, THE WILD BOYS, SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES, BIG RIVER; Television: LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT and NURSE JACKIE. Film: THE HYPERGLOT, THEATRE OF WAR, ALWAYS CHASING LOVE, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE, AN EXPERIENCE and THE TUBA THIEVES.  As a member of Heidi Latsky Dance Company, she will be  in an upcoming film premiering at Montclair State University in Spring 2015. She has been part of a couple web series; 258 NEWS and WEINER & WEINER.

Moderator: Howard Sherman, Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
Howard Sherman is an arts management consultant with a particular focus on communications, marketing and branding, who is currently serving as interim director of Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts. This follows his eight-year tenure as executive director of the American Theatre Wing, where his many responsibilities included serving as executive producer and occasional moderator of the television program “Working in the Theatre”; creating and hosting the audio program “Downstage Center”; incorporating SpringboardNYC, the Theatre Intern Group and The Jonathan Larson Grants into ATW's programming; and serving on the Tony Awards Management and Administration Committees. In addition, he was instrumental in the development of ATW’s National Theatre Company Grants program and conceived the book, “The Play That Changed My Life”.  Prior to joining ATW, he was Executive Director of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford CT; Managing Director of Geva Theater in Rochester; General Manager of Goodspeed Musicals; and Public Relations Director of Hartford Stage. He began his career in press positions with the Philadelphia Festival Theater for New Plays, Westport Country Playhouse, and Manhattan Theatre Club. He has taught and/or guest lectured at the Yale School of Drama, North Carolina School of the Arts, Emerson College, Brooklyn College, Hartt School of Music and University of Connecticut. He writes two separate columns on American Theatre for The Stage newspaper in London, and his freelance work has been appeared on the NPR website, in American Theatre magazine and on HowlRound, the journal of the Theatre Commons at Emerson College. He blogs at hesherman.com and tweets as @hesherman.