Zack Akers grew up in the small town of Athens, Tennessee. He graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2008 with a degree in Film & Television and became a documentary producer with Flagstaff Films, whose work has appeared on HBO, ESPN, CBS, and NBC. In 2015, he co-founded Two-Up with Skip Bronkie, which has gone on to produce the widely regarded podcast Limetown. The audio drama has received over 20 million listens, was an iTunes Best of 2015, and was covered by international publications like the New York Times, the Guardian, New York Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Vox and more. Limetown went on to become a television show with Jessica Biel and Stanley Tucci, which Zack wrote and produced. Additionally, Zack has also produced, with Skip, the popular podcasts, 36 Questions and The Wilderness under the Two-Up banner. He lives with his wife and son in Massachusetts.
Zack will be judging the Fiction Podcast category.
Skip Bronkie is the co-founder of Two-Up and producer of Limetown, 36 Questions, and The Wilderness.
Skip will be judging the Fiction Podcast category.
Brian Yorkey received the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as the 2009 Tony Award for Best Score, for Next to Normal. Brian was most recently the Executive Producer and Showrunner of 13 Reasons Why for Netflix, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content. As principal of That Kid Ed, Inc., Brian is involved in writing and developing numerous projects for Netflix, where he is under an overall deal, as well as for HBO Max, Charter, and other outlets.
Brian was also nominated for the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Next to Normal, and his work on the show earned him the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Score. He partnered again with the Next to Normal team on If/Then (Tony Award Nominee for Best Score) starring Idina Menzel. Brian co-wrote the libretto for The Last Ship (Outer Critic’s Nomination, with John Logan), with a score by Sting. His musical adaptation of Freaky Friday (for Disney Theatricals) was made into a Disney Channel Original Movie.
Additional theatre credits include Making Tracks, which has played off-Broadway and regionally, the musical adaptation of Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet and the play, Book of Jobs with Alex Glover. Brian has directed off-Broadway and regionally and for seven years was associate artistic director at Village Theatre in Washington state, one of the nation’s leading producers of new musicals.
He’s a graduate of Columbia University, where he was artistic director of the Varsity Show, an alum of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the WGA.
Brian will be judging the Playwriting category.