AFF will be presenting a panel discussion and networking reception in partnership with the Writers Guild of America, East and The New School on Tuesday, April 10. Admission is free, however, the RSVP is closed. Spots could be available day of, we encourage you to show up and you will be put in the standby line. Details are below:
Whose Story is it? Authenticity, Sensitivity, Voice & Appropriation in Writing
Tuesday, April 10
The New School Auditorium (66 W. 12th St, New York City, NY 10011)
In today’s climate writers and their identities are more central to the conversation than ever before. Join panelists for a discussion on writing ethnicity, race, and culture in film and television and the “ifs, whens and hows” of writing voices that may not be your own. Writers will discuss tone, breaking stereotypes, the importance of research and the responsibility a writer has to their work and others.
SOO HUGH is a television writer and producer whose credits include The Killing (AMC) and Under the Dome (CBS). In 2014, she created the ABC show The Whispers based on a Ray Bradbury short story, produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Mark Romanek. She’s currently co-showrunning THE TERROR for AMC, which premiered on March 26 and has received critical claim. An adaptation of the bestselling Dan Simmons novel of the same name and produced by Ridley Scott, the show stars Jared Harris, Ciaran Hinds and Tobias Menzies. Her feature credits include BARBARELLA and countless other unmade studio projects which explains why she fled for the greener pastures of television. She now has the best job in the world. She is a graduate of Yale University and USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Gary Lennon is an award-winning writer and producer who has worked in all aspects of the entertainment industry. He began his career in theater, writing the plays, “Blackout,” “Dates and Nuts,” “The Interlopers,” and “A Family Thing.” “The Interlopers” earned massive praise, received 3 Ovation and 2 NAACP nominations and was a LA Times Critics Pick. His other play, “A Family Thing” was also a Los Angeles Critics Pick, earning 6 LA Weekly and 2 Los Angeles Critic’s Circle Nominations. Lennon made his directorial debut with the film .45, starring Mila Jovovich, which he wrote as well.
He then transitioned to television where he has worked on many critically acclaimed shows including “The Black Donnellys,” “The Unusuals,” “The Sheild,” and “Black Box.”
He’s recently gained great success for producing “Justified” on FX, earning him a 2011 Peabody Award, 2011 Critic’s Choice Award Nomination, a 2011 WGA Award and an AFI Award Honoree for Television Program of the Year. Also, he was a supervising producer on the Netflix hit “Orange is the New Black,” which earned him a Producers Guild Award, a 2014 Peabody Award, a 2013 WGA Nomination and a 2014 Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Gary has developed a series with J.J. Abrahms’ Bad Robot Productions and Ru Paul’s World of Wonder for Warner Brothers where he will serve as Executive Producer and showrunner. He also is currently in an overall exclusive TV deal with Starz. In addition, Lennon sold his play “Change” to Sydney Kimmel Entertainment (which produced Hell or High Water) with William Horberg producing, whose credits include The Talented Mr. Ripley, Cold Mountain and Milk. The film goes into production in 2018.
Jess Row is the author of two collections of short stories, The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost, and the critically acclaimed novel Your Face in Mine, currently being developed for film by the writer/director Malik Vitthal. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Granta, and Tin House, as well as three times in The Best American Short Stories; he’s received a Whiting Writers Award, two Pushcart Prizes, and NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. His essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Boston Review, and elsewhere. He teaches at NYU and the College of New Jersey. His next book, White Flights, a collection of essays on race and the American imagination, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2019.
Cándido Tirado – Playwright: (website: candidotirado.com) has written 22 plays. He has been commissioned with his wife, Carmen Rivera, to write a play on Freestyle Music, which will open next year. His latest Two Diamonds will have a reading at the Cherry Lane Theater on April 30th. His musical, La Canción, is currently running at the Spanish Repertory in NYC. His play Fish Men was produced at INTAR and at the Goodman Theatre in collaboration with Teatro Vista. Momma’s Boyz was produced by Teatro Vista and it was chosen as Chicago Top Ten plays by the Huffington Post. First Class produced by Urban Theater Company in Chicago and was subsequently chosen by Theater On The Lake Festival. His Off Broadway productions include Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz (co-written with Carmen Rivera) premiered at New World Stages, having a 9 month run. It also toured, Puerto Rico, Spain and Miami. Off Broadway plays produced: King Without a Castle, Checking Out, First Class, The Barber Shop, Momma’z Boyz and King Without a Castle which was also work-shopped at Sundance Theater Lab. Some People Have All The Luck was produced at the National Theater of the Dominican Republic. He was a staff writer for the TV show Ghostwriter where his episode was nominated for a Humanitas award. He was a staff writer for the hit web series East WillyB. And has recently acted on another web series, Brujos. He’s a four-time winner of the New York Foundation of the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. He’s a co-founder EDUCATIONAL PLAYS PRODUCTION with Carmen Rivera, which tours the public schools presenting social issues oriented plays concerning the inner city youth. As a director, he’s directed over twenty plays. He also works as a dialect coach for Power.
JUDY TATE Television writing includes a dozen years on soaps including Another World, Days of Our Lives and As the World Turns. She’s won four daytime Emmys and a Writers’ Guild of America award. She is a 25+ year member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Founding Artistic Director of Stargate Theatre Company at Manhattan Theatre Club which is a work-readiness theatre company for court-involved young men. She’s also the Producing Artistic Director of The American Slavery Project, a theatrical response to revisionism in our nation’s discourse around slavery, the Civil War and Jim Crow. ASP supports African American writers who deal with the era, commissions new work and creates conversation in the community. Judy’s productions and workshops include Fast Blood (Civic Ensemble, EST, Passage Theatre, Hartford Stage, The Lark, Epic Theatre Ensemble); Slashes of Light, The Kitchen Theatre Company and Civic Ensemble; Sex in the Kitchen (EST Octoberfest, CAP21), In the Parlour (about black women suggragettes), Civic Ensemble at The Kitchen; The Point and Mistaken for Genius (both at The Women’s Project Lab) and more. Theatre awards include: Manhattan Theatre Club playwriting fellowship; the New Professional Theatre Playwriting Award; and the Women in Arts and Media Collaboration Award (honored finalist). She’s a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and was an actor for many years working in theatres throughout the United States and in Southern Africa. As a teaching artist she’s worked with playwriting students in alternative schools, prisons, shelters, from reservations and townships both independently and with MTC, TDF and the International Theatre and Literacy Project.
An alumna of NYU/Tisch/Stella Adler she was awarded The Beinecke Award for excellence in acting and academia, The Seidman Award for Drama and The Founders Day Award.