I was born in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, which I hear is becoming quite trendy these days, but back then it was decidedly not-trendy. So my parents moved. Several times. Before settling our wee family in the Hamlet of Hawthorne, NY (pop. 5083), a town just 11 miles north of the Bronx and whose most notable attraction is the Multiplex movie theatre where occasionally a body is found in the trunk of an abandoned car in the parking lot. (Really.)
From the age of 6 to about 10 I was hell-bent on going to Cornell, then going to Cornell Veterinary School, and becoming a veterinarian at the Bronx Zoo. I was quite the animal lover, you see. Still am. Which is why I have more pets than children. And also because they die quicker, so if they're annoying you don't have to deal with them for quite as long. Or put them through college.
Anyhow. As a child, I was quite the little singer, and in 5th grade I was given a small part in the high school musical (I played a donkey. Really.) and my love of theatre was born. I vacillated for a while between animals and theatre, science and art. Took voice lessons. Did an internship at the Bronx Zoo. Toyed with the idea of becoming an opera singer. Ended up going off to Northwestern University in the hopes of becoming an actor/writer/director/filmmaker. I got into the Creative Writing for the Media program at NU and, by the time I graduated, my focus had turned mainly to writing for the stage and screen.
I spent the first several years out of school floundering around the periphery of the Chicago theatre scene, participating in festivals and workshops here and there, having readings of plays in development, but mostly keeping to myself and writing. Honing my craft, building my portfolio. In 2001 I had two productions, one of CYBER SERENADE in Talent, Oregon, and one of CHAGRIN FALLS at Stage Left Theatre in Chicago. Both plays were nominated for the American Theatre Critic Association's Osborn Award. CHAGRIN FALLS won. CYBER SERENADE felt shafted and the two plays are still not speaking. It's uncomfortable sometimes.
Since then, my plays have been produced in Chicago at Steppenwolf, Stage Left and Chicago Dramatists, and around the country at Cincinnati Shakespeare Festival, Actors Express (Atlanta), InterAct (Philadelphia), The Victory Theater (Los Angeles), and The Old Globe (San Diego), among others. Details on all that can be found on my resume.
I also teach. Which I enjoy immensely. (Really.) I teach playwriting and screenwriting at Northwestern University in the Creative Writing for the Media program. I teach playwriting workshops in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Dramatists where I am a Resident Playwright. And I teach classes for adults at Chicago Dramatists occasionally as well.
Recently my artistic whims have drawn me back to screenwriting and I shot a short film called Parallel late this past summer. I have also been dabbling in stand-up comedy in the past year and a half. Check "News" on this site for info on up-coming performances.