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Writing for Television, Film and Stage: Panel of Experts to Tell All

March 14, 2006 | by Wendy Leopold

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Writer and executive producer Greg Berlanti -- whose work on “Dawson’s Creek” spawned a new kind of television show frankly addressing a new generation of viewers -- will be part of a panel of award-winning writers discussing the art and business of entertainment writing, Friday, March 31, at Northwestern University.

Titled “Writing for the Screen and Stage: Thoughts from the Trenches,” the free and public event will begin at 4 p.m. at the Pick-Laudati Auditorium in the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

Berlanti, a 1994 Northwestern graduate whose program creation and writing credits also include “Everwood” and “Jack and Bobby,”will be joined by film writer and producer Eric Bernt (“Romeo Must Die,” ”Virtuosity”), television writer Hank Chilton (“Nip/Tuck”), playwright Rebecca Gilman (“Spinning into Butter,” “Boy Meets Girl,” “The Glory of Living”) and playwright Wendy MaLeod (“House of Yes,” “Juvenilia”). Bernt and Chilton also are graduates of Northwestern University.

The five writers -- many of whom have written for more than one entertainment medium --will discuss and show clips from their work and answer questions from aspiring writers and theatre, TV and movie enthusiasts in the audience.

Gilman, who recently adapted her play “Spinning into Butter” into a screenplay for a forthcoming film that will star Sarah Jessica Parker, will join Northwestern’s radio/television/film department faculty in September. She will teach in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program in Writing for the Screen and Stage that begins in fall 2006. The selective MFA program emphasizes writing for all media and builds on Northwestern’s national reputation for shaping and producing professionals in theatre and entertainment fields.

In showing and discussing examples of their work, the panelists will outline the similarities and differences in screenwriting, television writing and writing for the stage from both creative and business perspectives. The March 31 writing panel is presented by Northwestern’s Writing for the Media program, its radio/television/film department and soon-to-commence MFA program in writing for the screen and stage. MFA writing program students will take six genre-specific media writing courses that ultimately will create a portfolio that includes a screenplay, play, television episode and full-length thesis project.

For information about the upcoming “Writing for the Stage and Screen” event or the new MFA program of the same name, call (847) 491-3751 or e-mail ana-davis@northwestern.edu. For information about the MFA program, visit <http://www.write.northwestern.edu>.

Topics: Campus Life