Born into a military family, with roots in rural Kentucky, l spent my childhood moving--from California to Alaska to D.C. to Las Vegas, from Kentucky to Florida to Colorado--to name only a few. I received a BA in Theatre from the University of Colorado in Boulder, took additional training in acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in Los Angeles, and earned an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. (In the photo, performing a reading from The Life List of Adrian Mandrick at DePauw University.)
I started out a singer and an actor--sang with acapella jazz group Pacific Jazz and Electric out of L.A, acted in plays, sang in musicals, bars, and cabarets in New York, Florida, Colorado and California, and later recorded albums with new age, world and contemporary instrumental musicians like Peter Kater, R. Carlos Nakai, David Darling, and Nawang Khechog, and created albums Skeleton Woman and Pagan Saints with the group Flesh and Bone, co-founded with pianist Peter Kater. (In the photo, performing at Gobin Church in pianist/composer Cathie Malach's Greencastle Summer Music Festival concert.)
My debut novelThe Life List of Adrian Mandrick was years in the making, and published in April, 2018 by Touchstone Books (Simon & Schuster) with many thanks to my editor Lara Blackman and agent Tim Wojcik of Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. The audiobook was released by Recorded Books with David Aaron Baker narrating. And the paperback was released in February, 2019 by Atria Books (Simon & Schuster). I'm working on a second novel now...
The plays, which have been produced nationally and internationally, include Rhythms (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play), Thespian (published by Smith & Kraus in Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2011), Two-Character Play (published by Allyn & Bacon in Explore Theatre digital textbook), and Sin Eater (commissioned by Hollins University).
Feature-length screenplays Pain Management and Weasel in the Icebox made first cut at Sundance Screenwriters Lab; Weasel in the Icebox also won an Award of Merit at the Women's Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles. (In the photo, actors Ron Dye, Adam Tran, Liz Chiarella and Rae Dawn Chong in Mud Lotus, which began as a full-length play. then screenplay, then ultimately, short film.)
Short film Mud Lotus, co-produced by Jonathan-Nichols Pethick, shot by cinematographer Eric Branco, is about a Buddhist monk who shows up in rural Indiana looking for the reincarnation of his late teacher. A collision of worlds. Click on the poster (design by Theresa Carper) to visit the film website.
Since 2002, I've taught creative writing at DePauw University, a small liberal arts school in Greencastle Indiana, where I specialize in upper-level workshops in playwriting and screenwriting, and have served a number of years as director of the Film Studies program. (In the photo, the first-floor hall of Asbury Hall.)