DAN BERKOWITZ is Co-Chair of The Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights (ALAP), and a Councilmember of The Dramatists Guild of America. His writing for the stage has been produced off-Broadway, at major regionals, and in venues across the US and Canada, and includes the popular revue A… My Name Is Still Alice, and There’s No Place Like Hollywood!, nominated for LA’s Ovation Award for Best Musical. Dan is also a producer, director, and script and production consultant. http://danberkowitz.com
Felice Picano’ stories, novellas and novels are translated into seventeen languages, and include national and international bestsellers. Four plays were produced. He’s received awards for poetry, drama, short stories, novels and memoirs. His newest book is the novel, Justify My Sins: a Hollywood Novel in 3 Acts; his novel Onyx (2001) was just republished. Five new stories and an essay on H.P. Lovecraft have appeared in mainstream Sci Fi and Horror anthologies and magazines, including Best New Horrors #29. Picano lectures on Vintage Hollywood and screenwriting and teaches writing at workshops for the West Hollywood Public Library. www.felice.picano.net
Deborah Randall is the founder and visionary behind Venus Theatre. Born in Washington, DC, and raised in Prince George’s County, she began directing as a student and president of the Drama Club at Prince Georges Community College. Her first paid acting gig was at Wild World Theme Park in 1986. She later went on to graduate cum laude from UMBC under the guidance of Xerxes Mehta, Wendy Salkind, Sam McCready, Alan Kriezenbeck, and Alice Robinson. She was in Mehta’s Marat/Sade at UMBC with the Maryland Stage Company and in McCready’s Merry Wives of Windsor with Shakespeare on Wheels. After college, Randall worked as an actor regularly in Washington, DC, and then began performing her own monologues. She has performed four solo shows, written two, and had one published. She has also written and staged works for multiple casts. She began doing public staged readings of other living playwrights in 2002, which led to cultivating strong relationships with many writers. The works of Randall and Venus have been seen up and down the Eastern seaboard.
Meri Weiss has a BA in English from the University of Michigan, an MFA in Creative Writing from Southampton College, and an MA in English from State University of New York, New Paltz. She was an English professor in New York City for 14 years; she taught part-time at Fordham University and full-time at the College of New Rochelle, where she was the Co-chair of the English department for seven years. She has presented and published a variety of academic papers; her essay “The Role of Maternal Females in Harry Potter’s Journey” was published in Legilimens!: Perspectives in Harry Potter Studies by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in 2013. Her debut novel, Closer to Fine, was published by Kensington Press in 2008; it was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award for Best Debut Fiction and Short Listed for the Goldberg Prize for Jewish Fiction for Emerging Writers. In 2014, Meri moved to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.