Class of 2017

Daniel Dias CarlosDaniel Dias Carlos graduated cum laude in Radio & TV from the School of Communication at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. He will soon complete a postgraduate specialization in Literature, Arts and Contemporary Thought at Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Daniel has worked as a screenwriter for Multishow cable channel and several Brazilian production companies. Daniel wrote and directed the short film Game Over, which was one of the 2013 winners at Curta Criativo, a competition identifying new talent in the audiovisual industry. Game Over has screened in national film festivals. He’s currently planning to write the next Great American Novel.

Cat DavidsonCat Davidson is a Chicago-based playwright and actress.  She graduated with a BA in Theatre Arts and Political Science from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, where she was the recipient of a Talent Grant. Her plays Princess and Sweet Sulfur were selected for performance as part of Muhlenberg Theatre’s main-stage productions of New Voices: A Festival of Student Written and Directed One-Act Plays. Upon graduation, Cat was selected to participate in the 2010 Young Playwrights Festival at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta, GA. She also co-wrote and acted in the short film Hall of Frames. Recently, Cat has worked with Stockyard Theatre Project’s Play for Keeps where she has developed scripts that feature strong female characters and foster cross-cultural appreciation of differences.

Rachel GreenhoeRachel Greenhoe was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where her play ‘Not Retarded’ won the David Lindsay-Abaire award and was produced on the main stage. Since graduating she’s been writing and producing plays and doctoring screenplays. Two of her plays, ‘Not Retarded’ and ‘Tiger Trap’, have been produced Off-Off Broadway. Her latest play ‘Monkey’ had its first reading at La Mama ETC. In addition to La Mama, Rachel has worked with Mabou Mines, DTA, Fresh Fruit and Bass Films.

Adam HughesAdam Hughes graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. For the last year, he’s been writing entertainment articles for L.A. Arts Online, an entertainment website based out of Venice, CA. Aside from screenwriting, he is currently working with an editor at Putnam Publishing on drafting a novel. For the last three years, Adam has worked at the Corporate Headquarters of Crocs, where he built the training program from the ground up, revolutionizing the department’s retention rate. Outside of writing, he also enjoys drawing and reading.

Sharon KromeSharon Krome Originally from small-town Maryland, Sharon has lived, worked and studied across Europe, including Graffiti-smattered Berlin. While predominantly a screenwriter with a more indie sensibility, her work is commonly Science fiction and coming-of-age stories with a healthy dose of social criticism and dark humor. Most recently, she worked as a production assistant for one of Chicago's leading production companies, Big Shoulders where she has worked on projects for House Hunters, the Chicago Cubs, ESPN, and Budweiser. When not writing, you may find her directing, editing, or painting abstract impressionistic pieces (aka fancy paint splatters).

Amanda LowryAmanda Lowry graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and English from Indiana University-Bloomington. Her plays have been featured at Chicago Dramatists, Trap Door Theatre, Stage 773, and in the fall 2015 and spring 2016 MasterClash reading series. This summer, she interned at Circle of Confusion (The Walking Dead, Straight Outta Compton) and with producer Bryan Unkeless (The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid). Prior to coming to Northwestern, she spent three years as a marketing writer for the Chicago nonprofit Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.

Oona O'LearyOona O’Leary is a Chicago-based comedy writer and performer. She graduated from Oberlin College with a BA in Classics and has studied improvisation at The Second City and The Annoyance Theater. Oona writes and performs with her sketch group Focus on the Ham and is co-founder of The Sketch Review, a site dedicated to reviewing and promoting sketch groups overlooked by traditional media. In 2013 she performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with the London-based group Stand Up Tragedy. Currently she’s having fun writing and producing BACKPAX, a live sitcom at The Second City’s DeMaat Theatre loosely based on her time bartending at a hostel in China. Ask her for karaoke suggestions.

Molly PeaseMolly Pease graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's in Theatre and Public Relations. While at UGA, she won the Eddie Lambeth Playwrighting award and one of her short plays placed second in the KCATCF Region IV. Her play Social Prescriptions premiered at UGA in a production by the undergraduate theatre group, and was produced this year at SUNY Orange in New York. During her time in Athens, she helped found the all-female improv troupe Lady Parts. Molly was also a member and then head writer of the Sharkwing sketch comedy troupe. She is a favorite in the local standup scene performing in both Athens and Atlanta, but her true passion lies in writing bios for herself. Particularly, the end of bios.

Hope RehakHope Rehak received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Oberlin College through a scholarship from The Posse Foundation. A native of Chicago and proud graduate of its public schools, Hope grew up attending student programming, training, and productions at iO, The Neo-Futurists, Second City, The Goodman, Lookingglass, and Steppenwolf, where she later interned as an undergraduate. Hope has also studied at the Paris Writers Workshop, the Iowa Young Writers Studio, and the Southampton Writers Conference. In 2012, while living abroad, she received both the Paris Writers Workshop's Poetry Scholarship and the Wisecrackers.se Comedy Newcomer of the Year Award in Copenhagen. She is a member of the all-female stand-up comedy collective, The Kates, and was a co-writer on In Real Life, the webseries created by fellow MFA class of 2017 candidate, Kate Royal. Hope is a regular guest on various Chicago-based podcasts and continues to perform stand-up around town.

Kate RoyalKate Royal is a playwright and screenwriter from Tappan, New York. She holds a B.A. in Theatre/English with a minor in Film Studies from SUNY Geneseo. Her plays include Mammoth (Nominated for Best Play of 2015 by Rochester City Newspaper), The Nameless Days of Gumdrop Smith (Featured in the 2014 Rochester Fringe Festival) and Queen for a Day (selected for workshop in 2015 by Chicago Dramatists). Kate has held assistantships alongside Michael Sexton, Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Society, playwright Elizabeth Wong, and is presently serving as Artistic Intern with Pegasus Theatre Chicago. She is also recognized as an Artist-in-Residence at the Multi-use Community Cultural Center in Rochester, New York. In the coming year, Kate is preparing to release the first season of her original webseries In Real Life, about the lives of four LGBT millennials, in development with OpenTV for 2017.

Liza SummersLiza Summers graduated with a B.A. in Theatre & Drama from Indiana University, where she was awarded a Diploma of Highest Distinction and selected as a Phi Beta Kappa scholar. With a background in both acting and writing, Liza has acted in several plays over the years – some favorites include Angels in America, Doubt, and 4:48 Psychosis. She spent a summer working at Williamstown Theatre Festival and studied abroad in London at the British American Drama Academy. Liza has spent the past two and a half years in New York working in nonprofit marketing & development, which has provided great material for the web series she is currently penning. She is also planning a reading of her play Deathiversary at the Azuka Theatre in Philadelphia this summer. A Nebraska native, Liza is thrilled to be returning to her Midwest roots this fall.

Tyler ZenckaTyler Zencka, a Chicago native, graduated from St. Olaf College, where he double majored in Religion and Family Studies. He has directed two short films, published short stories in four literary magazines, and earned a Pushcart Prize nomination for his short story The Front Page. Since graduation, he has sought out positions that allowed him access to people and stories. He has been a ranch hand in rural Arizona, a defense investigator in Washington DC, and a craft brewer at a microbrewery in Beijing, China. Currently, he lives in Evanston and manages Under the Gun Theater, a comedy venue a block from Wrigley Field in Chicago.