2020 Featured Speakers

Lineup subject to change


Writer, David Makes Man

Both born in 1989, the 89 Writers duo - Lucien Christian Adderley and Richard ‘Byrd’ Wilson - spent the majority of their childhood years in South Florida. They both studied the arts at every age and attended magnet schools for theatre and music, Lucien in Miami/Dade County and Byrd in Broward County.

Their paths converged at Florida State University in 2008. During their time as students at FSU, they united with 4 other poets to form the group known as Team A.D.H.D. As a team, they traveled to college campuses and venues throughout the U.S. performing their unique brand of entertainment that incorporates poetry, music, and comedy. In 2015, they both represented South Florida in the National Poetry Slam, finishing 6th in the nation.

After graduating from FSU with a BFA in Acting and Theatre Studies, Lucien went on to receive his MFA in Screenwriting while Byrd became a Teaching Artist with the Jason Taylor Foundation. Even after taking different paths, the duo had a hunger to work on creative projects as a team, leading them to form 89 Writers.

The duo is currently in their second season writing for the Peabody Award-winning OWN series David Makes Man, a Florida-set drama created by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Academy Award for Moonlight. They also recently completed the feature-length screenplay for The Highwaymen, a true story about a group of African American artists in segregated 1960s Florida.

“Our desire is to bring unique and untold stories to the page; both ratchet and righteous. The goal isn’t to live forever but to create something that will.”

Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, Walt Disney Television

David Ambroz is the Executive Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Walt Disney Television, where he leads on-air prosocial and philanthropic work for all Disney television and media networks including ABC, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic. He also serves on the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, where he works alongside Mayor Eric Garcetti and other City officials to create a more inclusive and more sustainable city for all Angelenos.

David is also the co-founder of FosterMore - an unprecedented coalition of entertainment, media, business and philanthropic organizations working to deliver a better future for youth in foster care. FosterMore believes in the promise of foster youth and harnessing the power of media to improve outcomes. David has been recognized by President Obama as a “Champion of Change,” for his work on behalf of foster children. David is an alumnus of homelessness and foster care.


Writer, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

Kristen Bartlett is a five-time Emmy-nominated co-head writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. She previously wrote for Saturday Night Live, where she received WGA and Peabody Awards. Her stage show The Dead Dads Club performed to sold out audiences in New York, Los Angeles, and Montreal.

Casting Director, Little America

Since opening Telsey + Company in 1988, Bernard Telsey and Adam Caldwell along with their staff of casting directors, associates, and assistants have cast such Broadway shows as Rent, Wicked, Hairspray, In the Heights, Kinky Boots, Hamilton, and more, as well as countless national tours, Off-Broadway productions, and regional theatre productions across the country.

Together, Bernie and Adam have worked on Little America (Apple TV Plus), Tales of the City (Netflix), To Kill a Mockingbird (Broadway), and the upcoming series The Gilded Age (HBO).
Other recent credits between them include the upcoming film adaptation of In the Heights, Broadway’s Oklahoma, West Side Story, and Torch Song, and NCIS: New Orleans (CBS).

Telsey + Company won an Emmy Award for casting the pilot of Ugly Betty and was nominated for Fosse/Verdon, This Is Us, Grease! Live, Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert and The Big C. They won an Independent Spirit Award for casting Margin Call.  

Production Designer and CEO, JP Connelly Production Design Company, The Kelly Clarkson Show

James Pearse Connelly is one of the leading production designers in television. He is known for his designs in multicamera television and for an array of genres from competition to variety to late night to live spectacle.

Connelly is a multi-Emmy nominee and winner for The Kelly Clarkson Show and MTV Video Music Awards. Some of his most popular projects include NBC's The Voice, Netflix's Bill Nye Saves The World, Fox’s The Masked Singer, Netflix's Nailed It!, and ABC's Holey Moley.

Executive Producer, Snowfall

Julie DeJoie began her career working in late night and sketch comedy before transitioning into scripted television on series such as Friends, Sports Night and The West Wing. She currently works alongside Thomas Schlamme at his production company, Shoe Money Productions, where she oversees both development and production. While at Shoe Money Productions, she has developed and produced numerous shows including Jack and Bobby, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Pam Am and Manhattan. She is currently an Executive Producer on the fourth season of Snowfall for FX.

Lighting Designer, The Voice

Oscar Dominguez is the founder and head designer of DARKFIRE LIGHTING DESIGN INC, and the man behind the exciting visuals of NBC’s The Voice, The Bachelor and Shark Tank. Other credits include The Wall, World of Dance and Weakest Link. With over 30 years of experience lighting live and episodic television, he is one of an elite group capable of producing the large-scale lighting spectacle that top-rated TV shows demand. Darkfire Lighting Design is a three-time Emmy Award-winning company, in the categories of outstanding lighting design and outstanding lighting direction for a variety series.

Oscar grew up in the San Fernando Valley learning his craft from the ground up, working as a gaffer for TV specials, talk shows and live events in the early 90’s. After building an impressive resume as a lighting director, he found his niche as a lighting designer in the emerging reality TV format. A self-confessed technophile, he keeps his looks fresh with the latest instrumentation.

Creator, Executive Producer, Little America

Lee Eisenberg is a Writers Guild Award winner and six-time Emmy nominee. Eisenberg worked on the NBC comedy series, The Office, for five seasons, rising to co-head writer. Since then, Eisenberg has executive produced the Golden-Globe Nominated series, SMILF, and the Emmy-nominated HBO series, Hello Ladies, which he co-created and wrote alongside Gene Stupnitsky and Stephen Merchant. On the feature side, he made his film debut when he co-wrote the screenplay for Year One and later went on to write and produce Bad Teacher. He made his feature directorial debut with his original screenplay, Good Boys, co-written with Stupnitsky, and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The movie was the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of the past three years. Eisenberg is currently working on Season 2 of the critically acclaimed Little America for Apple TV+, Storytime for Disney Plus, alongside Ryan Reynolds, and a limited series about the rise and fall of WeWork for Apple TV+.

Executive Vice President and Head of Scripted, Harpo Films

Carla Gardini joined Harpo Films in 2008 and is a producer of film and television in addition to overseeing scripted programming for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

She produced the hit OWN original drama series Greenleaf and produces Queen Sugar, the network’s hit drama series. Gardini executive produced the Emmy®-nominated TV movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and the feature film The Hundred Foot Journey starring Helen Mirren. Most recently, she produced the feature film The Water Man alongside David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey, and is currently producing An American Marriage adapted from the 2018 Oprah’s Book Club title of the same name by Tayari Jones.

Prior to joining Harpo Films, Gardini worked at The Weinstein Company where she supervised The Great Debaters and executive produced Zack and Miri, Clerks II and Factory Girl.

Her career in film began 20 years ago in New York when she joined Miramax Films and rose through the ranks to Senior Vice President, Production. 

Costume Designer, Schitt’s Creek

Debra moves fluidly and expertly between production design, sets, and costume design for film, television, and theatre – most notably for the prestigious Stratford Festival Theatre.

Debra designed all six seasons of CBC/Pop TV’s hit comedy Schitt’s Creek, earning an Emmy for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes for the series finale, Happy Ending, and a nomination for season 5 episode The Dress. Her other credits include Orphan Black (designing for multiple characters in the series, by the same actor, Tatiana Maslany) and The Firm for NBC/eOne, for which she won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Costume Design. She is currently designing the fourth season of acclaimed series The Handmaid’s Tale.

Debra designed the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Cosi fan Tutti for director Atom Egoyan, for which she received a Dora Mayor Award nomination. She also designed and consulted for the film version of the one-man play Barrymore, starring Christopher Plummer and based on the life of John Barrymore.

Debra received a Gemini Award for Best Costume Design for the CBC’s production of Othello and was previously honoured with a Genie nomination for Best Costume Design for The Gospel of John, starring Christopher Plummer and Henry Ian Cusiak.

Debra’s feature credits include Tanya Wexler’s Buffaloed; Atom Egoyan’s Remember, which reunited her with Christopher Plummer, and The Captive; Chloe and Adoration (also for Atom Egoyan); the science fiction epic Outlander; Sarah Polley’s directorial debut Away From Her, starring Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent; Snow Cake, starring Alan Rickman, Sigourney Weaver and Carrie-Anne Moss; Don McKellar’s second feature, Childstar; and Clement Virgo’s multi-award-winning contemporary love story Love Come Down, starring Larenz Tate and Deborah Cox. Hanson received a Genie nomination for Best Achievement in Costume Design for her work on the multi-award winning New Waterford Girl.

Her television movie/mini-series credits include Departure, starring Christopher Plummer and Archie Panjabi; The Memory Keeper’s Daughter for Lifetime; The Man Who Saved Christmas; In God’s Country; and Laurie Lynd’s BBC hit I Was A Rat (starring Tom Conti and Brenda Fricker), as well as the television docudrama Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen, starring Paul Soles, Deborah Harry, Sandra Bernhard, and Rufus Wainwright. She designed on the contemporary Crash & Burn series (Canwest) and Garth Drabinsky’s performing arts-based show Triple Sensation. She also won a Gemini Award for her work on the dramatic dance interpretation of Daniel Defoe’s novel Roxana.

Debra has served as the Stratford Festival’s head of design and won a Dora Mavor Award for Outstanding Costume Design for her work on Translations.

Chief Executive Officer, Family Promise

Kat Lilley-Blair is the Chief Executive Officer of Family Promise of Colorado Springs, which operates a continuum of services to empower families with children to overcome housing instability and homelessness. This continuum works to meet families where they are in their individual housing journey through offering homeless prevention, shelter diversion, shelter, rapid rehousing, transitional housing, and graduate support.

Kat’s dedication to improve supports for families experiencing housing instability stems from personal experience, having navigated the lack of resources for families with children when she and her children experienced homelessness in 2013. Knowing first-hand the grief, fear, shame, and hopelessness which stems from homelessness, Kat actively works to provide voice to those who are too often are invisible and unheard, while facilitating services which are grounded in dignity and respect.

Additionally, Kat currently serves on the Family Promise National Board of Trustees, the Pikes Peak Continuum of Care Board of Directors, and is a member of the Family Promise National Guest Advisory Council.

Director, Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah

Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Linda started as a television page at Metromedia, Channel 11. Female and Latin, she filled a quota that the industry was trying to meet. From there, she worked her way up, starting as a PA, she became the production supervisor/AD on a number of hit shows including In Living Color, Saturday Night Live, House of Buggin', and The Video Music Awards, to name a handful. She’s worked with comedians from Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Chris Rock to Bernie Mac, George Carlin, Tina Fey, Steve Martin and Martin Short. Linda has worked with musicians from Boy George to Paul McCartney, The Who to Eric Clapton, Genesis and Led Zeppelin, to Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.

Her directing break came with Comedy from the Danger Zone at the Montreal Comedy Festival. It would be the Chris Rock Show on HBO that would help her transition to full time directing and she broadened her skills to narrative television when she became one of the house directors on The Bernie Mac Show in 2000.

To experience life from the other side of the camera, she tried her hand at Stand-Up, playing the The Improv and the Comedy Store’s Belly Room to the Main Room in less than a year.
She then wrote her one-woman show Cursed, My Road to Hollywood. In it she tells the story of how a Mexican woman from Detroit, who everyone thought was Chinese, made it as a working television director in Hollywood. It received rave reviews at the Hollywood Fringe Festival’s sold out run in 2015.

Linda recently won her first Daytime Emmy Award for Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary. She has directed multiple episodes of television, most currently Never Have I Ever, Baby Sitters Club, Brooklyn 99, and is currently directing the NBC Show Connecting which premiered on Oct. 8th.

Executive Producer, Director, 9/11 Remembered: The Day We Came Together; The 71st Emmy Awards 

Don Mischer is an internationally acclaimed producer and director of television and live events. He has been honored with fifteen Emmy Awards, a record 10 Directors Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Directorial Achievement, two NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, Europe's prestigious Gold Rose of Montreux and the 2012 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television from the Producers Guild of America and the 2019 Director’s Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award for Television.

As President of Don Mischer Productions, his credits range from We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial, The Kennedy Center Honors, and the 100th Anniversary of Carnegie Hall; to Super Bowl Halftime shows (Prince, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen), the Democratic National Convention, Events Celebrating Hong Kong's re--unification with China, and the Opening Ceremonies of both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games.

Other more recent projects include producing and/or directing the 83rd, 84th, and 85th Academy Awards and The 71st Emmy Awards. Most Recently, Mischer is producing, directing and writing a two-hour ABC special Mickey’s 90th spectacular, a dazzling prime-time event that celebrates 90 years of Mickey Mouse. Don also produced Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America for ABC, which celebrated through music, dance and the spoken word, the September 2016 historic opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Don has also produced specials with Beyoncé, Bono, Prince, Rihanna, Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Adele, Mary J. Blige, Elton John, Justin Timberlake, Barbra Streisand, Justin Bieber, Jon Bon Jovi, and Carrie Underwood, among others.

He has received the Governors Award from the National Association of Choreographers, and is a member of the Event Industry Hall of Fame, the Producers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America, where he was recently elected to the Board; and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, where he has served two terms on the Board of Governors.

Executive Vice President, Endemol Shine Latino, U.S. Initiatives

Flavio Morales has served as Executive Vice President, Endemol Shine Latino, U.S. Initiatives, since November 2015.

Morales, an experienced programming executive and producer, develops unscripted, scripted and digital content aimed at the U.S. Hispanic/English-speaking marketplace. He recently served as an executive producer on the second season of LOL: Last One Laughing for Amazon in Mexico and was an associate producer on acclaimed drama series Nicky Jam: El Ganador for Netflix. Morales is currently working on numerous development projects, including potential series with award-winning actress and producer Kate del Castillo (La Reina del Sur), who recently signed an overall development deal with Endemol Shine.

Prior to joining Endemol Shine Latino, Morales was EVP at BIG VIDA Entertainment, where he oversaw production of the NCLR ALMA Awards, along with executive producer Eva Longoria and he produced the Gerardo Ortiz concert film Como Un Sueno.

Previously, Morales was a top programming executive at NBCUniversal's Telemundo's cable network mun2 (now NBCUniverso), where he spent nearly a decade developing the network's bilingual/millennial programming mix of series including hits like I Love Jenni, Fugitivos de la Ley, and Larrymania. While at mun2, Morales helped lead the network to the top of the U.S. Hispanic cable network ratings, ending Galavision's 30-year run.

In 2008, Morales was honored with a prestigious NAMIC Vision Award, which celebrates and recognizes the cable industry's commitment to quality and diversity, and in 2009, he was selected as one of Multichannel News' 40 Under 40 visionaries. In 2006, Morales won a Peabody Award for his work on the documentary, For My Country? Latinos in the Military.

Morales, a Los Angeles native, began creating programming for bicultural Latinos in high school when he formed ILLEGAL Interns, a public access show in East LA, which showcased music, film, poetry, comedy and political activism. The show received critical acclaim and its programming was displayed at The Geffen Museum of Modern Art.

Writer, This Is Us

Kay Oyegun is a co-executive producer and writer on NBC’s hit drama series This Is Us”and has been with the show since its launch in 2016. Previous TV writing credits include Queen Sugar on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network and on the film side she’s adapting the novel Children of Blood and Bone for Lucasfilm, Fox and Disney as well as On The Come Up for Paramount. She’s also recently sold a feature to HBO Max titled, The Ancestor. She previously sold a feature to Paramount titled Assisted Living.

For her work on This Is Us, Oyegun is a NAACP Image Award winner as well as a Humanitas Prize and Writers Guild of America Award nominee. 

President, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Networks

As President of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Tina Perry oversees all operations and creative areas of the network and reports directly to OWN Chairman and CEO Oprah Winfrey.

Perry has been a part of OWN’s senior executive team since the network launched, and her leadership is a driving force behind the network’s ongoing growth and evolution, notably in its digital platforms and growing podcast business. She was instrumental in OWN’s successful entry into scripted programming including, most recently, the production and broadcast of original movies featuring predominantly African American characters and stories. Perry made the deals to bring Ava DuVernay-created series Queen Sugar and Cherish the Day to the network as well as Tarell Alvin McCraney’s critical hit David Makes Man, and for prolific producer Will Packer to create content for OWN. She also negotiated the overall deal with Lionsgate which has included one of the network’s most successful series launches to date with hit megachurch drama Greenleaf from writer/producer Craig Wright.

She received the LEA Award from Southern California’s Women In Cable Television this year, has been named by Multichannel News a “Wonder Woman” for 2020, and was recently named to the 2020 Ebony Power 100 list.

Director, The Game Awards

Rich Preuss is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning director. Recently, he directed Space Launch Live: Splashdown for Discovery Channel and the Netflix series Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj. He’s currently directing The Game Awards

Deputy Awards and Features Editor, Variety

Jenelle Riley is the Deputy Awards and Features Editor at Variety. She has received three Emmy Awards for her work on Variety/PBS’ Actors on Actors series. She penned the award-winning plays A Kind of Love Story and Jane Austen’s Emma Frankenstein and the short films Crazy Love and Warning Labels, starring Karen Gillan. She regularly hosts Q&As on SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Channel.

Actress, Schitt’s Creek

Jennifer Robertson is a Canadian-born actress, writer, creator, and performer, best known for her series regular role of ‘Jocelyn Schitt’ on the Emmy Award winning series Schitt’s Creek (CBC/PopTV). During her impressive career Jennifer has starred in The Twitches (Disney Channel), Holiday Joy (ABC Spark), and Undercover Grandpa opposite James Caan and Jessica Walter. She has also appeared in Disjointed (Netflix), Mr.D (CBC), Hannah Montana (Disney Channel) and Saving Hope (CTV).

She has won a Leo Award for Point Blank, been nominated for a Canadian Comedy Award for her writing on To Die 4, and been nominated for a Gemini Award for her writing for This Hour Has 22 Minutes (CBC). Jennifer is very proud to have been nominated three times for a Canadian Screen Award for her performance on Schitt’s Creek. Her next project is a starring role in Netflix’s Ginny & Georgia!

Actress, This Is Us

Born in Evergreen Park, IL, Lyric started demonstrating her acting talent at age 2 when she would recite lines and scenes from some of her favorite films. Lyric's television debut came at the age of 11 when she appeared in an episode of the USA Network series Sirens and NBC’s Chicago Fire. Shortly thereafter, Lyric joined the cast of the Indie film The Year That Changed Us; the Untitled Lena Waithe Project and the indie film, Canal Street where Lyric portrayed the daughter of a Chicago prosecutor (played by Mekhi Phifer).

In 2017, Lyric booked a breakout role on NBC’s hit series This Is Us, as Randall Pearson’s (Sterling K. Brown) troubled foster teen daughter. Early that year, the network and show creator, Dan Fogelman conducted a nationwide search for the young actress that would play the captivating role of 'Deja'. Lyric taped her first audition for 'Deja' from her home in Chicago, IL and shortly after got the call to come to Los Angeles, CA to meet the creative minds behind This Is Us and after was cast as a series regular on the award winning series.

Lyric’s performance as 'Deja' has earned her several award nominations and one win including Teen Choice Awards nomination for Choice TV: Breakout Star (2018), BET Awards for Young Stars (2019) and 2 NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special Television Movie or Limited Series) in 2019 & 2020 and also Lyric was also nominated in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2020. In 2019, alongside her This Is Us castmates, Lyric won a Screen Actors Guild Award in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.

President and CEO, Covenant House

Kevin Ryan is a father, husband and advocate. Since 2009 he has served as the president and CEO of Covenant House, one of the largest charities across North and Central America serving children, youth and young families facing homelessness and human trafficking.

Covenant House has expanded its housing and services to 31 cities, most recently opening new Covenant Houses in Mexico City; Chicago, IL; York, PA; Asbury Park, NJ; Grand Rapids, MI; and Berkeley, CA. Major expansions are currently underway in California, Illinois, New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Founded in 1972, Covenant House’s work has been recognized with several of the world's most distinguished human rights awards, including the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Award, the WOLA Human Rights Prize and the Olof Palme Peace Prize.

To support this expansion, Kevin and his team have built an international Sleep Out movement, involving thousands of participants across the United States and Canada who raise funds to house, feed and help youth overcome homelessness. He has Slept Out to raise awareness and funds scores of times in cities across North America, including Atlanta, Anchorage, New York City, Orlando, San Jose, St. Louis and Toronto.

Kevin previously served as the first public Child Advocate in New Jersey and the first commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, as well as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. He helped write several of the State's most important laws for youth, including the New Jersey Homeless Youth Act, the Foster Care Scholars Act, and expansions to children's health insurance.
His first book, Almost Home, a collaboration with former New York Times reporter Tina Kelley, became a national bestseller in the Fall of 2012. In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Kevin to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2018, Kevin joined President Trump in the Oval Office to witness the signing of human trafficking legislation that Covenant House had championed for many years. In 2020, Major League Baseball invited him to serve as a principal advisor to the organizations' anti-human trafficking efforts. He has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Montclair University, Dominican University, Catholic University and Georgian Court University where he addressed the graduating class 80 years after his grandmother graduated in the first Georgian Court class to admit women. She was also the school's first female valedictorian.

He is a graduate of Catholic University, Georgetown Law Center and NYU Law School. Kevin has worked closely with federal judges in the United States monitoring the reform of child welfare systems across the country. A former Skadden Fellow and Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School, Kevin's media appearances on behalf of children include the TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, MSNBC, EWTN, Good Morning America and two stints on 60 Minutes.

A sometime runner, Kevin has completed both the New York City Marathon and the Dublin Marathon to raise funds for the children and youth of Covenant House. They inspire him to this day and he rarely misses an opportunity to say “the least interesting thing about our kids is homelessness.”

Entertainment Anchor, Good Day LA

Amanda Salas has been an Entertainment Reporter/Host/Anchor for over 12 years. She is currently the Entertainment Anchor on Good Day LA. She joined the FOX LA team in April of 2017, but you may have seen her on the nationally syndicated entertainment show, Hollywood Today Live which also aired on FOX stations and My13 KCOP from 2014-2017. Amanda's career has taken her all over the world; from set visits to sit-down interviews, film and tv junkets to award season coverage. Amanda has done it all, including battling and beating Cancer in 2019.

She is a board member for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a member of the Producers Guild of America, a Television Academy member, and a proud dog mom of a rescue named January Bones. She also is a lover of puns, and calls herself a "Punsultant." Amanda started her career in 2008 at the Orange County Register. Amanda is a Fox Entertainment All Star, has been a Film and Television Correspondent for IMDb since 2017, and also has over 10 years experience being an Automotive Host on television. Cars, stars, and so much more!

Actor, Little America 

Haaz Sleiman was born and raised in Lebanon, and moved to the United States when he was twenty-one years old. He developed a love for acting in film, television and theater, and his breakout role was “Tarek” in the award-winning film The Visitor, opposite Richard Jenkins and Danai Gurira, for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Most recently Haaz can be seen in Little America for Apple+, and in Marvel’s The Eternals. Before that, Haaz completed the Amazon/Paramount series Jack Ryan, opposite John Krasinski, the ABC series Of Kings and Prophets, National Geographic’s Killing Jesus in the title role, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, 24, Person Of Interest, Blue Bloods, CSI: Miami, Nikita, Veronica Mars, NCIS, and Covert Affairs in addition to the BAFTA nominated British miniseries The Promise.

He was also very well received on the NY stage in the critically acclaimed play Food and Fadwa and in Jon Robin Baitz's Vicuña at The Mosaic Theatre in DC. In addition to starring in The Public Theatre musical Venice.


Mfoniso Udofia, a first-generation Nigerian-American storyteller and educator, attended Wellesley College, obtained her MFA from the American Conservatory Theater [ACT] and, while at ACT, co-pioneered, The Nia Project, which provided artistic outlets for youth residing in Bayview/Huntspoint.

Productions of her plays Sojourners, runboyrun, Her Portmanteau and In Old Age have been seen at New York Theatre Workshop, American Conservatory Theater, Playwrights Realm, Magic Theater, National Black Theatre, Strand Theater Company, and Boston Court. She’s the recipient of the 2017 Helen Merrill Playwright Award, the 2017-18 McKnight National Residency and Commission at The Playwrights’ Center, and is a member of New Dramatists.

Mfoniso’s currently commissioned by Hartford Stage, Denver Center, ACT, and South Coast Repertory. Her plays have been developed by Manhattan Theatre Club, ACT, McCarter Theatre, OSF, New Dramatists, PCS’s JAW Festival, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, The OCC, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, Space on Ryder Farm, Page 73, New Black Fest, Rising Circle and more.

She has worked as a television writer on: 13 Reasons Why, Little America, Pachinko, Away and A League of Their Own.

Production Designer, The Handmaid’s Tale

Elisabeth Williams is a Montreal based Production Designer whose main interests lie in character driven pieces. In her years, first as decorator and then, as Production Designer, Elisabeth worked with Quebecois and International Directors like Denis Villeneuve, François Bouvier, Martin Villeneuve and François Ozon as well as Directors Jeff Barnaby, Dominic James and Stobe Harju on their first features.
In 2016, she signed the Production Design of the first instalment of NBC SyFy’s acclaimed Channel Zero in Winnipeg, with Director Craig MacNeill.

Elisabeth joined the MGM/FX Fargo team in 2014, on Season 2 in Calgary, as Supervising Art Director, and was invited back as Production Designer for Season 3, to work alongside Noah Hawley. She was nominated for an Emmy for season 2 and was nominated for an ADG award for outstanding Production Design in season 3, for which she subsequently won the DGC award for outstanding Production Design in a Television Series.

Elisabeth was asked to step in and design the second and third seasons of prized series The Handmaid’s Tale (MGM/HULU). She has received 3 Emmys and an ADG award for her work in Season 2 and 3. The fourth instalment of THT makes way for many new worlds and environments, which she is currently designing with the same team in Toronto.


Richard Bird Wilson

Richard Bird Wilson


Writer, David Makes Man

Both born in 1989, the 89 Writers duo - Lucien Christian Adderley and Richard ‘Byrd’ Wilson - spent the majority of their childhood years in South Florida. They both studied the arts at every age and attended magnet schools for theatre and music, Lucien in Miami/Dade County and Byrd in Broward County.

Their paths converged at Florida State University in 2008. During their time as students at FSU, they united with 4 other poets to form the group known as Team A.D.H.D. As a team, they traveled to college campuses and venues throughout the U.S. performing their unique brand of entertainment that incorporates poetry, music, and comedy. In 2015, they both represented South Florida in the National Poetry Slam, finishing 6th in the nation.

After graduating from FSU with a BFA in Acting and Theatre Studies, Lucien went on to receive his MFA in Screenwriting while Byrd became a Teaching Artist with the Jason Taylor Foundation. Even after taking different paths, the duo had a hunger to work on creative projects as a team, leading them to form 89 Writers.

The duo is currently in their second season writing for the Peabody Award-winning OWN series David Makes Man, a Florida-set drama created by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who won an Academy Award for Moonlight. They also recently completed the feature-length screenplay for The Highwaymen, a true story about a group of African American artists in segregated 1960s Florida.

“Our desire is to bring unique and untold stories to the page; both ratchet and righteous. The goal isn’t to live forever but to create something that will.” 

Director, 43rd NAACP Image Awards

Jonathan began his career at Wichita State University working at the university radio station KMUW and local NBC affiliate KARD. After graduation he relocated to Washington DC for the launch of Satellite News Channel and Home Team Sports, eventually landing at the NBC O&O WRC Channel 4.

After the NABET strike of 1987 he relocated to Los Angeles and began anew and today celebrates his 33rd year as a freelancer.

The first 15 years as a technical director working in news, sports and entertainment, winning multiple Emmy awards and other Hollywood trinkets. During that time he worked with some of the best and worst Directors across the country, meanwhile he kept a diary titled WWODD (What would other directors do), knowing that one day he wanted to make the transition, he wanted to remember the good and bad in all things pre & post production, time management, crew, talent and execution of the creative.

17 years after the transition to the Director chair in the genres of news, sports and entertainment, the winning of more Hollywood trinkets, today his primary goal is the continued collaboration on quality projects, embracing new technologies, meeting new creative’s and the most important of all, sharing his experience with the next generation of our industry.


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