Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Richard Caliban was artistic director of Cucaracha Theater in NYC where he produced new works and directed  his own plays, including Homo Sapien Shuffle at the Public Theatre. His work has been seen at Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, Cherry Lane, Ensemble Studio Theatre, La Mama, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Geva Theatre, Denver Center Theatre, and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. He wrote the book/lyrics/music and directed MoM: A Rock Concert Musical, which won Outstanding Musical at the NY International Fringe Festival. He is the author of numerous plays, including Rodents & Radios and Gladiator. He has directed and/or taught at the National Theatre Conservatory, NYU, Columbia University, C.W. Post College, Hunter College, City College of New York, Towson University, Lincoln Center Director’s Lab, and the Director’s Guild. He holds a BA from Bard College and attended the Yale School of Drama and NY Film Academy.

Jason Greiff wrote the feature screenplay The Godparents, which was developed with Universal Studios and Marc Platt Productions. He has produced credits in children’s animation in China and Portugal, and has helped develop shows for Disney Asia and China’s largest media company CCTV. His screenplays have won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, the Lew Wasserman Award for Best Comedy, and a national competition sponsored by the Writers Guild of America. He authored the chapter on Tone/Theme in Gotham’s book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). He has taught at NYU. He holds a BA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU/Tisch.

Pamela Harris created Married by the Hour, a half-hour comedy (Howard Stern Productions) and served as a staff writer for Life on the Line, a one-hour drama (Oxygen Network). She wrote the feature screenplay Joyville, which was selected for the Writers Lab, a program sponsored by Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey. She has also written and optioned feature screenplays. She co-wrote and directed the short film “En Route,” a selection of the New York Short Film Festival, the Big Apple Film Festival, and the Blackbird Film Festival. She is an award-winning visual artist whose work can be viewed in private, corporate, and embassy collections across the world. She holds a BFA from the Hartford Art School.

Jaime Karnes has published fiction and nonfiction in Granta, Adirondack Review, Opium Magazine, and PopMatters. She is an editor-at-large in fiction at The Utopian. She has taught at Rutgers and Southern New Hampshire University. She holds a BA from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark University.

Tal McThenia wrote the screenplay for the feature film Shift, which premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and aired on PBS nationwide, and he has developed feature films with Automatic Pictures and Archer Entertainment. He has written for Butterbean’s Café (Nickelodeon) and animated science mysteries for Mosa Mack Science. He authored the chapter on Scene in Gotham’s book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). He reported and wrote "The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar," a one-hour documentary for the NPR radio show This American Life, and is the co-author of the book based on that documentary, A Case for Solomon (Free Press). His nonfiction has appearaed in Vanity Fair, Atlas Obscura, and Popula. He holds a BA from Oberlin College.

Lisa Namdar Kaufman wrote the animated feature film Baldy Heights (Bleiberg Entertainment/Pitchipoy Productions), and the TV drama In the Prime of Her Life, which aired on Israel’s public broadcasting station. She has written short films that have been shown at festivals around the world, from the Cannes International Film Festival to the Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival. She has served as story editor on the documentary film 8000 Paper Clips and TV shows in development with Sony, ABC, and Happy Madison. She has taught at Columbia University and the New York Independent Film Workshop. She holds a BA from Brown University and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

Josh Sippie is the director of publishing guidance at Gotham Writers Workshop, host of Gotham’s talk show Inside Writing, and the organizer of the Gotham Writers Conference.  He has published short stories, nonfiction, and poetry in Hobart, McSweeney’s, Brevity, Stone of Madness, the Guardian, The Writer, Bear Creek Gazette, and Sledgehammer Lit. He is an associate editor at Uncharted Magazine, has served as a developmental editor and proofreader for Del Sol Review and Writers Clearinghouse, was a literary assistant at Talcott Notch Literary. He holds a BA from the University of Central Missouri.

Nelsie Spencer is the author of the novel The Playgroup, (St. Martin’s Press). She wrote the feature screenplay A Girl's Best Friend and co-wrote the feature film Valley Inn, which debuted at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. She wrote, produced, and co-hosted the radio show The Radio Ritas, (Greenstone Media) and hosts the podcast Losing It. She co-wrote and starred in the play My Heart Belongs To Daddy, produced at the Pittsburgh Public Theater and Duke University’s Pre-Broadway series, and her one-woman show Goodbye Cream played at the When I’m 34 Festival in Los Angeles. She studied dance and theater at Orange Coast College, and fiction at The New School.

Paul Zimmerman wrote the feature screenplay A Modern Affair (Columbia Tri-Star). He served as screenwriter-in-residence for Tribe Pictures, has written screenplays for JEM Entertainment and Primusfilms, and he authored the chapter on Character in Gotham's book Writing Movies (Bloomsbury USA). His play Pigs and Bugs was originally presented at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Festival, and his one-person play Reno was presented in New York City at the West Bank Cafe among other venues. He has published fiction in Confrontation Magazine. He has taught at Hofstra University and St. John's University. Paul holds a BA from Bennington College and an MFA in Playwriting from Yale.