Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Carl Capotorto has developed an original TV series for HBO, and his plays have been presented at numerous venues, including Yale Repertory Theater, Vineyard Theater, Comedy Central Stage, the Actors Studio, and Theater for the New City. He is the author of the memoir Twisted Head  (Random House), based on his solo show of the same name. He has taught at HB Studios, Manhattan Theater Club, School of Visual Arts, and the North Carolina School of the Arts. He holds a BA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University.

Julia Dahl has served on the writing staffs of the TV series The West WingParty of Five, and the web series SuperMoms, and she has sold TV pilots to ABC, FOX, Sony, and Universal Cable Productions. She wrote the screenplays for the feature films Flirting With 40 (Sony) and Uptown Girls (MGM). She has also written screenplays for Sony, 20th Century FOX, Columbia-Tristar, New Regency, New Line, Fine Line, Tribeca Films, Greenestreet Films and Lionsgate. She is also the author of the novel Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes (Dutton), using the pen name Jules Moulin. She holds a BA from The New School and an MS in Journalism from Columbia University. 

Kellye Garrett has developed original TV shows for Ish Entertainment/Lions Gate Television and Headshell Entertainment. She served as a staff writer for Cold Case (CBS Television) and a writer’s assistant for Angela’s Eyes (Lifetime Television). She has also served as an assistant editor at Vibe magazine. She holds a BS from Florida A&M and an MFA in Writing for Screen and Television from USC. 

Dylan Gary served as staff writer on the TV series Tell Me You Love Me (HBO), created the original TV series Behind the Sun (Sundance), and adapted the British TV series Jonathan Creek for American audiences (Sony). He wrote the feature screenplay The Ice Cream Con for Olive Productions, and is a writer/producer at Three Umbrella Films. He holds a BFA from Columbia College, Hollywood.

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 has also written and optioned feature screenplays. She is an award-winning visual artist and has shown her art all over the U.S. She holds a BFA from the Hartford Art School.

Pete Jensen has developed original TV series for diverse production companies and he wrote the feature screenplay Derwin's Shadow, which won a development grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He wrote and directed the award-winning short film "Charlie Primitive," which screened at over twenty festivals across the U.S. and Europe. His prose has been published in such literary magazines as Swink. He holds an MFA in Screenwriting and Directing from Columbia University.

Jim Mendrinos wrote, directed and starred in the web series Living in Exile (New Media Comedy), and he is the creator of the sitcoms MAX, King's Castle, The Yuk Hut (optioned by f/x, WB, Fox), and creator/writer for Comedy USA TV (developed by Sony Pictures). He has written numerous screenplays and appears nationwide as a stand-up comic. He is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Comedy Writing (Alpha). He holds a BA from Baruch College.

David Pace has worked as a staff writer and writers’ assistant on TV shows including Murder in the First and RPM Miami, and for production companies including White Horse Pictures and Idea Cartel. He has taught at the University of Southern California and the EPS Educational Institute in South Korea, and is an alumnus of the Agent Trainee Program at the United Talent Agency. He holds a BA from Princeton University and an MFA in Cinematic Arts from the University of Southern California.

Garner Simmons has written for such TV series as Poltergeist: The Legacy, Spencer For Hire, Falcon Crest, Wolf, Buck James, V, and Yellow Rose, and he has worked on numerous miniseries and pilots. He has written numerous feature screenplays, including Miracle Landing, The Easter Rising,and West of the Rising Sun (which evolved into The Last Samurai). He is the author of the nonfiction book Peckinpah: A Portrait in Montage (University of Texas Press, rev. ed.: Limelight Editions). He holds a BA from Colgate, as well as an MA and PhD in Cinema Studies from Northwestern.  

Nelsie Spencer is the author of the novel The Playgroup, (St. Martin’s Press), and the optioned screenplay A Girl's Best Friend. She 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). She co-wrote and starred in the play My Heart Belongs To Daddy, produced at the Pittsburgh Public Theater, Dorothy Lyman’s A Director’s Theater in Los Angeles, and at Duke University’s Pre-Broadway series, among others, 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, acting at New York's The Neighborhood Playhouse, and fiction at The New School. 

Alexander Steele is the president at Gotham Writers Workshop. He is the editor of the Gotham books Writing Fiction, Fiction Gallery, and Writing Movies (all Bloomsbury USA). He is the author of numerous children's books, including titles in the Wishbone series (Lyrick Publishing) and the Hardy Boys series (Pocket Books). His plays include One Glorious Afternoon, Lightning and Frenzy, and King of Ragtime, and he scripted the documentary World War II: It Happened in Color. He holds a BA from Vanderbilt University.

Laura Wolner has worked as a writers' assistant, a staff writer, a producer, and a supervising producer on numerous series, including Dawson’s Creek (WB), The Young Americans (WB), Strong Medicine (Lifetime), Bones (Fox), and Six Degrees (ABC). She was director of development for Vanguard Films and a script reader for Miramax Films. She has taught at Mount Saint Mary's College, Boston University, and Cornell University. She holds a BA from Cornell University and an MA in English from Boston University.