Penntertainment

Alumni you should know about

After the jump, check out my DT roundup of these ___ notable Penn alumni and some of their very cool projects ranging from new films, to Emmy awards, to great TV appearances.

wendy finerman and longevity
superheroes, choose your own adventures
spring awakenings
novels about OCD
family guy
2 year overall deal

Joan Myerson Shrager (College for Women, School of Education ’60) runs an incredible volunteer program with a fellow artist Paula Mandel that has been recognized by Mayor Nutter and Bill Clinton and many in between.

The Stained Glass Project: Windows That Open Doors is changing the world and have impacted the lives of inner city kids in ways you would not believe.

Our latest coup was to be invited to exhibit our work at Drexel University’s James E. Marks Intercultural Center(http://www.drexel.edu/now/news-media/releases/archive/2012/April/Stained-Glass-Project/) and now these stained glass windows are being exhibited at LOVE Park and will then be displayed at Independence Mall Visitor Center. FIRSTRUST Bank gave us a $6000 grant to take our students to New Orleans with windows they made for The Morris Jeff Community School. The current set of windows is being donated to The Community partnership School of North Philadelphia.

Our next project is to make windows for The Ojibwa People’s School in Redlake Minnesota. Our first ever windows went to South Africa and we were honored by the consul general of South Africa. We are changing the world through art.


Penn alum and Forest Gump Hollywood producer Wendy Finerman talks “breaking into the boys club, thriving in a cutthroad business and banking some of the biggest movies in history” with Marie Claire



Now she’s done everything…

Elizabeth Banks (C’96) will be lending her voice on the season premiere (9/30) of “Family Guy” as the “snooty wife of Lois’ ex-boyfriend Ross Fishman, who attemptes to scale Mt. Everest with her perfect family” (source)


UPenn and Vijal Patel and The MiddlePenn alum TV comedy writer Vijal Patel (SEAS ’97) signed a two year overall deal with ABC.

Vijal had written for “The Middle” and “Til Death”.  Look out for  the new 2013 ABC show he’ll be writing on called “Family Tools.”



CBS – Eye on the Desert – Interview from Rachel Goldberg on Vimeo.

After having been selected to be a part of the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, director and Penn alum Rachel Goldberg created NEIGHBORS, a short film that has been getting lots of attention at many of the great film festivals across the country.

NEIGHBORS celebrates the beauty of unlikely friendships. When Maggie, a quirky shut-in meets her feisty new neighbor, Lamay, a transgendered woman in an abusive relationship, the two begin a strange friendship that allows them both to break free.

Rachel tells us, “This story speaks to me because I believe in the transformative power of relationships. Whether a story is about a transgendered woman desperate for love, or a woman suffering from agoraphobia who struggles to visit her dying mother, I am compelled by their feelings of solitude and their desire to connect. Often the most beautiful stories are those that highlight people living on the outskirts of society, who wonder if there is a place for them, but who ultimately discover that someone very different from themselves can have the most profound impact on their lives. This has always been true in my own life, and I am thrilled to be able to share this story with you.”

More about the film here


Aaron Karo and Lexapros and Cons and UPennDT Favorite Aaron Karo’s (W’01, Pennfest 2006 performer, Penn in Pictures 2010 panelist) fourth book (and first novel) Lexapros and Cons is now out. 

It’s the story of Chuck Taylor, a teenager with OCD who is obsessed with Converse and prescribed the antidepressant Lexapro. According to the reviews, it’s “hilariously raunchy” and “laugh out loud.”  In other words, the perfect beach reading companion to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Get his book here


Last summer, DT vlogger and LA TV writer Rob Forman (W’06), taught us all about “spec scripts” and what you do with them once you’re done in order to pursue a Hollywood career.

 Recently, Rob wrote an episode of “Army Wives” and you can see it above.

Synopsis: Pamela and Chase invite Roxy and Trevor to meet them in Miami, leading to a surprising opportunity for Trevor. An arrogant doctor puts Tanya’s future in jeopardy after he blames her for almost causes a patient’s death. Jackie learns how strained her relationship with her daughter, Sophie, has become when she visits Fort Marshall from boarding school for the first time.



Jonah Platt and UPenn and Spring Awakenings
We last saw Jonah Platt (C’08, Off the Beat) in a flash mob singing Les Miserables with Megan Mullally on “It’s a Brad Brad World”.

Jonah takes his great voice to a 2 week production of Spring Awakening at the Hayworth Theater in Los Angeles, July 20-29th (Friday-Sundays).  Listen to his rendition of “Left Behind” below.

More info here

Tickets available here: https://www.plays411.net/awakening



Zach Sergi and UPenn and Heroes Rise

Do you have what it takes to become a legendary Powered hero? Zach Sergi (C’10) has created a multiple-choice interactive-fiction game for your mobile devices.

 In “Heroes Rise,” Powered heroes have become the ultimate celebrities, and you dream of joining the A-List–but to get there, you’ll first have to take down evil Powered gangs, compete with deadly rivals, choose a worthy sidekick, team up with famous champions, and prove to all of Millennia City that you’re a true hero.

At each step, “Heroes Rise,” offers a multiple-choice question, putting you in control of the interactive story.    Get Heroes Rise here, follow on Facebook and Twitter



If you love all the drama of senior societies, you’re going to love DT correspondent Kelly Diamond’s (C’13) latest episode of “Classless”

Synopsis: Steve attends a smoker for the Pharaohs Senior Society and certain members get their nemes in a twist over his presence. Featuring members of Mask and Wig, Bloomers, Philo, Friars, and Mortarboard!


More alumni you should know about here

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