Donald Freed
International Playwright
and Master Teacher



Marie Adams

Marie is a ‘long-distance’ member of the group, living in the UK. A former journalist with the BBC, she is a writer and psychotherapist with a research interest in the impact of therapists’ personal lives on their work with clients and patients. She is currently a principle lecturer on the doctoral programme at the Metanoia Institute (Middlesex University) in London and her most recent publication, The Myth of the Untroubled Therapist: Private life, professional practice is published by Routledge. Marie is currently working on a novel based on the troubled life of a media star and his relationship with his therapist.

Annette Bannister

Born in East Los Angeles in 1960 and raised in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, California, Annette Ballester is the third child of four born to a mother who immigrated to the U.S. from Chihuahua, Mexico and a Spanish/Serbian father from down neck lower east side Newark, New Jersey.

Growing up was a lesson in navigating accents and cultures in a neighborhood populated by humble newcomers from the American Midwest, South, and East Coast, as well as various countries around the globe. But while the backgrounds of these families were all vastly different, a shared sense of family and community brought them together to form bonds of friendships that last to this day. It also inspired in Annette a curiosity about the world and a desire to listen to, and now tell, the stories of people’s experiences, which simultaneously reveal our differences and our similarities.

As a new writer, Annette hopes to add another voice in the telling of our stories that continue to make meaningful connections with one another and keeps our empathy alive.

Jackie Bell

As of February 2015, Jackie Bell didn’t get shortlisted to go on the Mars One voyage to create a human settlement on Mars, but, then again, she didn’t apply for the trip. The not coming back to earth part seemed kind of scary. She has played, sung, recorded, and toured in bands, painted pictures, written technical manuals and speeches, and, as program director helped to build libraries, archives, and an art gallery/museum. She’s been the associate director of an academic press, the director of university grants, a writer/editor, and she has three degrees in Psychology and English literature. She loves her fat, greedy boy-cats – the ones that make her sneeze – and she loves to write.

Antonia Brancati

Born with a nice theatrical pedigree (her father was novelist/playwright Vitaliano Brancati, and her mother is famed stage actress Anna Proclemer) Antonia could not escape – no matter how she tried – the destiny of a life in the theatre. Apart from the dresser (she cannot stitch) she must have done every job on and off the stage: actress, assistant director, light designer, casting, production manager… until in 1991 Laura Del Bono convinces her that she was really born to be a literary agent for the theatre and gives her a 50% of her own agency, Concessionari Associati.

In 1993, in the hope of improving her ability to read and understand scripts, Antonia attends a seminar on playwrighting organised by teatro Stabile di Roma and ends up writing her very first play instead (Preoccupazione per Lalla).

In 1998 she creates her own literary agency for the theatre and has since continued also to translate and write for the stage.

Barbara Cady

Barbara Cady in Memoriam
By Frances Luban


Eulogy by Fran Kubrin, Nov 19, 2012

I met Barbara as a member of the Saturday writing class. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to know her well, I was impressed by her “bon vivant” personality. I can see her gliding across the room wearing a beautiful outfit, usually with a long flowing skirt. Even during her treatment, she arrived looking “put together” and made up more artfully than most of us can mange on our best days. After depositing her bags by her favorite chair, Barbara would greet each of us warmly, including the days I suspect she didn’t feel well. After selecting a plate of food from the buffet, she sat at the living room table, chatting with the others. She was gracious and friendly to all, exuding warmth and poise.

The real magic began, however, when Barbara read to us each week from her monumental manuscript. She always hit just the right note in her nuanced portrayals of people caught in heartbreaking dilemmas. I remember her detailed description of a weapon that was so vivid I could actually see the glint of the barrel and the shape of the bullets. Her exhaustive research was formidable. Her descriptions were so vivid you could visualize the buttons on a coat and how the outfit reflected the character’s personality. After her readings, I and others would praise her writing. She would beam, put an arm around you and say how happy she was that you liked her work. Her words and gestures made you feel valued, that you were someone special to her in that moment.

Although I didn’t have long conversations with Barbara, I did have the pleasure of tasting her delicious cakes. When I complimented her on her chocolate cake brimming with walnuts and drenched in liqueur, she waved away my praise, saying the “cake didn’t turn out right” and that her “mother had been the real baker in her family.” I found her remark endearing, coming from such an accomplished woman. Like everything about Barbara, her modesty was genuine. And the cakes, like her writing, were always first-rate!
Barbara possessed abundant grace, charm and talent. I am honored to have known such a remarkable woman.

                                                                          Barbara Cady

Writer, editor and publisher Barbara Cady is author of Icons of The 20th Century (Overlook Press, 1998), a pictorial and biographical history of the 200 men and women who have left an indelible mark on our modern world. Cady began her career in print journalism with her interview of John Dean, the first of several for Playboy magazine. While publisher and editor of Flowers& and the collector’s magazine Almanac, she served as president of the Western Publications association. She was a frequent contributor to The Los Angeles Times Book Review, as well as a charter member of the newspaper’s Book Awards Committee. She also co-hosted a weekly show on women’s issues for Los Angeles television station KCET, and for ten years hosted and produced a daily one-hour talk show on radio station KPFK (Pacifica) in Los Angeles. As a vice-president of The Franklin Mint, she headed The Franklin Library, which published a series of leather-bound signed first editions, including authors such as Tom Wolfe, Maya Angelou, E.L.Doctorow, Joyce Carol Oates, Kurt Vonnegut, Iris Murdoch, Gore Vidal, Michael Crichton, and Arthur Miller. She then served as editorial director for the internet’s first health site,, which partnered U.S. Healthcare with the renowned medical center, Johns Hopkins. She is currently writing a novel about the Polish resistance in World War II.

Travis Cannell

Travis Cannell grew up in Missoula, Montana and received a degree in Computer Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Currently Travis is working in the Santa Monica technology scene as a marketing executive. His writing focuses on growing up in Montana and some of his experiences in the Northern Rockies.


Gary Carnow

Gary Carnow is a man who wears many hats. He is an educator, writer, filmmaker, technologist, and grantwriter. Currently, his mini-series For What It’s Worth, is in development with White Rabbit Productions. Dr. Carnow’s day job is running a small press independent publishing house known as Inventive Thinkers® where he is Chief Propellerhead. Many of Dr. Carnow’s print and digital products are given to schools through his website at on a grant and shared-cost basis.

Gary’s last real job was as CTO for the Pasadena Unified School District where he was responsible for administrative and instructional computing, accountability, data processing, student testing, and most anything that plugs in and turns on. He previously served as the Director of Technology and Information Services for the Alhambra Unified School District in the Los Angeles area for 24 years with similar responsibilities. Gary taught elementary grades in Los Angeles for ten years, including positions as a teacher advisor, gifted magnet teacher, gifted coordinator, and computer coordinator. He earned four degrees at USC, including a doctorate in education.

Gary is thrilled to now be part of the writing seminar, mostly because it brings together his love of conversation, his wish to become a better writer and his passion for all things culinary. You can find a summary of Dr. Carnow’s educational accomplishments on his website, however that was in the past and he is looking forward to his future. Currently, he is writing a play, The Red Car, and a memory piece, An American Tale, with Donald Freed’s expert help and guidance.


Michael Chill *** ON LEAVE

Michael Chill is a native Angelino with a life long devotion to animals. A professional
dog trainer, he is also known for his expertise with wild animals, specifically wolves and
birds of prey. Having written numerous articles and pamphlets over the years in subjects
ranging from puppy training to wolf behavior and wildlife rehabilitation, Michael has
decided to try his hand at creative writing.

As luck would have it, about the time Michael was contemplating having his requisite
mid-life crisis, Donald and Patty Freed were in need of a dog trainer for their wonderful
pup, Sidonie. The rest, as they say, may be history; if not, at least it’ll be fun.

Darlene Conte

D.M. Conte is a writer/ producer who founded Hundredth Monkey Productions two years ago to focus on developing female narratives for film and TV and various online platforms.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, son, and their two Beagles.


Piu Marie Eatwell *** ON LEAVE

Piu Eatwell is British and was born in India, of mixed Anglo-Indian descent. She studied English at Oxford University, graduating ‘summa cum laude’ with a starred First Class degree. She subsequently worked as a lawyer and television producer for the BBC and other TV companies.  She now lives in France and writes full-time on French-themed subjects, as well as historical non-fiction.

Piu’s first book, ‘They Eat Horses, Don’t They? The Truth About the French’ (St Martin’s Press, 2014) was book of the week in the New York Times, Daily Mail, and the Times (UK).  Her second book, a historical mystery about a famous Edwardian Trial, is called ‘The Dead Duke, his Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse.’ (WW Norton-Liveright 2015).  ‘The Dead Duke’ was an Amazon bestseller in the categories of Legal History and True Crime, was included in the Amazon and Goodreads Best Books of the Month for October 2015, and has been nominated for Best History Book of the Year by Goodreads.

Piu’s next French-themed book, ‘F is for France: A Curious Cabinet of French Wonders’, is due out in April 2016, published by St Martin’s Press.  She is presently working on a new historical non-fiction book, to be published in 2017 by WW Norton.

Piu is taking tutorials from Donald Freed because she wishes to learn lessons from a master in the genre in which she writes, and is also interested in developing a possible future drama.

When not delving in history archives or writing about her adopted country, Piu divides her time between London and Paris. She is married with three children.  @piueatwell and

Cynthia Ferrell
Cynthia Lewis Ferrell is an international award-winning playwright, musical bookwriter and librettist. Her original musicals have been composed and performed by Grammy, Tony, Emmy and Oscar winners, including Jeff Marx, Jorge Calandrelli, Carl Johnson, Al Kasha, Doug Katsaros, Henry Krieger, Don Pippin, Nan Scwartz, David Shire, Jody Watley, Jon Secada, Black Uhuru, Debbie Gravitte, Kiril Kulish, and Liz Callaway. For Disney, she wrote, produced and directed the music video Shermania! In Los Angeles, her musical book Loving the Silent Tears sold out the 6,000-seat Shrine Auditorium. Off-Broadway, her one-woman show What a Wife Doesn’t Know performed to a SRO crowd. She was awarded the Jerome Lawrence Fellowship for her original one-act play collection War & Water. She is the recipient of grants, awards and commissions by the California International Theatre Festival, Classical Radio KUSC, Pepperdine University, UCLA, and the University of Southern California. The poetic, vibrant storyteller is published by Oceans of Love Entertainment, Doubleday NY, and Arts & Letters.

Fionnula Flanagan

Fionnula Flanagan is an international award winning actress best known for her stage and screen work on James Joyce. She was nominated for a Tony Award when she appeared as Molly Bloom opposite Zero Mostel in the Broadway production of Ulysses in Nighttown, directed by Burgess Meredith and later wrote and produced James Joyce’s Women, also directed by Meredith, for the stage and screen,   in which she played six women from the life and  works of Joyce. The stage production toured the U.S., the Far East and Australia and garnered her both the Los Angeles and the San Francisco Critics’ Awards. She is the recipient of an Emmy Award for her television work in Rich Man, Poor Man, and a Golden Saturn Award for the television series Brotherhood. She has appeared in many television shows including Murder She Wrote and Lost. Her feature films   include  Some Mother’s Son, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Four Brothers, Transamerica, The Guard, Man About Dog,  When Angels Sing,  Lunch in The Sky ( English and Gaelic versions), the Oscar nominated Song Of The Sea ( English and Gaelic versions), the forthcoming Havenhurst and the Brazilian film  Little Secret. She will be seen next year in the BBC series Redwater. A native of Dublin, she was educated there at Dominican College and later at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Trained at Ireland’s National Theatre, The Abbey, she has appeared onstage there and at Dublin’s Gate in, among others,   A Streetcar Named Desire, The Countess Cathleen, Lovers, Philadelphia Here  Come,  in London’s  West End in Twelfth Night, with the Bristol Old Vic in The Playboy of The Western World and The Taming of The Shrew and as Mrs. Alving in Ibsen’s Ghosts at New York’s Roundabout.

She is the recipient of two Irish Film & Television Academy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award,  The New York Symphony Space Award of Excellence, The  U.K. 2015 Irish Post Award, The President of Ireland 2014 Award for Distinguished Service to the Irish Abroad and an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Letters from the National University of Ireland at Galway.

She has recorded many stories in the Symphony Space Selected Shorts series, has appeared semi-annually at Symphony Space’s Bloomsday on Broadway were she has read the Molly Bloom soliloquy from Joyce’s Ulysses in its entirety. She has directed stage productions of Away Alone both in Los Angeles and at Dublin’s Abbey and a radio production of Brian Friel’s  The Faith Healer for KCRW.


Lance Fogan, M.D., M.P.H.

Lance was born in Buffalo, New York in 1939, and educated in that city’s school system. He loved animals as a boy and considered a career in veterinary medicine. Cornell University’s Agricultural College helped him to arrange a summer job on a dairy farm as a seventeen-year-old high school student. This experience turned into a cherished lifelong friendship he describes in an essay that appears on this website: A Half-Century Later. That experience broadened his perspective of life, and it led to his realization that he did not wish to work with large animals. Upon returning home to Buffalo, Lance took an after-school job at a major cancer research facility. There, he operated a cigarette-smoking machine collecting tobacco tar toxins for research. It was pre-medicine from then on.

Lance attended the State University of New York at Buffalo and majored in Anthropology and Linguistics. “This was the best major I could have had. It helped me appreciate that we’re all the same in this world; we must recognize that our individual cultures and beliefs all have value.” These preliminary studies led to two and one-half months of work with an Australian physician at an Anglican Mission Hospital in Papua New Guinea as a medical student in 1964. Lance returned home to Buffalo by completing a circumnavigation of the globe. He visited many major cities in Australia, Asia, and Europe.

During a two-year tour in the U. S. Public Health Service after his internship, he served as a Tuberculosis Control Officer stationed in Oklahoma.  He earned a Master of Public Health Degree during that assignment. Lance subsequently trained in neurology in Cleveland, Ohio and practiced twenty-six years as a board certified neurologist with the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan in Southern California. He retired in 1997, but he continues to teach medical students and resident physicians as Clinical Professor of Neurology at the UCLA School of Medicine, and as a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. In addition, he leads neuropathology/brain-cutting conferences.

Lance has participated each Saturday in Donald Freed’s private writing/literature class for the past twelve years. “Those famous authors had largely just been names to me before Donald’s class, but now I’ve actually read much of the Western world’s great literature. Learning never stops,” he says.

His father died suddenly when Lance was in the eighth grade. In 1986, he established the “Edward Fogan Annual Neurology Lecture/Prize” to honor his father at the University at Buffalo Medical School’s Neurology Department; two Nobel Prize winners have been among the speakers, to date.

His joys in life have been his marriage of 47 years, his two daughters, and being grandfather to two young grandsons. Lance began a journal in 2001 to document his grandsons’ lives. To date, this memoir, For Perry and Emmett, So That They Know What They Did, and For the Memories They Have Sparked in Grandpa Lance,has reached 400 (+) pages.

Patricia Rae Freed

Entering her seventy-second year, Patricia has had three careers: Retail, Teaching, and as an Agent /Helpmate, to her husband, Donald. This latter endeavor, which began over thirty years ago, is best summed up in the following way: When people ask Patricia at cocktail parties: “What do you do”; she answers “Nothing”, trying desperately to create the enigmatic dignity of Cordelia. Translated, it means: “Everything”. Thus, in one word, characterizing her past, current, and future career. Her wish during her University years was to become a writer. After fifteen years of selling high fashion to working women, another fifteen teaching psychology to nursing students, she fulfilled her youthful desire by marrying a brilliant Playwright. Thus, she never wrote the words echoing in her soul, but she married someone who could…and does. Such a life has left little time for anything else; that, and indulging her passion for feeding with generosity and elegance those she loves, including her new dog Sidonie.

Salome Jens

Salome Jens began her training at Northwestern University and continued in New York with Herbert Berghof and Lee Strasberg and became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio. She studied dance with Martha Graham.  Her professional career started off Broadway with Ionesco"s "The Bald Soprano" and "Jack", Synge"s " Diedre of the Sorrows", Jose Quintero's acclaimed production of Genet's "The Balcony", at Circle in the Square for which she won the Clarence Derwent Award. At that theater she also starred in O'Neills "Desire Under the Elms" and "Moon For The Misbegotten." Other Off Broadway productions include Robert Audrey's, "Shadow of Heroes", John Dos Pasos, U.S.A. and more. 

Her Broadway credits include Henry Denker's "Far Country, Sidney Kingsley's "Night Life', "The Disenchanted" by Breit and Schulberg, John Osborne's "Patriot for Me", Oliver Hailey”s “First One Asleep Whistle,” and Sam Shepard's "Lie of the Mind."

She was a charter member of Elia Kazan's company at the Lincoln Center and starred in Arthur Miller's "After The Fall," Moliere's Tartuffe, S.N. Behrman's "But For Whom Charlie", Schiller's "Mary Stuart" and Peter Handke's "Ride Across Lake Constance."

She has played lead roles in Joe Papp's production of Shakespeare's "Winter's Tale," at Playhouse in Park in New York, and "Anthony and Cleopatra" at Stratford Shakespeare Festival as well as, Milton Katzelas's production of "Macbeth."

Along with her stage career Ms. Jens has appeared in many starring roles on T.V. Movies of the Week and episodic such as Gunsmoke, Bonanza, LA. Law, Gabriel's Fire, Blue Knight, Tales From The Crypt, Macgyver, Stoney Burke, Hart to Hart, Cagney and Lacy, Naked City, Trapper John, Medical Center, T.V. Movies include "From Here to Eternity," "Killer in the Family", "Sharon, Portrait of a Mistress," "Three by Tennessee," "Grace Kelly Story," "Tomorrow's Child", "Glitter Palace,""a Matter of Life and Death,"  “The Event” etc. She has had running parts of "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," "Superboy," "Falcon Crest," "Melrose Place,' and Star Trek" Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation."

Her movie roles include "Angel Baby," John Frankenheimer's "Seconds," Me,, Natalie,” “Foolkiller," "Just Between Friends," "Clan of Cave Bear,"  “Harry’s War” "I'm Losing You.”    

In Los Angeles she has continued her theatrical career doing "Hamlet", with Stacy Keach at the Mark Taper Forum as well as Brian Friel's, "Crystal and Fox." "One Flew Over the Cuckoos's Nest," at the Huntington Hartford, "Moon For the Misbegotten," Donald Freed's "White Crow," and “How Shall We Be Saved.” Strindberg's "The Pelican," "Request Concert", Kroetz, "Day of Hope," at LATC and her much acclaimed one woman evening of Anne Sexton's work "...about Anne" which she she created and directed and has done  it in New York and San Francisco where she won The Critic's Award, "An Evening with Marlene Dietrich" at the Grove Shakespeare Festival, "The Seagull." and "Play Strindberg," by Durramatt.  Received Critics L.A. Critics Award  for “Leipzig.”  Did a six week run in New York with Sean O’Casey’s “Pictures in the Hallway” and “I Knock on the Door..   Directed “Bad Hurt on Cedar Street” in association with The Actor’s Studio ,  and “Majority of One” with Paula  Prentiss , in Los Angeles.  Most recently acted in  “On Holy Ground” at Met Theater and “On Golden Pond” with Andy Prine at Glendale Center Theater and this season in Donald Freed’s “Tomorrow” with great critical acclaim.

She was also the narrator of "The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century, the much acclaimed eight hour series for PBS. For ten years she has been a Visiting Associate Professor in the theater department of U.C.LA. working with the MFA's, and is Associate Artistic Director of Actors Studio on the West Coast.  

Anne B. Johnston

Anne Johnston is a Certified Financial Planner™ at UBS Financial Services Inc. in Beverly Hills. A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Ms. Johnston relocated to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California, graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Communication. Anne has been a guest lecturer in the Lloyd Grief Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at USC and speaks in the community on various financial planning topics, including special needs financial planning and case studies in financial planning for professionals, philanthropic organizations, and families. Her writing is focused on what we can learn about money from great literature.  


Francine Kubrin

I am a native Angelino who grew up in mid-Wilshire area and attended local public schools. I studied literature in college as an adult, fulfilling a lifelong ambition to complete my education. The experience of learning as an adult strengthened my lifelong commitment to continuing education. After completing my schooling, I became a medical librarian , a position I held for 27 years until my retirement seven years ago. Since then, I’ve pursued many activities, focusing on my writing as well as being a mentor to children and adolescents involved in cultural arts and educational programs.

I have been a member of Donald Freed’s Saturday seminar since the group’s inception in the year 2000. Although I’m an avid reader, I didn’t write my first piece until I joined the seminar, a nurturing place to grow and learn my craft. My favorite genre to explore as a writer is the narrative short-story. I like to explore how a character’s inner life is revealed through their actions. I am particularly intrigued by the social and political events of the 1920s and their impact on our society today.

Suzanne Lankford

Suzanne Lankford's greatest love in life is theatre. She began auspiciously enough, singing the title in "The Mikado" in a little theatre in Hollywood where she was 'discovered' and placed under contract by Edwin Lester with the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. After appearing in many shows at the Music Center she went into Grand Opera singing with the San Francisco Opera Company, the Los Angeles Opera Company and the Laguna Opera Company. Her roles have included "La Traviata", "Marriage of Figaro", "Madame Butterfly" and "La Boheme", to name a few...

She then entered the musical comedy field when Melodyland came to Anaheim and from the day they opened their doors until the day they closed, she performed for their theatres which eventually included the Carousel Theatre in Covina and the Cicle Star Theatre in San Carlos. Her roles include over forty top Broadway Shows in which she appeared with most of the top names in show business.

From there she took to the high seas as entertainer aboard American President Line's, Pres Cleveland and toured the Orient. She sang for the President of Manila at special request while she was in the Philippines.

Then it was Las Vegas, where she worked at the Desert Inn Hotel doing all five of the female parts in the show "Tom Jones", which played there for over a year.

In between shows she is in demand by the Public School system where appears in specialized programs (which she writes) for the enrichment of young people. She also devotes time to work in music therapy with the "exceptional" child at Fairview State Hospital.

And now she is happily adding another facet to her career. "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" marks her debut in her first non-singing role.

Frances Luban

Frances Luban is an art historian who has taught classes for collectors and travelers in the UCLA Extension program. She wrote and produced the documentary, Joyce Treiman, The Artist as Voyeur, which has been seen on PBS. No Such Thing as Forgetting is her first story collection. She lives in Los Angeles.  

Tim McGovern

Tim McGovern has been doing award-winning, groundbreaking work in the visual effects and computer animation industry for more than twenty years. In addition to an Academy Award in 1990 for Visual Effects in the movie, Total Recall, Tim garnered five Clios, a Hugo, a Mobius, and grew Sony Picture Imageworks from eight to 250 employees.  Contributing to over fifty successful feature films, including Speed, Wolf, In The Line Of Fire, James and the Giant Peach and Johnny Mnemonic. Tim personally supervised Last Action Hero, Hideaway, Virtuosity, Money Train and The Ghost And The and Darkness. A testament to Tim’s eye for talent is that among the employees he has hired, 4 went on to win their own Academy Awards.

Since leaving Sony, Tim has worked as an independent Visual Effects Supervisor and filmmaker. He has worked on films in Vancouver, Berlin, Amsterdam, Milan, Prague, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Goa, Jerusalem, Kigali, Belfast and Badplaas S.A. Tim has been to India on business more than 25 times, and many times to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, London, Paris, Cannes, Rome, Brussels, Beijing and Montreal.

Tim produced and hosted the Fourth Annual VES Awards Show, which was televised in April 2006. In 2010 he was appointed Chair of the VES Committee for Outreach to Developing Regions. In November 2012, Tim was asked to join the Animated Feature Branch Nominating Committee for the Academy. Additionally, he is a member of the Advisory Board to the President of the San Francisco Academy of Art University.

Recently, Tim joined his long time collaborator, George Merkert, to form Whisper Pictures, a development and production company focused on Animated Family Films. Tim is the Chief Creative Officer and wrote the screenplay for company’s first motion picture and has four other stories in development. 

Stephen Mendillo

Stephen Mendillo’s life in the theatre began with his training at the Yale School of Drama.  He received an MFA in Acting, class of 1971.  Upon graduation, after winning the Oliver Thorndike Award in Acting, he was invited to join the Yale Repertory Theatre for their season.  Stephen appeared that year in WHEN WE DEAD AWAKEN;  THE REVENGER’S TRAGEDY;  THE INSPECTOR GENERAL;  JULIUS CAESAR;  DANCE OF DEATH; and MACBETH.

Next in this budding career was the New York Shakespeare Festival, followed by The Hartford Stage, and The McCarter Theatre – plays performed included:  ALL THE WAY HOME;  New York City Public Theatre’s WEDDING BAND.  Stephen created the leading role of Prince Myshkin in the world premiere of SUBJECT TO FITS based on the Dostoyevski novel THE IDIOT.   

In the following period, Mr. Mendillo worked at the Huntington Theatre in Boston;  the Yale Repertory Theatre;  the Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C.   Also in Washington, D.C., the Arena Stage Company in the world premiere production of LOOSE ENDS – followed by a role in the film SLAPSHOT.

New Haven’s renowned Long Wharf Theatre claimed him for the world premiere of David Rabe’s STREAMERS directed by Mike Nichols.  He continued with important roles in A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE, AH WILDERNESS, THE NATIONAL HEALTH (an American premiere).  This work was soon followed by featured roles in A PAGAN PLACE, WHAT EVERY WOMAN KNOWS, ARTURO UI, JOURNEY’S END, THE SEAGULL, CYRANO de BERGERAC, and THE WORKROOM.
At The Center Stage in Baltimore, Stephen appeared in THE MARRIAGE OF BETTE AND BOO, as well as at The ST Louis Repertory Theatre.  Further productions at The Center Stage and The Westport Playhouse included BREAKING LEGS, and LES BLANCS.  Off Broadway, he was featured in the original New York production of FOOL FOR LOVE.  After a two and a half year run, he felt fortunate to appear with Paul Newman in OUR TOWN on Broadway, as well as television productions of SLAPSHOT and EMPIRE FALLS .
Stephen’s starring in Eve Ensler’s LEMONADE at Houston’s Alley Theatre was the occasion of his introduction to his co-star Lisa Richards.  After an extremely successful run of the play, he and Miss Richards became man and wife.
In New York again, at The Manhattan Theatre Club, Stephen was featured in Arthur Miller’s THE LAST YANKEE, which went on to The Spoleto Festival in Charleston.  The above, are but a healthy sample of a full and exciting career.
Stephen’s film appearances include:  G I JANE;  EIGHT MEN OUT;  LONESTAR;  CITY OF HOPE;  LIANNA;  BROADCAST NEWS;  KING OF THE GYPSIES;  and ETHAN FROME.  His television credits include multiple appearances in LAW & ORDER;  COLD CASE;  ALIEN MEDIUM;  KEY WEST;  and others.  He was most happy to work with Ian McKellen in the famed American premiere of WILD HONEY at The Los Angeles Ahmanson Theatre and on Broadway.

Paola Moscarelli  *** ON LEAVE

Paola Moscarelli was born and grew up in Rome, Italy. She studied Music History, Literature, and Theater at the University of Rome, and graduated Summa cum Laude. She later completed an M.F.A. in Opera at the Licinio Refice Conservatory of Music. Until moving to California in 1994 she worked as a freelance journalist for various Italian newspapers and magazines. In Los Angeles she studied for a graduate degree in Italian Studies at UCLA. She has taught in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Loyola Marymount University since 1999. Paola is currently working on a novel sets in Venice in the second half of the Nineteenth century called "A childhood Memory".

Jo North 

Jo North is a Chartered Psychologist and Accredited Psychotherapist having worked in the field for the last thirty years of her life. Psychology was her second career and in her former incarnation she worked as a Legal Executive and loves and respects the world of order and administration. She works as an Expert Witness for the family court in the United Kingdom and runs an Ofsted registered Adoption Support Agency which has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ in its service to adoptive families. In 2017 Jo won the British Psychological Society award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in Practice and she has just been made Chair of the British Psychological Society Psychotherapy Section. Jo is a relative newcomer to the world of writing although she has always maintained a love for literature and the written word including poetry and plays. She has written and had published three technical books for her profession but she is now wading out into the deeper waters of novel writing. Her first novel is just getting ready for publication. She says:

‘There is absolutely no way I could have written anything readable in terms of literature without the eyes of Donald Freed on my work. He has had the capacity to imagine my greatest possible gifts to writing and has supported me with tremendous loyalty. There have been moments of fortune in my life and working with Donald and Patty is definitely one of those moments.’

Jo went to the workshop in France with Donald and Patty in 2017 and felt it was a defining experience for her as a writer, changing the way she understood her own capacity to express experience through developing and honing her skill as well as watching how others are shaping their own selves as writers.

Her writing is an integration of psychological knowledge combined with personal experience and is influenced by British and American Literature and a love of history. Jo is a wife to David, Mum to Sophie and Grandmother to Eli. She continues to work full time in psychology and pursue her writing career. Currently she wakes up thinking that every day is a gift and that she is grateful for every moment that she can write something new.


Joanna Rachins

With a copy of Francoise Sagan’s novel, “Bonjour Tristesse” in her left hand, and the index finger of her right hand moving the keys on the typewriter, Joanna went page by page, copying the form as she wrote her first version of a novel at the age of ten.

It took a lifetime of living with dedication and steadfastness to find the answers that she was looking for.

Finally, with the genius of Donald Freed inspiring and teaching her, her novoir as she calls it, a memoir written partially in novel form, is in the process of taking shape.

Lisa Richards

I am truly honored to be part of this workshop. I grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina.attended public school there and then went to a boarding school in Charlottesville Va. Directly after graduating, I went to NYC to study with Martha Graham.  I studied acting with Stella Adler for two years then with a wonderful man John Lehne who  taught the Strasberg method.  I joined the Actors Studio in 1968, in which I have found a home lo these many years.

My first professional job was with Art Carney and Phylis Thaxter in TIME OUT FOR GINGER where I played the middle daughter. Then I joined The Theatre Company of Boston with director David Wheeler and got to play the ingénue leads in DIRTY HANDS opposite Robert Duvall. THE COCKTAIL PARTY  opposite Dustin Hoffman. Played Charlotte Corday in MARAT_SADE and many wonderful productions. Including a translation by Robert Lowell of PHAEDRE where I played Arici and Lowell was at many of the rehearsals.  In late 60s, I went to The Gutherie and played Doll Common in THE ALCHEMIST and ANouih’s ARDELE.  When I returned to New York I had a lead on DARK SHADOWS  and then on WHERE THE HEART IS and ONE LIFE TO LIVE where when I wanted to go to the west coast, they let me get run over by a motorcycle.

During that time I also did theatre.  On Broadway I Played Judith Borden in LOVE SUICIDE AT SCHOLFIELD BARRACKS,  Hazel Niles in MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA, and Heavenly in the 1975 revival of SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH with Irene Worth  and Chris Walken.  Off B-way I played in TO BE YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK, NOBODY HEARS A BROKEN DRUM, and toured with Shelley Winters playing Tillie in THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS ON MAN IN THE MOON MARIGOLDS.  Also worked in Provincetown at Act 4 with Viveca Lindfors doing Leonard Melfi and premiered in Terrance McNally’s SWEET EROS..

Moved to Los Angeles in 76 and 1st worked in theatre at LAAT which Mitch Ryan , and Ralph Weight  Richards Jordan had founded playing Tink in Tina Howe’s MUSEUM.  I made a movie ROLLING THUNDER with Tommy Lee Jones and William Devane. and many episodic shows.

Had my first child Alex Ebert  and did less acting… Alex is now the lead singer in a band “Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  He won an Emmy and also Golden Globe for his music score of ALL IS LOST.. My daughter Gaby just got married. She has a double masters in social work and public policy.

I did many TV shows in L.A. and have done many theater productions,  mostly in smaller theatre 99  seat, but they have been excellent productions for the most part. I did GLASS MENAGERIE summer before this and we received many kudos. Did YOU CAN”T TAKE IT WITH YOU at the Geffen.   Movie with Henry Jaglom that I like my performance in EATING>  I teach sensory work at the actors studio. Worked at the Harford stage co. Theatre CO of Boston, Gloucester Theatre co. Wellfleet theatre Co.   I played Linda Loman with Ralph Waite at the ALLEY THEATRE in Huston, Texas and the PAPERMILL Playhouse in New Jersey..  Anyway there is more, but I think I have said most of the important  things or let’s say the ones that I can most remember.


Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross was overheard telling her grandfather that she was going to be a writer at 4 years old and moved to Los Angeles to follow her dreams. After completing several writing courses with Pilar Alessandra she connected with fellow student, Kate McGowan Pearce, an established writer and producer.  Together, they recently completed a feature film script.

Barbara was recruited early on in her career to write for The Star Beacon News Paper in her hometown of Ashtabula, Ohio. Her love for writing and management of her daughter, Jami Ross, an actress/singer, led to the creation of Blue-ize Magazine, a periodical devoted to educating young aspiring actors in the entertainment industry.

While attending Lakeland Community College, Barbara won a systems analysis contest producing an instructional manual which became a mandatory text book requirement for incoming technology students. Barbara graduated with honors from DeVry University with a Bachelor of Science in Technology Management.

From 2012 – 2013 Barbara served as Director of Marketing on the Board of Directors for the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce and received the prestigious Recognition of Service Award from the City of Los Angeles Councilman, Tom LaBonge and California State Assemblyman, Adrin Nazarian for her leadership role.

Barbara currently owns and operates BR Marketing & Design and has worked with such clientele as Tracy Newman, Steve Kaire and many prominent small business owners planning successful marketing strategies, writing content for social networks, designing marketing collateral, and interactive websites.

Barbara celebrated 31 years of marriage this year to Michael Ross, President of Addition Building & Design, Inc. and has three beautiful daughters, Christine, a Makeup Artist in Los Angeles, Laura, a graduate student at The University of Texas, and Jami, A film editor in New York City.

Lyn Rothman

1963 Set up Sebara Designs - an interior design consultancy

1971 Joined Richmond Designs - the first company to include quantity surveying, architecture and interior design, and ran the latter department.

1975 Married Mo Rothman and left Richmond Designs. Carried on with private commissions for her own company, Sebara Designs.

1987 Joined Marguerite Littman and helped create the Aids Crisis Trust, raising funds by giving private screenings of films before general release, plus other fund raising events.

1998 A highly successful auction of Princess Diana's dresses in New York raised $5.5 million. The Aids Crisis Trust was closed shortly after Princess Diana's death.

1998 Joined the Elton John Aids Foundation and continued film screenings, using mailing list from the Aids Crisis Trust. Patron and Board Member.

2001 Founded The Parkinson's Appeal.
Contributing Editor Art Review.

Patron of "thare machi Starfish Initiative" delivering basic education to women in the developing world.

Patron of the Mildmay Mission Hospital

2008 Honorary Fellow University College London

Mitchell Ryan

When I was growing up in Louisville, Kentucky - disguised to myself, deep in my nature as it is with most boys - I invented some people I could be. I had no idea I was acting a role as it was all real to me. If someone asked me then who I was I would look blank and consider the question as stupid; it never occurred to me that I had no idea who I was.

Much later I realized, after much risk in trial and error, that I didn't really exist. This served my acting in a very special way; not being anything but a blank. I identified with every part and every emotion. When I called myself  "me,"   "I," or  "Mitch", the ego was reinforced. The more successful I became the easier it was to take credit for what "I" accomplished. This course of action is deadly in the long run and not in accordance with reality. Then it dawned on me that I was not all these characters I played. Only then, the astonishing thought came to me in the form of the question "Who am i?" and it stopped me. I began to revise my life. This, of course, is an ongoing process.

I was born in January of 1934- the same month and year that Hitler came to power. This I would always toss into the convivial air of the bar. As an aside, I was born to a father who was a salesman and a mother who was a writer. They lived as well as they could and raised me in the only way that that was possible and I became the person that I am. I was, and am, completely equipped to be an actor.

After I left the Navy it took less than a year to find and acting troupe. I started in, as Eugene O'Neill's father said over Andover, "I studied Shakespeare like you would study the Bible" - that is, with great interest and diligence. I was doing a play every night for fifteen years; in theatres, on and off Broadway, road shows and summer stock.

Just a few of the great parts I was privileged to play were Hamlet, Iago, Leontes, Tullus Aufidius, Petruchio, and other parts in twenty of the thirty six plays Shakespeare wrote.

I can't count the number of plays I have done, but it could easily be over one hundred. Jason in Medea; Agamemnon in Iphigenia; Tyrone in Long Days Journey Into Night, Jamie from Moon For The Misbegotten, The Ape in The Hairy Ape from the Eugene O'Neill canon.

In 1969 I was on the road with Moon for the Misbegotten playing in Los Angeles when I was hired into the movies. In the 1950's and 60's I had done much acting in the great early television in New York. Theatre Guild On The Air; Studio One; The beginning film shows Naked City and The Defenders. In 1957 I played in a movie with Robert Mitchum called Thunder Road - which, years later, became a cult movie. I was twenty-three years old and on my first movie set. I was nervous as hell and stayed to the side away from the camera. I had a small scene with Mitchum who was just short of being a god and at the height of his popularity. He stood by the camera joking with the crew. At last I heard my scene called, at which point Mitchum walked over to me, was silent for a second and then said, "Remember, I'm big Mitch and you're Little Mitch." He looked grim then burst out laughing and said, "Let 's do this fucking thing."

We were on location is North Carolina and when we finished shooting Thunder Road, Mitchum and his stand in and I drove across the country to Hollywood. It took six days - and I may write a book about that trip. I only stayed several months and then back to New York for another twelve years where I did my most productive theatre work. Then in 1969 I was back in Hollywood and had a starring role in a big western, Monte Walsh, with Lee Marvin, Jean Moreau, and Jack Palance.  So, I left the stage and became a movie actor.By the way, the part I played in this western film was "The second best bronc rider in the west" and I had never been in a horse in my life. I earned the apt title of "The Lincoln Center Kid." That's how they do it in Hollywood. That was 1969. Although I have done several plays since and went to New York twice to work - first in Medea which ran a year on Broadway with Zoe Caldwell and Judith Anderson. Also, several years later, I was in a revival of Arthur Miller's The Price.

I have worked and lived in Los Angeles since and have appeared in fifty or so films and done much television. Most recently, in the hit show Dharma and Greg, which ran prime time on the network for five years.        

Jenni Silberstein

Jenni Silberstein is passionate about her professional writing, fine art, theatre performances and psychotherapy practice.   In following her love for writing, she completed a Masters in Professional Writing at the University of Southern California.  Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and immigrating as a child to the United States, her first novel, an autobiographically-based story with magical realistic elements, The Gossamer Thread traces her family’s miraculous survival of the Holocaust, their journey to South Africa and finally their adjustment to American culture.

Jenni has written and illustrated numerous children’s stories and cards, sold her fine art, written numerous articles for psychological magazines, made guest appearances on various television shows and appeared on-stage in Los Angeles telling her unique story.

Jenni completed a Masters in Psychology at the University of San Francisco and a Ph.D. in Depth Psychology at Pacifica University.  She has been a licensed psychotherapist in private practice for over 20 years.  Her educational and clinical experience is extensive, assisting individuals in overcoming dysfunctional behaviors, which have kept them from flourishing in their lives as well as their relationships. Through her innovative techniques and personalized approach, she has helped individuals, couples and families re-establish essential connections and transform their difficulties into opportunities for healing.


Katerina Tana

A native Angeleno, was raised in London. Her heritage is Californian and Serbian. After attending the University of York, UK with an Honors degree in English and French Literature she attended Art Educational Drama School in London. There she was spotted by Guardian critic Michael Billington in her performance as Barbara Allen in a production of Dark of The Moon. Her first professional role was ARLIE in The UK premiere of GETTING OUT by Marsha Norman role. Meanwhile she had the opportunity to work with maestro director Fred Zinnemann on his autobiography, A LIFE IN MOVIES, for which she served as photographic editor. She returned to the States via NYC where she worked on Off Off Broadway, when a small film role brought her to Los Angeles which was enough to stop her acting career. 

Several years were spent working in feature film development and production for producers Dawn Steel (COOL RUNNINGS) Steven Haft (EMMA, LAST DANCE) and Jonathan Glickman (CARAVAN PICTURES) after which she was approached to help set up a film company for an independent producer then specializing in political advertising, which culminated in the feature film, “The Testimony of Taliesin Jones”.

She chose to leave the entertainment industry to launch a design firm, which she successfully established and has been in business for 18 years. Her eponymous textile line was launched in 2009.

Since 2015 she has returned to acting and embarked on writing the many stories she has been developing over the years,. She feels blessed to be in the nurturing and stimulating environment that Donald Freed provides.

Linda Thompson *** ON LEAVE

Linda Thompson  is an English folk rock singer.  She became one of the most recognized names and voices in the British folk rock movement of the 1970s and 1980s, in collaboration with her then husband and fellow British folk rock musician, guitarist Richard Thompson, and later as a solo artist.

Born in Hackney, London, she moved with her family to Glasgow, Scotland, at the age of six. Around 1966 she started singing in folk clubs, and in 1967 began studying modern languages at the University of London, but dropped out after four months. She changed her name to Linda Peters. By day she sang advertising jingles, including one with Manfred Mann. She met Richard Thompson in 1969 but they did not record together until 1972.  Linda teamed up with Simon Nicol and Richard.  They toured as a trio. Linda and Richard married in 1972.
Richard had started to take an interest in Sufism, a mystical form of Islam, in 1973. After the tour, the couple went to a Sufi commune in East Anglia for six months, then to another in Maida Vale. Richard announced that he would never play again, but returned after three years. Linda found herself in a community where all the food was prepared by the women. In her words, the members were "white middle-class people trying to punish themselves, and everybody else. It taught me a lot. To stay away from sects, mostly."
Their come-back album was called First Light (1978). Richard's writing has a strong thread of disdain for fame, wealth and worldly values and attacks political hypocrisy, often in wildly abstract metaphors.   Linda lost her voice for the next two years as a result of spasmodic dysphonia. She made a new start in 1984, singing with "The Home Service" at the National Theatre's production of medieval mystery plays and in 1985 she released her solo album One Clear Moment, then fell silent for eleven years.
A compilation of Linda's earlier work, Dreams Fly Away (1996), included both previously released songs and alternate versions of some of her better-known songs. It was received politely but did not sell well. In 1999, Linda's mother died. This provoked an outpouring of sorrow and regenerated her determination to sing. Linda was diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, preventing her from singing. A temporary cure was found.
Linda appeared along with her son, Teddy Thompson, in Hal Wilner's "Came So Far For Beauty" tribute concerts to the music of Leonard Cohen from 2003 to 2006.  In 2007, Linda released yet another set of original songs and covers, Versatile Heart. Like Fashionably Late, this too was primarily a collaboration with son Teddy Thompson, and the CD also features a supporting cast of family and friends.
Linda's fourth solo album, Won't Be Long Now, was released on 15 October 2013.[5] The album features compositions and backing vocals from Teddy Thompson and his sisters as well as guitar work by Richard Thompson.  Linda appears on the album Family (2014) by Thompson (the band being named for all the Thompsons that appear) having written two songs for the project.

Phyllis Title

I am a New Yorker who lives in Los Angeles. I grew up in Queens and have a BA in English from Queens College and a degree from the New York School of Design.

I have worked in advertising, as a model and as an interior decorator. My firm, Felicity, was on East 60th street.

I have two children. My son, David, is a science teacher living in Longmont Colorado with his wife, Beverly. My daughter, Daena, is an artist who lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Jason, and their two sons, Gabriel and Noah.

My husband, Arnold, died in May 2002 after a long illness. I then volunteered at Cedars Sinai for two years and presently am an Associate Docent at the Los Angeles Museum of Art.

I have written several books. Who Killed Mona is shortly to be published and the sequel, which continues the  adventures of Detective Jake Harmony. is proceding  under the brilliant editorial eye of Donald Freed.

Jayne Venables

Yorkshire-born to a voluble and cheerful 1950s salesman and his model post-war housewife, Jayne and her brothers grew up within the scaffolding of routine and with the rough and tumble of freely voiced opinion.

Now, with a grown-up family of four, the pleasure of serving a meal and listening to husband and offspring range from gentle banter to political debate, biting satire and surreal comedy, leaves her replete.

A jobbing writer, Jayne worked in soft journalism from the 70s and prospered in PR before it spun into ‘communications’.  Clients included children’s charities and manufacturers of equipment for the disabled; human interest features always drawn to her desk.  As history advanced, the client profile moved from manufacturers to service and IT providers; writing styles became tighter.

Common themes in the weave of a life of writing, child-rearing and teaching are literature, drama, psychology, health and social care.  Politics is a relative newcomer though there were always signs of gestation.

Today issues of democracy and liberty dominate.  Jayne’s great grandfather was born in the workhouse and died in Gallipoli.  Her mum left school at fourteen, walked bare foot and dodged blitz bombs.  Jayne’s was the free milk and no rickets generation; well educated, she was raised to contrast nazi fascism with Britain’s increasingly liberal democracy. She wishes the same freedoms for her own children and grand children.