Creative Writing - Board Members

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Dave Holstein

Dave is currently a writer/producer on the upcoming Showtime drama series I’M DYING UP HERE starring Melissa Leo and produced by Jim Carrey. He’s worked on such shows as FOX’s RAISING HOPE and Showtime’s WEEDS and HBO’s THE BRINK with Jack Black and Tim Robbins. As a playwright, his work includes Chicago Shakespeare’s 2010 summer family musical The Emperor’s New Clothes and the 2016 podcast musical WAIT WAIT DON’T KILL ME.

Aaron Kaplan

Aaron Kaplan, founding partner of Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment spent the first 22 years of his life in Chicago. After graduating from Northwestern University he came up through the UTA Trainee Program, where he and fellow UTA trainee Sean Perrone recognized the need for forward-thinking, creatively involved literary representatives. In 2000, the two decided to strike out on their own, forming management company Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment. Today, they represent some of the industry’s most successful writers, directors, showrunners, and creators.  Kaplan/Perrone also has a production wing.  Each of their studio features has grossed over $100M worldwide, and their latest film, the independently financed PET, premiered at SXSW and will be released in late 2016.

David Levine

David Levine is Co-Head of Drama, HBO Programming, for Home Box Office, responsible for overseeing the development and production of original drama series. He was named to this position in June 2016. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Drama. He currently oversees the Emmy®-winning True Detective and Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning Game of Thrones, JJ Abrams/Jonah Nolan’s Westworld, Cinemax’s Peabody Award®-winning The Knick, and oversaw the recently completed Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner True Blood. He is also working on a number of new projects including Alan Ball’s new series and Gillian Flynn/Marti Noxon’s Sharp Objects. Levine came to HBO as a consultant in 2009, and was named director, HBO Entertainment (now HBO Programming), that same year.  In 2011, he was promoted to vice president, HBO Entertainment. Before HBO, he was vice president, Development and Production, at Mandalay Entertainment, and served as a producer at Fuse Entertainment where he developed and co-produced the pilot for USA’s smash hit Burn Notice.  He previously also had stints as an executive in features at Zucker/Netter Productions, Out of the Blue Entertainment, Conrad Pictures, and Cinergi Entertainment. Levine holds a B.S. in Radio/Television/Film from Northwestern University.

Laverne McKinnon

Over a thirty year career in entertainment, Laverne McKinnon’s core belief is in the power of story to heal and her guiding passion has been helping creative professionals derive outer accomplishment from inner meaning. Laverne is an Executive Producer of the Netflix comedy series Girlboss (based on the New York Times bestseller, premiering 2017) and Head of Television for Charlize Theron’s production company, Denver & Delilah.  They have sold projects to Amazon, HBO, Showtime, FX, USA, NBC, Lifetime, Bravo and others.  Laverne is also an accredited life coach, executive coach, and grief counselor specializing in entertainment & tech industry clients.  In addition, Laverne is an Adjunct Lecturer in Northwestern University’s Master of Science in Leadership for the Creative Enterprises program.  

Jeff Pinkner

Jeff Pinkner graduated Northwestern in ‘87 and Harvard Law school in ‘90. His first writing job in television was when David Kelley hired him to write a freelance episode of The Practice which Kelley reworked into the fifth episode of Ally McBeal. Since then, Pinkner had early jobs on such series as Early Edition and The Street before Alias, Lost and Fringe. Last year he cowrote The Amazing Spiderman 2 and is currently in production on Zoo, as well as developing other projects in film and TV.

Wendy Steinhoff

Wendy Steinhoff is currently the Vice President of Comedy Development for Warner Bros. Television, where she has been involved with the development of over 100 half-hour pilots, including The Middle, Two Broke Girls, and Undateable. Prior to Warner Bros., Wendy worked at CBS as an assistant and as Manager, Drama Programming for CBS Productions. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three children.