Issue 7 | August 2005

  • Message from Membership Director
  • Message from the President – "Mia’s Monthly Message”
  • Member Profile of Melinda Hsu ‘92
  • Industry Successes…
  • So You Got The Job, Hey…
  • And the Award Goes to….
  • Members in the News…
  • Six Degrees of Harvardwood
  • Featured Member Posting – Seeking Assistant for CEO of WB


My, my, my!  I can’t believe that August is already upon us and quickly coming to an end.  It’s been an exciting summer in the land of Harvardwood.  I want to send a personal thanks to all of the members that sent over testimonials for the new "Six Degrees of Harvardwood” segment.  I’m going to one of them at the end of the newsletter, and hopefully it will touch you as it touched me.  Harvardwood works, so please tell your fellow alumni and students to sign up and come join the fun.   Enjoy the end of summer!



I am very pleased to announce our inaugural Harvardwood Seminar Series, a new program (spearheaded by Programs Director Kevin Boyle) taking place in LA this September and October.  Over a series of four consecutive Saturdays beginning September 10th, we will mingle over brunch and hear from speakers on such topics as "Media Marketing in the Digital Age”, "The Business of Representation”, "Hispanics and Entertainment”, and "The Ins and Outs of Independent Film”.  Save the dates, and stay tuned for more details!

Our first-ever Dodgers outing in July was a rousing success, and General Manager Paul DePodesta ‘95 credited Harvardwood for "bringing us a win!”…The Harvardwood Writers Program is going strong, with all three groups well underway – major thanks to Programs Director Rogelio Flores as well as our recent guest speakers: Danny Chun ‘02, Stacy Cohen ‘89, Alex Franklin ‘97, Abram Hatch ‘96, Dan O’Keefe ‘90, Sean O’Keefe ’95, Amy Retzinger ’95, and Matt Warburton ‘00.  Meanwhile, the HSIP is drawing to a July, the interns had an informative evening with Josh Goldstine ’90, SVP of Marketing at Sony/Columbia, and art director Sue Chan ’92 hosted a visit to the set of "American Dreamz”, where the interns also heard from producers Rod Liber and Andrew Miano (and briefly encountered actors Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, and Chris Klein).  Hope to see some East Coast members at our NYC August mixer on Aug. 15th at the Soho Grand! 



DUMA, produced by Stacy Cohen '89, is now playing in Chicago at the following theatres:

AMC River East                                Loews Webster Place   AMC  South Barrington               AMC Cantera                                                            Crown Village Theatre

322 E. Illinois St.                                1471 W. Webster Ave.  170 Studio Drive                             28250 Diehl Rd.                                                            7018 Carpenter Rd.

Chicago, IL 60611                              Chicago, IL 60614         South Barrington, IL 60010            Warrenville, IL 60555                 Skokie, IL 60077

312/596-0333                                      773/327-3100                 847/765-2262                                   847/765-7AMC                                                            847/673-8486

The success of the Chicago run will determine the film's future, and THIS WEEKEND's box office is crucial.  The film has received rave reviews (see ), and extremely high exit poll scores (both among families and adult audiences), but the studio is spending next to nothing on marketing so it's going to have to work by word-of-mouth.  If you know anyone in Chicago who might be interested in a lyrical, magnificently photographed film about the friendship between a South African boy and the cheetah he rescues as an orphan, raises and returns to the wild, please pass along the information in this listing, refer them to our website at, and have them read ONLY YOU CAN SAVE THE CHEETAH by Roger Ebert (

Comedian Baratunde Thurston ‘99 will be performing in NYC Saturday night August 20th (7:00 p.m.) at the NY Improv to impress industry bigwigs.  Call to reserve tickets (212.613.1649) or see for details.

Jonathan Dorf '93 will have his one-act plays, AFTER MATH and MENAGERIE, published by Playscripts, Inc and Brooklyn Publishers, respectively, this fall.

Lyricist Amy Powers' (HLS '87) new musical ZHIVAGO is currently being featured in The La Jolla Playhouse's Page To Stage program (where Pulitzer and Tony-winning I AM MY OWN WIFE and Billy Crystal's Tony-winning 700 SUNDAYS previously were debuted). The show is being directed by Des McAnuff (TOMMY, BIG RIVER, 700 SUNDAYS).  Composer LUCY SIMON (THE SECRET GARDEN), playwright Michael Weller (LOOSE ENDS, MOONCHILDREN) and co-lyricist Michael Korie (HARVEY MILK) complete the creative team.

Powers' previous work ranges from songs for BARBIE AS THE PRINCESS AND THE PAUPER and artists such as DIAMOND RIO, BRIAN MCKNIGHT and BARBRA STREISAND to Andrew Lloyd Webber's SUNSET BLVD. and films such as WHEN WE WERE KINGS, SWEET HOME ALABAMA and ELLA ENCHANTED.

James P Connolly ’88 has been accepted to the Boston International Comedy and Movie Festival Sept 12th thru the 17th. Shows will be taking place all over the Boston area. Check the website at for all the latest details and ticket information. Or you can also go to my website at


Reginald Hudlin ’83 has been named chief programmer for BET (Black Entertainment Television) cable network.  Hudlin, who also has numerous film credits in his resume including Serving Sara and The Great White Hype, will become President of Entertainment at BET and he will have control over all of the network's programming, including both acquisitions and development of original shows.

Vanessa Scott ’03 was recently promoted to creative executive at production/management company Benderspink, based at New Line


LAPSES, a play by Dan Aibel '98, was a first prize winner (full-length category) at the 2005 Eileen Heckart Drama Competition. The contest, sponsored by Ohio State University's Lawrence & Lee Theatre Research Institute, honors stage plays with substantial roles for older actors. 


Former studio exec (and Harvardwood advisory board member) Jeff Sagansky ’74 will make a major investment in Canadian film and television company Peace Arch Entertainment, a Toronto-based production entity that primarily produces telefilms, direct-to-video pics and Canadian reality shows.  He will also sit on Peace Arch's greenlight committee.  Peace Arch has a 16-picture deal with Showtime in the U.S. (Variety, Aug. 1st)

Comedians Peter Dutton `90 (College) and Baratunde Thurston `99 (College) were featured in a large article on the front of the Boston Globe's weekend section July 8, 2005.  The article basically describes how awesome and funny these guys are.  Includes three huge photos (one color) and a sidebar.  Check it out at


From Sirpa Nelson, Harvardwood Member

Honestly, I don't know where I'd be in Hollywood right now without Harvardwood.  Thank you Harvard and Mia Riverton!  My graduate advisor in film school (MFA program at San Francisco State University) happened to have attended Harvard, and when I told him that I wanted to become a literary agent in LA, he contacted another Harvard graduate at the Endeavor Agency, who happened to be a partner there.  Thus I got my resume sent to HR and landed my first job here in the mailroom.  After four months of hell, I was promoted to coordinator of a boutique literary agency.  Through Harvardwood, I met other alums working at ICM, Paradigm, Disney, New Regency, CAA, etc. as well as many amazingly talented writers.  Of the writers that I'm most interested in representing when I become an agent (cross your fingers -- hopefully next year), about half of them are from Harvardwood networking.  And, I'm only mentioning the professional side!  Most of my friends down here were also found through Harvardwood.  I post something on the Harvardwood site regularly, and always receive helpful responses.  THANK YOU HARVARDWOOD!     


DO YOU HAVE A TESTIMONAL TO SHARE?  Please send me a short note or email with your testimonial about how Harvardwood has helped you.  Email [email protected] and for each testimonial, receive a free month of membership (limit 3 per person).  


Seeking Assistant for CEO of WB

Smart, organized second assistant needed for CEO of television network.  Ideal candidate will have strong knowledge of the TV landscape, possess an extremely professional demeanor and previous experience in an administrative role… Paid members can view full posting info at:


 Harvardwood does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content or advertisements (collectively "Materials") contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained in this e-mail.  You hereby acknowledge that any reliance upon any Materials shall be at your sole risk.  The materials are provided by Harvardwood on an "AS IS" basis, and Harvardwood expressly disclaims any and all warranties, express or implied.

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