SeriesFest proudly presents a table read of Drop Shot Divas, an episodic comedy reflective of the work produced by the Writers’ Room initiative from SeriesFest, Unreal Media and Dilettante Productions. Each Writers' Room is a curated professional development opportunity composed of screenwriters and producers working over a 3-day period to flesh out a new episodic series. Join us for a sneak peek into Unreal Media’s upcoming comedy, Drop Shot Divas, that follows a team of overzealous women as they compete and socialize in a Denver- based tennis league with all the outrageous intensity and shameless behavior of pro-level players. 

Stick around after the program for a behind-the-scenes conversation with Director Gren Wells and the Drop Shot Divas creative team to learn more about the making of this table read and what’s next for the series.

Created by:

Betsy Marino Leighton and Mary Roth

Written by:

Betsy Marino Leighton, Misty Brawner and Jon Vandergriff

Directed by:

Gren Wells

Cast:

Jennifer Aspen, Kaily Smith Westbrook, Ali Hillis, Tina Stafford, Megan Goedewaagen, Jacqueline Mazarella, Jessika Van, Lauren Shaye, Chelsea Bell, Dan Servetnik, Charlotte Aspen, Bob Leighton, Claire Taylor, Brent Emery, Len Marino Sr., and Neil Truglio

Get ready to watch.

This program will stream free to the public with a suggested donation of $10 from 7:00pm MT on November 16, 2020 through 11:59pm MT on November 30, 2020. You can order your complimentary tickets now through the end of the the streaming period. 

The creative team behind it all . . .

Betsy Marino Leighton

Betsy has worked in the film and television industry for twenty-five years, beginning as a Page at NBC Studios. She then went on to work for Scorsese Productions and Clinica Estetica, for Edward Saxon, before producing and directing an award-winning documentary, A Six Voice Home. Betsy has produced long form reality and other TV series for Starz, Ovation, Animal Planet, and High Noon Entertainment. In 2014 she cofounded Unreal Media, which recently sold their first independent horror feature, Apartment 212. Betsy heads Unreal’s Content Development, overseeing an exciting creative slate of television and web series.

Misty Brawner

Misty Brawner is a writer who has lived an unconventional, ragtag life. Her experiences teaching public school, traveling the world to save animals, completing ridiculously long endurance events, and surviving almost daily ludicrous happenings, have helped her craft her gift of storytelling. Since 2018, Misty has worked with Unreal Media, in association with SeriesFest, to produce and facilitate The Writers’ Room Series initiative, a program fostering new writers’ participation and contribution to scripted content for TV and the web. Misty’s greatest writing talent is her ability to translate her comedic observational humor to the page.

Gren Wells

After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, Gren moved to Los Angeles and wrote her first feature script called Earthbound that sold to 20th Century Fox. Earthbound later found a home at The Film Department, and starred Kate Hudson, Gael Garcia Bernal, Kathy Bates and Whoopi Goldberg. Since then, she has sold over 20 feature film and television projects. In 2014, Gren wrote and directed 'The Road Within’ - starring Robert Sheehan, Dev Patel, Zoe Kravitz, Robert Patrick and Kyra Sedgwick. Based off of this film, Variety chose her as one of their “10 Directors to Watch.”

Featuring . . .

Jennifer Aspen

As an actor Jennifer has over 75 credits to her name. She has starred on 7 network series, from the classic FOX hit Party of Five as Daphne Jablonsky to the controversial ABC show Good Christian Belles as Sharon Peacham. Jennifer won a SAG honor as a recurring guest star on the first season of Fox's hit show Glee. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA in Theatre, Film and Television. She has Created/Executive Produced 4 movies for Hallmark including their coveted Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie last year called A Christmas Love Story which she also co-starred in.

Kaily Smith Westbrook

Originally from Denver, CO, Kaily is a graduate of the University of Southern California's BFA acting program. After graduating in 2005, Kaily’s love of storytelling bore life to her production company, Red Ladders Entertainment. Simultaneously with developing and producing plays, episodic content and feature films under RLE, she has continued to act professionally on screen and stage in projects such as NBC's The Office, the CW's Gilmore Girls, Universal’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Broadway’s The Performers, among others. In 2009, Kaily created, wrote, and starred in the successful web series MERRIme.com, which has provided her with a unique insight into the entertainment industry. With SeriesFest held annually in Denver, Kaily is thrilled to have everything come full circle.

Tina Stafford

Tina Stafford is a New York based actor-musician. She spent two years on the road with the first national tour of the Broadway musical Once and she has played leading roles around the world.Ms. Stafford is proud to partner with SeriesFest to keep the arts alive virtually and in isolation until the time when we can be together on-set, and also in theaters again. Proud union member.

Megan Goedewaagen

Megan Goedewaagen is an actor and producer. Her stage roles range from Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams. Her film debut was in Harold Sylvester’s drama NOLA. Megan trained as an actor in Los Angeles with Arthur Mendoza of Stella Adler and The Groundlings theater after receiving a B.A. in Film from Tulane University. In 2019 she produced Pride, the FX docuseries on the history of the LGBTQ movement as well as Dear Zoe, a feature film starring Sadie Sink. She produces Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality, a show about the climate crisis, viewed annually in over half a billion homes worldwide and is currently finishing the feature documentary Ain’t I A Woman about the history of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Jessika Van

Jessika Van stars as Cathy Lee in the Amazon short form series Bulge Bracket. Her breakout role was recurring as Becca in MTV’s Awkward, followed by recurring roles in The CW’s The Messengers, CBS’ Rush Hour, and the titular role in HBO’s short film Luna. Her feature film credits include a lead role in the Sundance premiere Seoul Searching, Paramount’s The Gambler, and Twentieth Century Fox’s Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. Additionally, she has lent her voice to animated films such as Dreamworks feature Abominable, Disney Pixar’s Onward, and Columbia Pictures feature The Emoji Movie, as well as television programs Adult Swim’s The Boondocks and Cartoon Network’s Uncle Grandpa. She also portrayed the lead soldier Hannah in EA’s video game Battlefield 4.

Ali Hillis

As multi talented as she is charmingly down to earth, the very versatile actress Ali Hillis has become one of the most sought after names in the world of animation and video games, while simultaneously building an impressive onscreen career, which began with her hysterical role in Shane Black’s cult favorite comedy, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.You may also know Ali from some of her more dramatic performances including her recent recurring role on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, FOX’s 9-1-1, CBS’s CSI, NCIS, NCIS:LA, Criminal Minds Beyond Borders, BET’s Rebel. Her big screen credits include Robert Patrick’s trophy wife in festival favorite The Road Within, the Farrelly Brothers’ Heartbreak Kid, 20th Century FOX’s The Ultimate Gift, Disney’s Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Warner Bros comedy classic Must Love Dogs, and many more!

Lauren Shaye Livingston

Lauren is an actor/singer/dancer/writer who can manage all of these roles and do it well. She received her training from Columbia University and Christiana Cultural Arts. She's been blessed to perform at elite institutions such as The Kennedy Center, The Grand Opera House, and Merriam Theatre. Livingston has gone on to star in roles on Broadway in New York and act on TNT and TBS. Her current focus is bringing forth her experiences through Roomies, a half-hour comedy that she will star in and produce.

Chelsea Bell

Chelsea Bell is an actress and model currently represented in the Denver and New Mexico markets by Radical Artists Agency. She began her acting career appearing in commercials and as background talent in films. Bell has appeared as the lead in short films such as Breathe In, created for the 48 Hour Film Project 2020, the interactive video series Save the Dates, and the music video for 888’s song Critical Mistakes. She also has supporting roles in the TV series MENver and can be seen in commercial roles as well. Bell really enjoys voice acting and has done a range of roles from commercial to film.

Jacqueline Mazarella

Jacqueline Mazarella is an actress and writer, best known for her role as Ms. Morello on Everybody Hates Chris for which she has been called “one of the show’s funniest, most wince-inducing recurring characters”. Jackie created, produces and stars in The Oversharer, a series of shorts about a sweet yet astonishingly raunchy woman looking to make connections with everyone she meets. The Oversharer was an Official Selection of 2018 SeriesFest. Other television appearances include The Morning Show, Jane The Virgin, Fresh Off The Boat, Criminal Minds, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Are We There Yet?. Feature Film credits include are the upcoming Professor Shonku and El Dorado and Paradise Cove, and Jersey Boys, and The Bachelors with JK Simmons.

Dan Servetnik

A Dallas, Texas based actor, Dan’s stage credits include Side Show, The Boy Friend, Mamma Mia, A Chorus Line, Pippin, and the new musical, Oswald.

Neil Truglio

Neil Truglio is a Denver-based artist and educator who has served as the Education Director for the Denver Film Society, Denver Film Festival, Benchmark Theatre, and most currently, SeriesFest. Additionally, he serves as adjunct faculty at the Colorado Film School, a teaching artist with both the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and the Young Filmmakers Workshop, as well as director for Curious Theatre’s New Voices. Neil is the founding artist behind Modest Arts, a youth-orientated arts program for theatre and film and his work with students is often showcased both in Denver and in film projects that can be seen around the world.

Len Marino Sr. 

Len Marino Sr. is a former WWII Navy Veteran with an abundance of past experience in advertising as the Former VP and Partner at Holley Thomas Ad Agency and as the Former VP at Macmillan Ring-Free Oil Company. Len studied art at the Art Students League of New York. Len is a film buff, a jazz fan, a cartoonist, and an illustrator. He is a life long member of the National Cartoonist Society. He now resides in Denver, CO with a new venture as the Co-Creator and host of The Geezer Show in which he discusses a myriad of topics and shares stories with those he met throughout his life.

Thank you to our partners.

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SeriesFest is a non-profit organization that champions and empowers artists at the forefront of episodic storytelling by providing year-round opportunities for creators and industry experts to connect, collaborate, and share stories, which inspire and impact global audiences. 

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