Sherwood Kiraly / Distinguished Writer-in-Residence
For over a decade Sherwood Kiraly was a newspaper syndicate editor for columnists such as Roger Ebert and the late Ann Landers, and briefly became a TV writer (co-writing an episode of the CBS sitcom “E/R” starring Elliott Gould). He “found his sound” with the critically acclaimed 1990 comic novel California Rush (Macmillan) and followed it with Diminished Capacity and Big Babies (Berkeley). He adapted his fourth novel, Who’s Hot/Who’s Not, into a play, which became a commercial and critical hit for the Laguna Playhouse in California. While writing the “What’s So Funny” column for the Laguna Coastline Pilot (Tribune Co.) from 2002-2009, he adapted Diminished Capacity and Big Babies into screenplays, which went into development. He was on location when Diminished Capacity was shot in New York and New Jersey in 2007 as a co-production of Steppenwolf Films and Plum Pictures, starring Matthew Broderick, Alan Alda, Virginia Madsen, Louis CK, Lois Smith and Bobby Cannavale. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008, kicked off the Gen-Art Festival in New York that year, and was nominated for best picture at Chicago’s Midwest Independent Film Festival. Bought by IFC, it was featured most recently on that channel. He won the Artist of the Year award in Laguna Beach in 2009. Of the critical response to his work, his favorite positive-review phrase was “comically profound,” from the Boston Globe; his favorite left-handed phrase was “entertaining if not edifying” from The New York Times.