MICHAEL PETER BOLUS received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Drama from the University of Southern California, his Master's Degree in Creative Writing from Boston University, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Theatre Studies from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Michael has taught Ancient Greek Theatre, Major Playwrights Seminars, and Introduction to Theatre Studies at N.Y.U.'s Tisch School of the Arts; Fiction, Poetry, and Playwriting at Boston University; English at City College of New York; Theatre History and Acting at both Brooklyn and Hunter Colleges in New York City; various seminars and workshops as Guest Artist at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine; Film History, Film Appreciation, and Screenwriting at Santa Monica College; Critical and Historical Studies in Film, Film and Society, Screenwriting, The Art of Film and VideoAesthetics and Culture, Historical Archetypes and Mythology, and Directing Labs at The Los Angeles Film School. He has also lectured internationally at the Beijing Film Academy and Kede College in China.

He is the author of Aesthetics and the Cinematic Narrative: An Introduction and The Light in the Dark: The Evolution, Mechanics, and Purpose of Cinema, and his articles, interviews, and criticism have appeared in the scholarly journals Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Slavic and East European Performance, Newsweek (Japan), The Montreal Review, and Modern Mask.

 

Michael was awarded a Playwriting Fellowship from the Boston Playwrights' Theatre where he spent a year in-residence, working closely with 1992 Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott as Playwright, Director, and Dramaturg. Pound of Flesh, his most recent stage play, received its world premiere at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, and was subsequently produced under his direction at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival, The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles, and the Taos Center for the Performing Arts. His plays Attic People, Hats Canes Trunks Trains, West of Canaan, Shaman in the House, and Ex Machina, have been seen in productions, workshops, and readings throughout the country. Michael has directed numerous plays in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington D.C. He also wrote and directed the short films, An Idea for the Killing and Sullivan Street (Cannes Film Festival Shorts Corner), and directed the short film Importance of Ernest.

Michael is founder and Editor-in-Chief of the online arts journal, Modern Mask (www.modernmask.org). He currently serves as Department Chair of Liberal Arts across all Programs at The Los Angeles Film School, and is an Adjunct Professor of Film Studies at Santa Monica College.

BIOS

MICHAEL PETER BOLUS, PH.D.
FOUNDING PARTNER
 

Louis Fantasia (B.A. Georgetown; M.F.A. California Institute of the Arts) has served as President of Deep Springs College, and Dean of the Faculty and Chair of Liberal Arts of the New York Film Academy’s Los Angeles campus. He has taught at Juilliard, the University of Southern California, and has held endowed visiting chairs at Loyola University Maryland and Austin Peay State University, Tennessee.

From 1997 to 2002 Louis was the Director of the London Shakespeare Globe Centre's Teaching Shakespeare Through Performance Institute. He served as Director of Shakespeare at the Huntington, the teacher training institute of the Huntington Library, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California from 2005 to 2017.

Louis’ book, Instant Shakespeare, was published in the U.S. by Ivan R. Dee and by A & C Black in England. Tragedy in the Age of Oprah, his second book, was published by Scarecrow Press.  His new book, Talking Shakespeare: Notes from a Journey, was published in 2016 by Peter Lang Publishers.

Recently, Louis has served on panels on education and cross-cultural development at both the Beijing and Shanghai Film Festivals, and has lectured and given workshops at the Beijing Film Academy and the Shanghai Theatre Academy.

In 2003, the Council of Europe named the theatre collection at its library in the European Parliament in honor of Louis Fantasia, who holds both U.S. and European Union passports. In 2016 he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his contributions to German culture and theatre. 

LOUIS FANTASIA, M.F.A.
FOUNDING PARTNER
 

Kevin has over 40 years of experience as an educator and administrator developing and delivering classes live, on video, online, and via webinars. He has been involved in cirriculum, program, and insitutional development at the elementary and post-secondary levels for private, religious, public, and military organizations. He is the president of The Bemel Co., Inc., which helps organizations improve their military veteran hiring and retention programs and trains service members to better reintegrate into civilian life.

 

Prior to that, Kevin ran his own commercial real estate company for 20 years. During that time his company managed and consulted on over $1 billion of industrial, retail, hospitality, gaming, and residential income property in the southern and western United States and Alaska. He holds a Master’s of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University, a Master’s of Religious Studies from Aish Hatorah Los Angeles, and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Southern California.

KEVIN BEMEL LCDR, CHC, USN
FOUNDING PARTNER
 

Dr. Mary Samuelson completed her Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Cinema and Media Studies at UCLA and did her undergraduate work in Cinema-Television and English Literature at USC. She teaches both English Composition 2 and 3 for Writing Programs at UCLA and serves as the Department’s Graduate Student mentor. In addition to her work at UCLA, Dr. Samuelson is also a Visiting Professor in the Cinema-Television department at Los Angeles Community College (LACC), and is the Chair of the Liberal Arts and Science Department at New York Film Academy (NYFA). Dr. Samuelson has won several awards and fellowships in support of her research, which examines the role antitrust law played in the collaboration between the U.S. government and the motion picture industry during Franklin Roosevelt's presidency. She has two forthcoming essays in collections focusing on film and the law ("Radical Moment: The National Recovery Administration and Hollywood's 'New Deal'" (November 2017)) and the U.S newsfilm (“Wartime News Flow: Government and Studio Newsreels, 1941-1945” (June 2018)), respectively. Her upcoming book The Patriotic Play: Roosevelt, Antitrust, and the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry is slated for publication in Spring 2018.

MARY SAMUELSON, PH.D.
SENIOR CONSULTANT
 

Born and raised in various parts of Los Angeles, Hiram Sims is a poet, essayist and Creative Writing Professor teaching at The Los Angeles Film School, and at USC with The Community Literature Initiative. He graduated from University of Southern California and received a B.A. in English: Creative Writing, and a Masters of Professional Writing in Poetry. In addition to teaching essay writing, creative writing, and literature, he is the founder of the Urban Poets Society. He has published three collections of poetry, including Poems of a Young, Troubled Mind (2007), Write or Die: An Anthology of Poetry from the Urban Poet's Workshop (2008), and PHOTOETRY: Poetry and Photography from South Central (2013).​

HIRAM SIMS
SENIOR CONSULTANT
 
KRISTIN BOLUS
CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

Kristin has over twenty years of experience in administration across a variety of industries, working with high net worth and high-profile companies and individuals like Jeff Skoll and the Shark Tank's Chris Sacca. From consultancies like BCG to high tech, to The Walt Disney Company, Participant Media, The Jeff Skoll Group, Lowercase Capital, and Studio71, Kristin has managed marketing strategies, PR, business proposals, accounting, human resources, liaising with press and politicians, hosting celebrities and industry leaders, property management, tradeshows and event planning, security, planning for board meetings and their members, IT support, corporate culture, employee onboarding, monetizing online content, and highly sensitive contracts. Kristin studied Political Science and Psychology at Iowa State University, and has a background deeply rooted in technology and the arts.

 

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