Entertainment and Creative Arts

Entertainment and creative arts industries have a vast reach on American culture and society, spanning a diverse range of career opportunities. This industry brings in alumni with backgrounds from a variety of different creative fields. From film & media production to theater and illustration, there are professionals who have drawn from their experiences at UChicago to make their mark on media, television, the silver screen, the stage, and beyond. Alumni will share their experiences about how they took advantage of their UChicago experiences and developed the skills they accrued from their education to ones they now use in the work force.

Panel Participants

James Fleming, AB'14

Theatre Director
Table: 30

Mr. Fleming graduated from the College in 2014 with a degree in Public Policy and Theatre & Performance Studies. While in the College, he was active in University Theatre, and worked as Assistant to the Managing Director of Theatre & Performance Studies and a research assistant in the Cultural Policy Center. He is Associate Artistic Director at Redtwist Theatre and Director of New Works at The New Colony. His work has been seen at venues nationally and internationally, including the Goodman Theatre, Court Theatre, Pop Up Theatrics, CLB Berlin, Chicago Dramatists, Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, Route 66 Theatre, and Broken Nose Theatre. He is the recipient of a Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation Observership. He is a frequent reader for new play commissions and festivals around the country. Next, he will direct the National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere of Grace McLeod's (AB'18) new play Herland at Redtwist Theatre. www.jameslfleming.com

Tiffany Gholar, AB'01, M.A. Painting'09

Artist / Writer / Designer
Table: 31

Ms. Gholar graduated from the College in 2001 with a degree in general studies in the humanities. Her focus was art, creative writing, and film. While in the College, she was an active member of the Organization of Black Students. She returned to school after graduation to study fiction writing, interior design, and painting and now works as an artist, writer, and freelance interior designer. She is the author of four art books, 'Post-Consumerism,' 'Imperfect Things,' 'The Doll Project,' and the forthcoming 'The Sum of Its Parts,' and a young adult novel, 'A Bitter Pill to Swallow.' She has illustrated two children's picture books, 'Niama's Adventures' and 'The Jackson Kids Go to Paris.' Her artwork has been exhibited in many Chicago area venues, including Mana Contemporary, The Harold Washington Library and The Chicago Children's Museum.

CJ Hoke, AB'13, AB'13

Script Coordinator, ABC
Table: 32

Ms. Hoke graduated from the College in 2013 with Honors in French Language & Literatures and Theater & Performance Studies. While in the College, she was heavily involved with University Theater, the Dean's Men, Blackfriars, and the Classical Entertainment Society, as well as the a cappella group Unaccompanied Women. After graduating, she moved to Los Angeles, working in development, production, and film sales with Roger Corman's New Horizons and Ashok Amritraj's Hyde Park International. In 2015, she joined ABC's "General Hospital," as script coordinator, processing 255 scripts a year and writing supplementary show materials. Outside of work, she writes for digital and theatrical spaces, most recently with PencilInk Productions ("The Misselthwaite Archives") and Theatre Unleashed ("Camp Ragnarok"), creating women-driven comedies and dramedies with heart. Her comedy pilot "Production Choice" has placed in multiple competitions and was performed as a staged reading at Chicago's Second City Training Center in 2017.

Linara Washington, AB'99, AB'99

Actor, Poder Entertainment, Inc.
Table: 33

Ms. Washington graduated from the College in 1999 with a degree in English. She has had the pleasure of working at a number of Chicago's most acclaimed theaters and has appeared in myriad commercials. A supporting role in Barbershop 2 motivated her move to LA where she has since enjoyed roles on Grey's Anatomy, Madam Secretary, Masters Of Sex and NCIS. She has also appeared in movies alongside some of Hollywood's biggest names: Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Will Ferrell and Queen Latifah, to name a few. She currently resides in Los Angeles, where she acts and produces films with husband, director/writer Andrew P. Jones. They also recently created an 8-part acting course for aspiring actors called The Business of the Business of Acting. Linara also runs a skincare business in her free time. She and Andrew have a 5-year old daughter and a menagerie of four-legged fur children.