Script to Screen with NBC’s Good Girls feat. Retta ’92Taught by Retta Sirleaf '92, Lisa Katz '95, and Dave Karger '95
About the Workshop
This episode will feature LA-based Duke alumnae Retta Sirleaf ’92, actress and star of NBC’s Good Girls, and Lisa Katz ’95, co-President, Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment. Retta, Lisa and the creative team from Good Girls will take us behind the scenes and share the creative process of how their darkly comedic drama (recently renewed for a fourth season) is made, as well as answer your questions. Dave Karger ’95, TCM Host and NBC Today Show Correspondent, will moderate.
About the Panel
Jenna Bans serves as the creator, executive producer and showrunner on NBC’s “Good Girls.” Bans, who hails from Minneapolis, Minn., received her Bachelor of Science from Northwestern. She began her television writing career on “Desperate Housewives” and has since served as a writer/producer on series such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice” and “Scandal.” Bans was also the creator, executive producer, and showrunner of the 2011 medical drama “Off the Map” and the 2016 ABC thriller “The Family.”
Dave Karger ‘95
Dave Karger is an award-winning host, interviewer, and entertainment commentator. He’s a host on Turner Classic Movies and serves as Special Correspondent for IMDb. He has also made over 200 appearances on NBC’s Today show. In 2015 Dave received the Publicists Guild Press Award honoring the year’s outstanding entertainment journalist. In 2014 he was named one of OUT Magazine’s “OUT 100,” acknowledging the most influential people in the LGBT community. From 2012 to 2016 Dave served as Chief Correspondent at Fandango, where he created and hosted the original video series “The Frontrunners,” which received a Webby Award nomination for Best Variety Series. Before that, Dave spent 17 years as a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly, where he wrote over 50 cover stories, on subjects including George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, and Carrie Underwood.
Lisa Katz ’95
Lisa Katz is a veteran television executive who was elevated to the role Co-President, Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment in February 2018. In this capacity, Lisa is responsible for comedy development, drama development, current programming, casting, and diversity programming initiatives for NBC.
Katz joined NBC as Executive Vice President of Drama in July 2016 and had since been overseeing the buying and development of all one-hour projects as well as shepherding the pilots and first seasons of all new dramas. In her role at NBC, she has been instrumental in developing recent hit series including “Manifest,” “New Amsterdam” and “Good Girls.”
In her previous capacity at 20th Century Fox Television, Katz developed two of the most successful recent broadcast hits with Dan Fogelman’s “This Is Us” for NBC and Lee Daniels’ and Danny Strong’s “Empire” for Fox (with Imagine TV). During her 12 years at the studio, Katz developed the long-running global hit “Bones” (Fox, Hart Hanson, Barry Josephson) as well as “Star” (Fox, Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy), “Sleepy Hollow” (Fox, Alex Kurtzman & Bob Orci), “Lie to Me” (Fox, Sam Baum, Imagine TV) and “The Unit (CBS, Shawn Ryan and David Mamet).
Before joining 20th, Katz started her career at Brillstein-Grey where she worked for seven years on both comedy and drama series, including “The Sopranos,” “Just Shoot Me,” and “The Steve Harvey Show.”
Katz is a graduate of Duke University, where she majored in English. She lives in Valley Village, Calif., with her husband, Dan, and their two sons.
Bill Krebs serves as Executive Producer and Co-Showrunner on NBC’s hit series, Good Girls. The Birmingham, Michigan native received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan. He began his writing career on Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans and went on to serve as writer/producer on series such as TNT’s Franklin & Bash, Comedy Central’s Workaholics and ABC’s Red Band Society. Krebs also served as Supervising Producer on ABC’s,The Family as well as Consulting Producer on The CW’s No Tomorrow.
Retta Sirleaf ’92
Actress and comedian Retta has delighted audiences with her performance aptitude and comedy precision and has established herself as a consistent first pick for Hollywood.
She currently stars as Ruby on the NBC hit series “Good Girls” also starring Christina Hendricks and Mae Whitman. Retta plays Ruby, a working mom with a sick child who is weary from the daily grind. Together the 3 moms decide to pull off a supermarket heist, only to find they are in for more than they bargained. Retta also appeared in the 2019 hit comedy “Good Boys,” which opened as the number one movie in the country. Audiences related to her as Barbara on the Bravo hit series “Girlfriends ’Guide to Divorce,” a drama which explored female friendships and the post-divorce ups and downs. Retta spent a memorable seven seasons playing beloved office mate Donna Meagle on NBC’s critically acclaimed comedy “Parks and Recreation.”
In addition to her success in acting, Retta is also a critically acclaimed author, publishing her first work entitled “So Close To Being the Sh*t Y’all Don’t Even Know”, which is in bookstores as of May 2018. And is the title voice on the successful Audible Original audiobook “Tinaca Jones.”
Retta has enjoyed success in other feature films as well. She recently starred in the teenage tale “Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life” as Ida Stricker, as well as independent films “Band Aid,” “To the Bone” and “Where’s the Money?” She previously starred in the franchise “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” and the independent drama “Other People” which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Other films include “Father Figures” with Ed Helms and Owen Wilson, “Fracture” with Anthony Hopkins, “First Sunday” with Ice Cube and Katt Williams, and “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” with David Spade. Her voice over work includes
Retta, born Marietta Sirleaf to immigrant parents from Liberia, grew up in New Jersey. Upon grad-uating pre-med from Duke University with a degree in Sociology, she decided to take a year off before medical school to work as a contract chemist before ultimately committing to pursue her dream of having her own sit com. Realizing there were several sitcom stars who started as come-dians (Roseanne, Drew Carrey, Tim Allen, Brett Butler) she began performing stand-up in Ra-leigh NC and soon decided to make the move to LA.
Retta started first with open mics in Los Angeles and eventually began showcasing for the Na-tional Association for Campus Activities. She became a must-see act on the college circuit and was nominated for female comedian of the year by Campus Activities Magazine. She was Com-edy Central’s first winner of their Laugh Riots Stand-Up Competition, which led to an appearance on the New Faces Showcase at Montreal’s “Just For Laughs” Comedy Festival. This performance led to a development deal with ABC/Disney.
Retta’s television appearances include: “The Kroll Show” “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” “Key and Peele,” “Premium Blend” and “Comedy Central Presents…Retta.” But you can see her at her authentic best on her unfoRETTAble instagram stories where she shares her day and cof-fee making addiction daily.
Retta’s endless entertaining prowess and comedic vigor keeps both her devoted following and Hollywood captivated. She currently resides in Los Angeles.
About the Location
This workshop will meet online via Zoom. You’ll need a special link to join the workshop—follow the registration link at the top of page to get it.
About DukeCreate & DEMAN LIVE
DukeCreate & DEMAN are partnering to offer a new summer Zoom series teaching creative career skills. Tune into each episode to hear alumni working in creative industries share deep dives on their projects, give behind-the-scenes insight, and answer your questions. DEMAN Live meets DukeCreate, free on Zoom, open to everyone — but designed especially to support Dukies learn new skills and expand career opportunities during this challenging and stressful time. Checkout upcoming episodes on DukeCreate Workshops, and watch videos of previous episodes on the DEMAN Lounge via arts.duke.edu/DEMAN-Live