Roger Burton

From age 11, Roger worked as a professional jazz musician. He continued to work as a professional musician while getting Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Southern California, and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Harvard University.  He was a professor in the psychology dept. at the Univ. at Buffalo from ’74 to 2000. Moving to Los Angeles with his wife for her screenwriting career, he joined Five Sisters Productions and was delightfully surprised to be “discovered” at a Hollywood party, which led to his acting on the large and small screen (credits include BASKETS, SHAMELESS, and FARGO).

Peri Gilpin

Born in Waco, Texas, Peri Gilpin grew up in Dallas, where her family encouraged her acting abilities. After studying at the Dallas Theater Center, she pursued acting at the University of Texas at Austin and then at London’s British-American Academy. She appeared in guest roles on such popular situation comedies asDesigning Women (1986),Cheers (1982) and Wings (1990), where she worked with the late producer, Roz Doyle, the namesake of her character on  Frasier(1993).


Gabrielle Burton’s books include Impatient with Desire, Searching for Tamsen Donner, Heartbreak Hotel, and I’m Running Away From Home But I’m Not Allowed To Cross The Street. She wrote the screenplay for the movie, Manna From Heaven, produced by Five Sisters Productions, (MGM DVD.) Her honors include The Western Heritage Award for outstanding novel, The Maxwell Perkins Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, The Mary Pickford Prize for Screenwriters given by the American Film Institute, 1st Prize, Austin Film Festival Heart of Film Screenwriting contest, and the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.


Jennifer Burton

Jennifer Burton is a Professor of the Practice in Film at Tufts University. She is spearheading FSP’s HALF THE HISTORY project, a series of short films on women in American history. The latest in the series include Tapping into our Past, Tapping into our Future: Dancer Ayodele Casel and Abstract Expressionists: Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, and Elaine de Kooning. More films in the series include Belinda’s Petition, Margaret Lothrop & The Wayside, and Duet Of Florence Price and Amy Beach and Shirley Chisholm: A Catalyst for Change. Another current production project is Abby Child’s new documentary on Androids and Ethics. Jennifer earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University in English and American Literature, writing her dissertation on hope in American literature and film. Her publications include The Prize Plays and Other One-Acts: Zora Neale Hurston, Eulalie Spence, Marita Bonner, and Others (Macmillan/G.K. Hall) and Call and Response: Key Debates in African American Studies (W. W. Norton), co-edited with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Ursula Burton

Ursula Burton wrote, directed, and produced the award-winning comedy, The Happiest Day Of His Life, which won a Viewer’s Choice Award on MTV’s LOGO Channel, and qualified for the Academy Awards. The film is used as a teaching tool in high schools and universities to show how media can change perceptions of gender. She directed the campaign for Swim With Heart, an organization that specializes in working with special needs children, was a director for Yale’s Oral History Project, and is a director for the ongoing Half The History series. She just completed the films We Treat Them The Same and Expiration Date, both of which she wrote, produced, and directed. She regularly directs and performs in audio dramas, including Stargate and Dark Shadows, BBC Radio 4’s “The Hireling,” and Doctor Who. As an actor on film and TV, her work includes recurring roles on Dead Girls Detective Agency, The Office, Grey’s Anatomy, Hart Of Dixie, Rake, and the hit BBC sitcom My Family, as well as appearing on Silicon Valley, Jane The Virgin, Dr. Ken, Castle, Blackish, and Scandal. In addition, the “52 Questions” specialty card decks she created (“…Before Marriage or Moving In,” “…Before Baby,” and “…After 50”) are distributed by The Gottman Institute. Burton graduated from Yale with honors in Theater and English. She is on the YaleWomen Council, a board member of the Yale Club of LA and YaleWomen LA, and was selected for the Alliance of Women Directors CAP Industry Support Program. Burton is a Professor of the Practice at Otis College of Art and Design.


Maria Burton

Maria Burton, named by Variety as “talent to watch,” has directed 6 successful independent feature films, the latest of which are currently available on Netflix and Amazon: A Sort of Homecoming with Laura Marano and Katherine McNamara, and For the Love of George with Rosanna Arquette, Tate Donovan, Rex Lee & Kristen Johnston. In addition to Just Friends, Temps, and Manna from Heaven, Burton’s earlier films include Sign My Snarling Movie – a doc about The Bobs. She produced Julia Sweeney’s Letting Go of God (Showtime). She’s on the National Board of the Director’s Guild of America and Co- Chair of the DGA’s WSC as well as a member of Alliance of Women Directors and Film Fatales. Maria is currently in the Disney/ABC 2018-20 Directing Program and the DGA’s DDI Mentorship Program and has been selected for Television Directing Programs including the CBS Directing Initiative, SONY’s Diverse Directors program, Ryan Murphy’s HALF Initiative and the Conde Nast, Rodrigo Garcia – Jon Avnet Indigenous Incubator ProjectHER, for which she wrote and directed Good Eggs. Burton is currently developing three projects: MidLife, a thematic companion piece to Temps; Searching for Tamsen Donner, based on her mother’s award winning books; and The Sky’s the Limit: the story of the Mercury 13, a drama inspired by the “Mercury 13” women who were tested for the original astronaut program in 1961-62. The script has been selected for the Athena List, named to the Bechdel/Bitch List and is a Nicholl Quarterfinalist. See more at

Gabrielle C Burton

TEDxColumbus: Gender Fluidity

TEDxTours: Why simple is not the answer

Gabrielle C. Burton is a writer and filmmaker who lives in Delaware, Ohio. With a passion for strong human-focused storytelling and social engagement, she won the OAC’s Individual Excellence Award two years in a row, in poetry and also in filmmaking. Burton directed the award-winning documentary on gender, Kings, Queens, & In-Betweens (about the thriving drag scene in midwest Ohio) which, after a national theatrical release, is being used as an education tool in universities, medical training conferences, and community organizations across the US. Her creative style weaves complex stories and voices together, quietly revealing truths about human nature and social change. With her sisters, Burton focuses on filmmaking that incorporates creative participation and underrepresented voices. She recently won a Wexner Center for the Arts artist’s residency for her next project inspired by her TEDxTalk about gender, drag, and parenting (selected by TEDx for their national playlist: Her second TEDxTalk on complexity and our “spheres of personal perspective” was given as part of TEDx Tours in France. She is also an actor, appearing in the oscar-winning Foxcatcher and the tv series Outsiders.

Gabrielle wants to thank the Greater Columbus Arts Council and Puffin West for their support of OLD GUY and helping make it possible to pivot during the pandemic and decide to release the series to the public for free. #ArtMakesColumbus !

Charity Burton

Charity Burton is a primary school teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District, in addition to her work with Five Sisters Productions. She began her teaching career while still in college, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she ran a nursery school program in an orphanage, and studied Bharatanatyam dance. After graduating from Denison University in anthropology/sociology and dance, she joined AmeriCorps, organizing and teaching literacy programs in New Orleans and in East Los Angeles. Charity currently teaches dance for the Los Angeles Unified School District Arts Education Branch.

Key Crew


Arlene Nelson has received numerous awards for her cinematography, including an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for her work on Academy Award winner Morgan Neville’s Troubadours, a documentary on the singer songwriter tradition, featuring Carole King and James Taylor. Nelson is the sole DP on the Amazon Series, This Giant Beast That is the Global Economy, a humorous look at the interconnectedness of money on a global level, hosted by Kal Penn and created by Academy Award winning director Adam McKay and Will Ferrell. The series includes narrative interstitials with guest stars featuring Zach Galifianakis, Megan Trainor, Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Rashida Jones, Rob Cordry, Colin Hanks, and Patton Oswald.

ALICE Brooks (DP)

Alice Brooks is a cinematographer who has photographed award-winning features, music videos, and commercials. Her 2019 work includes IN THE HEIGHTS for Warner Bros. directed by Jon M. Chu and HOME BEFORE DARK (pilot and season one) for Apple TV+, Paramount TV and Anonymous Content (produced by Dana Fox, Dara Resnik and Joy Gorman). Recent work includes the soon to be releases NEVER TOO LATE (dir. Michael Lembeck, starring Ellen Burstyn and James Caan), the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION (directors Farah Khalid and Lisa Cortes), ALEX AND ME for Warner Bros., and TOM CLANCY’S GHOST RECON WILDLANDS for Amazon and Ubisoft.


Emmy winner Austin De Besche is a cinematographer whose documentaries and feature work include: Marathon: The Return of the Secaucus Seven, I’m a Stranger Here Myself, The Patriots’ Day Bombing (HBO), The New Yorker Presents (Season 1), Enlighten Up, Secrecy, The Night James Brown Saved Boston (VH1), The Truth About Cancer (PBS). American Experience: George H.W. Bush (PBS), Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick? (PBS), Style World (Season 1), Strong Women Live Well (PBS), Wild Web (CBS), The Love Letter (DreamWorks), and Voices of the Children (PBS).

Tom Curley (Sound)

Thomas Curley, CAS is an Academy Award and BAFTA winning production sound mixer based in Los Angeles, California. Hailing from the NY capital district, Thomas studied engineering, film theory, history and production before graduating with a BA in Film Study at the University of Buffalo. After years of broadcast engineering for Fox and NBC affiliates WXXA and WNYT, and set PA work, Thomas met multiple Academy Award winner David MacMillan in 2001. While working as a set PA on Dreamworks “The Time Machine” in Troy, NY. David graciously introduced Thomas to the world of Location Sound Recording,. Six months later, Thomas moved to Los Angeles to pursue production sound full time. Since then, he has worked almost incessantly, and continues to pursue feature film and television work. After only a year in LA, Thomas was sworn in to IATSE Local 695. In February, 2008, Thomas was inducted into the Cinema Audio Society, and after winning the Academy Award for mixing “Whiplash” in 2015, Thomas was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Thomas maintains a provisional membership in the Television Academy, and is an avid inventor, photographer and writer as well.

Lai-San Ho (Editor)

Beginning as a Tufts student in the camera department on OLD GUY, Ho continued to work with Five Sisters Productions on subsequent projects as an editor on shorts and commercials. She was assistant editor on Ellen Brodsky Films documentary “The Year We Thought About Love,” Co-Editor on the feature “A Sort of Homecoming” (Amazon), and worked as an editor on multiple TV series: “Grandfathered” (ABC), “Drew” (CBS), “Doubt” (CBS), and currently edits “This Is Us” on NBC.

Eduardo Larez (Post Sound Mix)

On the music mixing/production side, Ed has been awarded so far with 4 latin GRAMMY nominations, 1 NARAS GRAMMY nomination and 1 Latin GRAMMY.  Ed has been running Visionear studios since the year 2000, were he does mixing/recording, dialogue restoration, mastering and he creates original music compositions for picture/multimedia projects and many Award winning productions, shorts, movies and documentaries. As a live sound mixing engineer Ed works with renown Artist Draco Rosa, The band Kinky, Omar Torrez and los Amigos Invisibles. On his electronic music projects he has released records with several European electronic music labels including SOG records-Sweden, Fabric-London, Release records-Canada, Bazooka München-Germany, and OV-Silence-Hamburg, Germany.

Linda Ross Girard (CostumeR)

Linda Ross Girard has been the faculty costume designer at Tufts since 2007. Linda’s costume designs have been seen on New York stages and at regional theatres around the country, including 2econd Stage, The Alley Theatre, Hartford Stage, and Seattle Repertory Theatre. While primarily focusing on costume design for the theater, she has also designed costumes for dance and film, designed lighting for theatre, and assisted costume designers on projects for film, television and opera. She was the associate costume designer on numerous theatre productions including Broadway and London’s West End. Favorite projects include working with Tony Kushner on Homebody/Kabul at New York Theatre Workshop, August Wilson’s Jitney at the Alley in Houston, Heart of Grace for the Chinese-American dance company H.T. Chen and Dancers, and Our Class and the web series Old Guy here at Tufts. She also has worked as a specialty costume painter/distresser and makeup artist. Locally she has designed costumes and/or makeup for productions at Newton Nomad Theatre, Firehouse Theatre of Marblehead, and Salem Theatre Company.


Ted Simpson is a Lecturer and Set Designer. Ted has designed over 100 shows for various theaters throughout the northeast. His work has been seen at George Street Playhouse, The Delaware Theater Company, Capital Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, and numerous summer theaters throughout New York and New England. Locally his work has been seen at The Lyric Stage, Merrimack Repertory Theater, The North Shore Music Theater, The Firehouse, The Nora Theater, The Hasty Pudding Theater and New Repertory Theater, to name a few. In addition Ted served as the resident designer for the Brevard Music Center for three seasons, designing operas and musicals in the hills of North Carolina. In New York he designed a half dozen Off-Broadway plays including a recent revival of Rhinoceros, Cotton Patch Gospel and The Good Doctor. Also in New York, Mr. Simpson was an assistant designer on many Broadway shows, and served on the design staff for the Late Show With David Letterman and The Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey. In addition to design work, Ted has also worked extensively as a scenic artist painting scenery and back-drops for theaters, rental houses and opera and ballet companies throughout the country. Ted has an MFA from Brandeis University where he studied set and lighting design.

Rhonda Cummings (Boston Makeup/Hair)

Rhonda Diorio Cummings is a Key Makeup Artist & Hair who helms Face Forward Inc.  Face Forward is a makeup training organization that instructs on the artistry of makeup and hair.  She has worked on all the Five Sisters’ HALF THE HISTORY film series about underrepresented women in American history, during which she mentors students interested in the field of hair and makeup.

TUFTS Production Team

Austin Bening, Michael Grant, Josh Grelle, Lai-San Ho, Lia Kastrinakis, Kendall Lord, Sam Plasmati, Katia Torres, Kaveh Veyssi, Bruce Wang, Isabel Fernandez, Marco Sheng