Emmy Award Nominee Aron Eli Coleite is an author of multiple works for the stage, screen and comic books. His background in theatre includes work as the Literary Manager, Dramaturg and ultimately, Artistic Director of Santa Monica’s Powerhouse Theatre Company. Aron currently serves as a co-executive producer and writer on the new Oren Peli/Steven Spielberg TV series, "The River," premiering on ABC in 2012. His prior television credits include "Party of Five" and the NBC crime drama "Crossing Jordan." Most recently, he served as a writer/producer on the hit NBC series "Heroes." For his work on Heroes, Aron was nominated for an Emmy Award and won a People’s Choice, TV Land, and Saturn Award. He is currently writing a pilot for a new CBS series to be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, a project for the Sci-Fi Network with acclaimed television and theatre producer Bill Haber, and a feature film for 20th Century Fox. Aron is known to comic book fans around the world for his work on Marvel’s Ultimate X-Men and creating the series Vice and The Covenant for Top Cow Comics.
Aron's Off-Broadway show, "The Family Room," is making it's NYC Premiere from September 30-October 23 "The Family Room," according to press notes tells the story of "fifteen-year-old David who wants to be a typical teenager, angry with everyone, especially his parents - two therapists who treat David like just another patient. But in this world even therapists have therapists, and with David’s rage mounting, and his parents’ marriage on the rocks, every member of the family finds themselves in treatment, and no one is getting any better. When David secretly tapes his father’s sessions with a troubled girl from David’s school and uses his knowledge to begin a budding romance – lives collide, therapists become patients, parents act like children and two teenagers must decide whether big problems can be solved by friendship alone. Heartbreaking, hilarious and perceptive, The Family Room, takes an incisive swipe at the dizzying revolving door of therapists in therapy, and the moments of true intimacy that stop us cold." "The Family Room" will play from September 30-October 23 at the ArcLight Theater (152 West 71st Street). Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired you to become a producer/writer? My Brother, Adam. He introduced me to theater and movies and music. I was the annoying gnat who just wanted to hang out in his room while he listened to Monty Python on vinyl. He’s brilliant. I’m still trying to measure up.
2. Who is the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? There’s not one. But 237. Maybe 238. I’m thankful for the people I have worked with.
3. What made you want to write "The Family Room" and what do you hope audiences come away with after seeing the show? What excites you most about having a run in NYC? The Family Room is a play I wanted to write since I was 13. My Father was a psychologist and one afternoon, after I got in trouble for setting off a smoke bomb (I was pursuing my first career choice of becoming a ninja) I overheard him talking to his own psychologist. It blew my mind. A psychologist has a psychologist. My mother, who’s also a psychologist, explained she too had a psychologist. And furthermore, my parents were in couples counseling with a third therapist. With all of these therapists in therapy it was a wonder that anyone saw any real patients…I wrote the play after my father passed away almost 10 years ago. It was my way of grieving.
I’m excited and thankful to Gwenyth Reitz, Steve Margetis and ETHOS for the NYC run because it gave me an opportunity to return the piece. I didn’t realize, but I wasn’t finished working on it. And I think it’s a moving and funny piece for New York audiences.
4. How has "The Family Room" grown/changed since it's premiere in 2004? I’ve changed tremendously over the past 7 years. Not only professionally, having worked on almost 100 hours of television, but more importantly – I now have 2 amazing children. Eden 6, and Daniella 4. Whereas before, I found myself writing from the POV of the son in the play – I was stunned to discover I now have more in common and more sympathy for the father. It’s a strange perspective shift for me, but I feel it made the play more grounded – That and, I hope I’ve become a better writer --
5. What's your favorite part in the creative process in putting a show together? Where's your favorite place to write? I’m a big believer and fan of collaboration. It’s why I got into TV. Because there’s a writing staff. A team working together to make something incredible. It’s been a very different process having a play produced in NYC and living in LA. So, I’ve cherished the phone conversations and artistic collaboration between Gwen and myself over these past 10 months. As well as Steve and Ethos. They’re fantastic producing partners.
My favorite place to write, is not a where so much as when – I usually get my best work down in the wee hour – around 12 or 1 am – after the kids have gone to sleep and everything is quiet.
6. What have you learned about yourself from being a producer/writer? That I have a lot of issues and I usually express them on the page. Saves me a lot of money on therapy bills, but it also may embarrass people in the know.
7. What was the best part about working on "Heroes"? "Heroes" is where I grew the most in the shortest amount of time. Working under the wing of some incredible writers – Tim Kring, Bryan Fuller, Jesse Alexander, Jeph Loeb, Michael Green, Joe Pokaski. These writers are still some of my best friends.
8. What attracted you to being a writer on "Crossing Jordan" and "Ultimate X-Men" Marvel Comics? I started on "Crossing Jordan" as a Researcher. And initially I didn’t want the job. My father had just passed away and I wasn’t exactly racing to work on a TV show about the MORGUE. But after meeting Tim Kring I knew I had to take the gig. And I’m thankful every day that I did. Tim changed my life, first by staffing me on "Crossing Jordan" and then bringing me over to "Heroes." I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without Tim’s support and friendship.
The job on "Heroes" and my good friend Jeph Loeb led me to getting an arc writing for "Ultimate X-Men." I’ve been collecting comics since I was a kid (I still go to the comic book shop every Wednesday), and this was a dream job. I’m thankful I had the opportunity to write the characters I loved so much growing up.
9. How did you come to work with Oren Peli/Steven Spielberg on the upcoming ABC TV Series "The River"? What have you learned from working with them? What are you looking forward to most about the show and what can you reveal about the new series? A writer named Michael Green created the show along with Oren Peli and Steven Spielberg. I’ve known Michael since "Heroes" and when I saw the pilot for "The River" I knew I had to work on that show…It’s unlike anything that’s been on television. Fun. Frightening. I’ve never written anything like it. These scripts have been kicking my ass, but they are – kick ass. I can’t say much about the show – sworn to secrecy, but it is an incredibly entertaining roller coaster ride every week – scary and human – and it’s going to be amazing.
10. What's the best advice you've ever received? Say thank you. No one can make it in this business, in life, without help. Everyone has had someone give them a hand, an opportunity, an introduction along the way. I’m thankful every single day that I get the opportunity to write for a living and to everyone who has supported me along the way. Humility is important. There are 1000s of talented writers. I’m fortunate.
11. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My wife Tracy, I’ve been working so much, I hardly ever to get to see her – it’d be nice to have some alone time.
12. Favorite way to spend your day off? What’s a day off?
13. Favorite website? Apple.com/trailers. I rarely get to go to the movies, so I watch the trailers instead.
14. Boxers or Briefs? Depends. Not the undergarment, depends on what I’m doing.