Tamara Stern began optioning and selling screenplays while still a student at UCLA. After college she wrote several scripts on assignment and then began making films. Her first short film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and then internationally at the Cannes Festival. Her first feature as writer/director won the grand prize at six film festivals, including South by Southwest. After marrying and having two children, Tamara focused on documentary filmmaking for a period, directing two films, including The Chicano Collection an examination of the Chicano art movement for Cheech Marin. The film has been used to teach children about Chicano art in schools and museums throughout the US. Tamara then formed Productive Playhouse with partner Harry Ralston and as a first project, developed a children’s multiple foreign language series and curriculum with the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena. Tamara’s talent and insight as a writer, director, producer and mother of two has deeply shaped Productive Playhouse, and helped the company to win many of its awards and sell millions of dollars of our children’s series.
After graduating from Syracuse University, Harry Ralston entered advertising as a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson and worked as a writer and creative director at several agencies, including Bozell, Leo Burnett, Jordan McGrath and Y&R creating award-winning advertising for Coleco, Revlon, Minolta, the NY Times, Nestle, Tropicana, and Burger King, among others. He then traveled and worked as a writer in Mexico, emerging in Los Angeles, where he wrote and directed his first feature, The Last Man, an award-winning comedy released by Lion’s Gate. Harry spent the next several years writing screenplay assignments for producers, and in collaboration with writer/director Roger Avary. Additionally, Harry wrote on TV shows for MTV, Paramount, Animal Planet, and Comedy Central. He and Tamara Stern formed Productive Playhouse in 2008 and met with immediate success, producing, writing and directing several children’s series over the following years, focused on teaching fundamental skills. To date the company’s work has won nine parenting and educational awards.
After NYU Film school, Tom worked with writing/directing partner Alex Winter to create music videos for various bands including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, television comedy for MTV, and feature films for 20th Century Fox and Walt Disney Pictures. He then created and directed TV shows for Comedy Central, MTV, The Cartoon Network, Turner Broadcasting and ABC Television, among many others. His series The Andy Milonakis Show and Crank Yankers have joined the ranks of cult comedy legend. Tom most recently produced and directed the show Marc Saves America for MTV and will be working with Productive Playhouse on an upcoming children series for Warner Brothers.
Cathy grew up in Southern California, where she attended California State University Long Beach and graduated with a BA in Child Development and Family Studies.
Nathaniel studied film and media at the University of Florida. In 2009, he drove across the country to pursue filmmaking in Los Angeles. After interning at Productive Playhouse for several months, he was invited to join the Productive Playhouse team as an editor. He has expanded his role to include graphic art and has contributed as a writer.
Colleen is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She received a BFA in Experimental Animation from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and her work focuses on computer animation, traditional animation and illustration.
David received a film production BA from UC Santa Cruz In 2009 and works as an editor for Productive Playhouse. He resides in Hollywood and whenever he isn’t working on his myriad film projects, he might sneak in a little video game time here and there.
Tim Burns has written, composed and performed for children’s television for many years, with scripts for The Muppets, a current series for The Disney Channel, and two Emmy awards for his PBS Sprout children’s music.
David Arnott has written, composed and performed for television, theater and film for the last twenty years. His credits include music for Steven Spielberg’s Casper the Ghost series on Fox Family Channel, various shows for Tim Robbin’s The Actor’s Gang company and his Ascap-award winning score for the musical Clube.