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Ali MacLean

RespectAbility Entertainment Professionals Lab, Summer 2020

Ali McLean smiling with her hand on her chin

Ali McLean

Ali MacLean is an award-winning TV writer, playwright, actor and director in Los Angeles. She is a graduate of the Miami University actor’s program and the LaJolla Playhouse acting conservatory, and has worked on comedies such as THE JIMMY KIMMEL SHOW, CAN’T HARDLY WAIT, HBO’s MR. SHOW, and THE GREEN ROOM with PAUL PROVENZA.

Her screenplays have been a Chesterfield Writer’s Project semi-finalist, a Scriptapalooza semi-finalist, a WeScreenplay Diverse Voices finalist, a Screencraft semi-finalist, an Orchard Project finalist, an IFP Filmmakers Program finalist, a 2015 Women in Film Mentor recipient, and the 2018 Writer For Writer Fellowship recipient.

MacLean has written for various networks, including MTV, VH-1, FOX and POP TV. After almost 20 years of writing comedy, MacLean decided to return to her first love, the theatre. Her goal in writing plays of a more serious nature was to explore why people behave the way that they do and to rediscover empathy – something the world seems to be short on these days. Her latest work pushes the envelope with thought-provoking current topics seen through the lens of the humans experiencing them.

Her first award-winning play, She’s Not There, unflinchingly portrays how depression can isolate a person and how suicide can devastate the lives around them. Since then, her other plays Wolves At The Door, This Will Be Our Year, and I’ll Call You Mine also have won fellowships, workshops, and productions, as well as garnering a lot of praise. She is currently a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Playwrights Unit, Antaeus Theatre’s Playwrights Lab, and the Dramatists Guild.


After an extensive search and interview process, 30 individuals were invited to participate in RespectAbility’s Summer 2020 Lab for Entertainment Professionals. This 5-week, 15-session virtual summer Lab series for people interested in – and with experience in – development, production and post-production, including careers as writers, directors, producers, cinematographers, animators and other production roles, will take place June 16 – July 16, 2020. Participants include diverse people with physical, cognitive, sensory, mental health and other disabilities. Learn more:

This program, which continues building the talent pipeline of young professionals with disabilities looking to work behind the scenes, is made possible with support by:

  • Platinum Sponsors: Murray/Reese Foundation and The Walt Disney Company
  • Gold Sponsors: Cast & Crew, Comcast NBCUniversal and Final Draft
  • Silver Sponsors: Fox Corporation and Sony Pictures Entertainment

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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