Adapting Fellow Travelers: Ron Nyswaner and Gregory Spears in Conversation

Join us for an exclusive conversation event featuring acclaimed screenwriter and producer Ron Nyswaner, the creative force behind the celebrated limited TV series “Fellow Travelers,” alongside leading contemporary composer Gregory Spears, whose opera adaptation of the same novel has enraptured audiences nationwide. Explore the intricacies of adapting Thomas Mallon’s compelling narrative into two distinct mediums, delving into the fusion of music, storytelling, and social commentary. From navigating the complexities of transposing historical narratives to the creative synergy between collaborators, this event offers a rare insight into the transformative journey of artistic adaptation.


Date: June 14, 2024

Time: 6:30pm

Venue: Manny’s – 3092 16th St, San Francisco

Cost: $15

Ticket link:


Ron Nyswaner is the creator/executive producer of the acclaimed limited series, Fellow Travelers. Other television credits: Ray Donovan; Homeland; the HBO true crime series, Murder on Middle Beach and the MSNBC documentary feature, Loan Wolves. Feature screenplays: Philadelphia, My Policeman, Soldier’s Girl, The Painted Veil, Freeheld, Mrs. Soffel, and Smithereens. He produced and directed the documentary feature She’s the Best Thing In It that premiered at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival; is the author of Blue Days Black Nights: A Memoir of Desire. Awards include nominations for Academy, Emmy, BAFTA, Writers Guild, Golden Globe, and Spirit Awards, winning the National Board of Review’s Best Adapted Screenplay Award, a Peabody Award, two GLAAD Awards, and the Writers Guild of America, East’s Walter Bernstein Award that honors writers “who have demonstrated with creativity, grace, and bravery, a willingness to confront social injustice in the face of adversity.”

Gregory Spears is a New York-based composer who has been commissioned by The New York Philharmonic, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Santa Fe Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seraphic Fire, The Crossing, Volti, BMI/Concert Artists Guild, Vocal Arts DC, New York Polyphony, The New York International Piano Competition, the JACK Quartet, and The New York Youth Symphony among others. Spears’ 21-movement solo piano cycle “Seven Days” was released in the form of a custom-designed mobile app produced by the 92Y in fall 2021. His opera “Castor and Patience”, written in collaboration with Tracy K. Smith, premiered in 2022 at Cincinnati Opera and was nominated for an International Opera Award and was a New York Times “Critic’s Pick.” Spears and Smith’s latest opera “The Righteous” was commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera and will receive its world premiere there in summer 2024. Spears’ opera, “Fellow Travelers”, written in collaboration with Greg Pierce, premiered at Cincinnati Opera in 2016 and will have its 14th production this season. The premiere was featured in The New York Times’ Best in Classical Music for 2016, and Cincinnati Opera released a commercial CD recording in 2017. His music is published by Schott Music and Schott PSNY.

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Jun 14 2024


6:30 pm - 8:00 pm