Leigh London, BA’00, named vice president, CBS TV drama development

Stages, Alumni NewsletterLeigh London, BA’00, headed for California shortly after her graduation from IU with majors in theatre and drama and English. Starting as a mail clerk at the Agency for the Performing Arts, a midsize talent and literary agency, she was promoted quickly to be the assistant to the head of the Television Literary Department of the agency. Today, London is the vice president of drama development of CBS/Paramount Network Television. Married in 2004 to IU alumnus Tim Redman, BA’03, London’s still-young work life is the epitome of the liberal arts/theatre ideal. Most impressively, she has moved quickly up the work ladder to executive level. During her IU Department of Theatre and Drama years, London pursued theatre studies widely and actively. One of her first projects was with department dramaturg Tom Shafer as a research assistant. London was an active participant in the founding and development of University Players. She assumed the leadership of the young organization in her junior and senior years as artistic director. Her culminating achievement was to direct Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde as a workshop project. She performed in departmental productions as well, perhaps most notably in the Brown County Playhouse production of Wait Until Dark. Rounding out her leadership with the department, London was selected by her peers to represent them on the Student Advisory Board. The department rightly recognized London for her work and achievements with the Nota Scholl McGreevey Scholarship in 1999, and the Theatre Circle named her the Outstanding Theatre Major in 2000. London moved from her first position with the Agency for the Performing Arts (the firm that represented the majority of the Law & Order writing staff and the creator of 24) to CBS Productions in 2001. The next year, she became the manager of drama series for CBS. During that time, she wrote Department of Theatre and Drama friends that the work was “a lot like producing nine University Players productions every other week.” Among the CBS television programs London has had a hand in developing are Judging Amy, Joan of Arcadia, Cold Case, and Without a Trace. In 2003, she became the director of drama development. Criminal Minds, Ghost Whispers, and Jericho were among the developmental projects in which she participated. London was recently promoted to vice president of drama development. The newest shows she has worked on include Cane, starring Jimmy Smits; Viva Laughlin, a musical; Life Is Wild, a family drama set in South Africa; and Swingtown, about swingers in the ’70s. London sees regularly a number of fellow IU alumni in Los Angeles: Sara Weiser, BA’00, Sandy Hall, BA’00, and Vanessa Gedney, BA’00, were bridesmaids at London’s wedding. Matt Zion, BA’00, was a witness. David Zack, BA’00, and Trey Teufel, BA’99, round out the group. London recently wrote, “I still treasure my years at IU as the best time of my life.” Clearly it is a life — and work — that impressively combines and exemplifies her IU studies. London is a graduate the Department of Theatre and Drama is proud of and greatly admires.
Charles L. Railsback (Stages, Department of Theatre and Drama Alumni Newsletter, Winter 2007-08)