Watch This Too Shall Pass: Creativity in the Time of COVID-19

Written by: The Exchange

Watch our co-presentation with Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences for:

This Too Shall Pass: Creativity in the Time of COVID-19

In our third installment of this event series, we explore the pandemic’s impact on mainstream storytelling. Join us as we discuss how stories may rely on, could be inspired by, and will reflect (or potentially ignore) this extraordinary world event. This thought-provoking conversation, moderated by film producer Gillian Bohrer, will include a diverse set of perspectives represented by novelist Kevin O’Brien, playwright Lauren Gunderson, and screenwriter Deric Hughes.


Lauren Gunderson is a playwright, screenwriter and children’s book author and has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will. Her audio play The Half-Life of Marie Curie is now out on Audible. She lives in San Francisco and is on the Aspen Institute Science and Society Committee.

Deric A. Hughes is a Co-Executive Producer/writer for television, features, video/mobile games, and comic books. He is best known for his TV work on Syfy Channel’s Warehouse 13, CW’s Beauty & the Beast, The Flash, MTV’s Scream: Season 3, CW’s Arrow, and most recently, CW’s Legacies.

Kevin O’Brien’s railroad job took him all over the Pacific Northwest, and he wrote most of his first novel, Actors (1987), in Best Westerns and Red Lions. His second book, Only Son (1997) was optioned for film rights thanks to interest from Tom Hanks. Kevin has turned out New York Times best-selling thrillers, and his books have been translated into fourteen languages. He’s working on his 22nd novel, The Night She Disappeared, from Kensington Books in 2021.


Gillian Bohrer is a partner in Megamix Productions alongside writer/director Jonathan Levine. She was previously Co-President of Production at Lionsgate, and Executive Vice President at Fox 2000 Pictures. In her 16 years as a studio executive, Gillian oversaw the Twilight Saga, which grossed over $3.3 billion at the worldwide box office. Additionally, Gillian oversaw the production of 6-time Oscar winner La La Land, Wonder, The Glass Castle, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.