C.J. ARELLANO is a Chicago-based award-winning screenwriter and director who specializes in queer-themed, comedic, and sci-fi content. He has directed several web series, including the gay sketch comedy project, John Loos: Too Big for This World, which screened at the New York Television Festival in July 2018. He has directed video for globally renowned brands such as McDonald’s, ConAgra Foods, and The Second City. C.J.’s feature screenplays have won grand prizes at the New York Screenplay Contest and Columbia College Chicago’s Written Image Contest.
It was an instant yes from me when comedy writer-performer Julia DiFerdinando asked me to help her bring “The Coat Room” to life. With biting insight and aching humor, her writing explores how we yearn for connection and discover uncomfortable truths about ourselves. To key the viewer into her character’s ambivalent emotional state, I wanted the coat room setting itself to ooze two things at once: the delicious promise of a fun night ahead, and that creeping FOMO feeling that the fun might be happening in the next room. With this collection of sharp Chicago comedy talent presiding over our heroine’s journey of growth, I hope viewers find that the fun is happening right in front of them. Please enjoy “The Coat Room.”