Allison Engel

Journalist and author Allison Engel is the associate director of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities at the University of Southern California. She also covers Classical KUSC and the arts schools at USC. In 2009 she received an MA in screenwriting from USC. Later that year, she and her twin sister Margaret wrote a play, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins, that had a record-breaking premiere in Philadelphia with Kathleen Turner in the lead role.

The play has gone on to record-breaking runs in Austin (Zach Theatre), Los Angeles (Geffen Playhouse) and is currently setting box office records at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., again starring Kathleen Turner.

Engel is a journalism graduate of Iowa State University, which named her its inaugural Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair. After working as a reporter at the Des Moines Tribune and San Jose Mercury, she was selected as a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. She also has been an editor at Pacific News Service.

Engel has been president of the Des Moines Playhouse, speechwriter for the Governor and Lt. Governor of Iowa and has written for many national newspapers and magazines. She and her twin also wrote three editions of the HarperCollins book, Food Finds: America's Best Local Foods and the People Who Produce Them, which they then produced as a long-running television show for Food Network.