Scranton Native Stephen Karam to Open Northeastern Pennsylvania Film Festival

What happens when you put two national critically-acclaimed creatives (who happen to be from Scranton) on stage together? Find out on April 1 when the American Advertising Federation’s award-winning Helen Lavelle digs deep into conversation with Tony Award-winning playwright, screenwriter, author, and filmmaker Stephen Karam. 

Join the conversation at opening night of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Film Festival Friday, April 1 at 6 p.m. at the Waverly Community House, 1115 N. Abington Road in Waverly. 

Join other filmmakers, community arts advocates, and your movie buff friends as Lavelle quizzes Karam to learn the following: 

How did a guy from Scranton take an idea that began at his kitchen table, turn it into a script, bring The Humans to Broadway, and win the coveted Tony Award for Best Play? 

And, if that fairy tale outcome wasn’t enough, what drove Stephen Karam to dig even deeper to adapt The Humans to a major motion picture? 

During COVID? 

That’s just the beginning of the conversation and a weekend that celebrates the arts and shines a light on NEPA filmmaking talent. 

Meet Stephen Karam at The Evolution of The Humans from Stage to Screen April 1, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Waverly Community House, 1115 N. Abington Road in Waverly.

Following a cocktail reception and the conversation, the Festival will host a screening of The Humans, Karam’s first feature film.

Lavelle said, “I am thrilled to welcome Stephen Karam back home. I’m excited to engage in a candid conversation, which is bound to inspire. Everyone needs to be here because this promises to be a night you won’t forget.”

The evening is sponsored by Lackawanna County Arts and Culture, WVIA, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, O’Boyle Real Estate, Gails Cupboard, The River 105 FM & 103.5 FM, Toyota of Scranton, and F. Lammot Belin Arts Foundation. 

To purchase tickets for the event, visit

For more information about the NEPA Film Festival, which will be held April 1-3 at the historic Ritz Theater on Wyoming Avenue in downtown Scranton, visit

NEPA Film Festival

Opening night festivities at the Northeast Pennsylvania Film Festival to feature Tony award winning playwright, screenwriter, author, filmmaker and Scranton native Stephen Karam, and screening of his first feature film, an adaptation of “The Humans” for A24 films. This inspiring conversation will be moderated by our CEO and Chief Creative Strategist Helen Lavelle! 

6:00PM Cocktail Reception

7:00PM “A Conversation with Stephen Karam: Evolution of “The Humans” from Stage to Screen” Moderated by Helen Lavelle

8:00PM   Screening of “The Humans.”

Helen Lavelle is a nationally-recognized leader in the advertising industry and the owner of Lavelle Strategy Group in Scranton. Ms. Lavelle is also an artist and an advocate for the arts in all genres. Her figurative, landscape and abstract work is held in corporate and private collections worldwide.

Stephen Karam is the Tony Award-winning author of The HumansSons of the Prophet and Speech & Debate. For his work he’s received two Drama Critics Circle Awards, an OBIE Award and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.