Julie Miller Romeo is the creator and director of the Fairy Tale Trials. As Director ofPublic Affairs for the Circuit Court of Cook County (1986-97), she developed the Fairy Tale Trials and then produced a professional touring children's theater ensemble to bring comprehensive law-related education to the Chicago Public Schools. With the support of a federal grant, she adapted the material to meet the needs of at-risk adolescents, produced an award-winning educational film, and created a course for middle-school students at Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development. After moving to New Jersey to start a family of her own, she founded and directed New Life Montessori Midland Park, NJ from 2003-07. Since then, she has home schooled her two
daughters while teaching classes to students (ages 8-17) in a wide array of settings: home school, public school, at-risk after-school, & gifted and talented. She has developed workshops, educational theater productions, and summer intensives based on the Fairy Tale Trials, as well as classes focusing on writing, rhetorical skills, public speaking and debate. Julie has a B.A. in English Literature from Smith College and an M.A. in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.
Mary Scruggs was the head of the Writing and Educational Programs at the Second City Training Center in Chicago. She also created a variety of courses and programs to teach creative writing to young people, incorporating the theories and practices of improvisation. Mary collaborated and co-authored a The Fairy Tale Trials with Julie Romeo for the Circuit Court of Cook County. She was also an artist-in-residence at schools throughout Chicago, where she used improvisational exercises to create stories and build literacy skills. These projects culminated in a book that she co-wrote on improvisation in the classroom. Mary holds a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University. She was married with one son and living in Chicago, when, sadly she passed away in 2009. She was a great writer and great friend to all who knew her.
Dan Coyne is a clinical Professor of Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law. He serves as legal consultant to the Fairy Tale Trials, and taught the course for Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development. He then went on to develop a high school curriculum based on the Fairy Trials, storytelling, and the law. In 2002, Professor Coyne was named by Chicago Magazine in its "Thirty Tough Lawyers" feature. He has been active in the Appleseed Fund for Justice Research project focusing on the Chicago felony court system, and in 2007, he was named Faculty member of the year by the Chicago-Kent Student Bar Association