On September 11, the Hallmark Channel will premiere Fairfield Road, which was written by screenwriter Tracy Abrams Rosen ’92. She counts it as one of her proudest accomplishments. The movie stars Jesse Metcalfe from “Desperate Housewives.” He plays the Fairfield Road main character, Noah McManus, a political strategist whose life comes crashing down when he loses his job and discovers his girlfriend has been cheating on him. Prior to this movie, Rosen wrote Daniel’s Daughter, which aired on the Hallmark Channel in 2008.
At Wheaton, the political science major treasured the challenges that pushed her out of her comfort zone and prepared her for a fast-paced career, which has included writing for the television show “Felicity.” After graduation her first job was as an intern for a Sunday morning show at an ABC affiliate. She then worked on the assignment desk, which she says was like “working in an emergency room on Halloween. Every moment was a heart attack.... It was simultaneously nauseating and exhilarating. But I was a poli sci major and loved the intensity.”
She eventually moved to Los Angeles, where she was an assistant on “Felicity.” “I wrote a spec script for the producers to read the week we first aired. They gave me an episode to write. Then I co-wrote another one with my brother [writer/director/producer J.J. Abrams]. Then I wrote for E! Entertainment and a bit for MTV. I also wrote a pilot, which was turned into Fairfield Road.” The movie takes place in a fictitious town on Cape Cod, for which the screenwriter has a fondness. While attending Wheaton, Rosen and Kimberly Emrick ’92 would drive to the Cape on random weekends just for fun and a fancy, nondining-hall dinner.
Rosen comes from a talented show business family that includes her brother J.J. Abrams (co-creator of “Felicity,” “Alias,” “Lost” and “Fringe”), and parents Peabody award winner Carol Abrams and Gerald Abrams, who produced Fairfield Road. Ironically, she points out, that being a class notes secretary for the Quarterly helped lead her to writing movie scripts. Her brother read her writing in the magazine and encouraged her to write long form pieces. “So it was basically through Wheaton that I felt like what I was writing was good enough and further gave me the chance to write for a bigger audience. Wheaties were my first audience, I guess. Funny.”