Jeff Christian

writing for the screen, stage and publication


From 30-second spots to full-length stage plays, detail in character development, human nature and plot result in resonant stories that affect an audience.  See below for a representative sample of the breadth of clients and work.


Commercial Work

Screenvision – head writer of 55 episodes of a national movie preshow (w/ digital kitchen)

Digital Kitchen creative — development work for HBO, PBS, Universal, Microsoft and others

A&E – contributing creative/comedy copywriter for website (w/ digital kitchen)

Sarofsky creative – development work and pitch writing

Tessera Publishing – writer of website and promotional material; editor of product copy; created company name

American Academy of Pediatricians – creative director and writer of promotional videos (w/ The Shadow Gang)

Frightline – co-writer of animated short shown nationally (w/ digital kitchen)

Man in the Seats – writer of 6 comedy segments shown nationally (w/ digital kitchen)

Connections – writer of Microsoft promotional short (w/ digital kitchen)

Mail Day – writer of Microsoft promotional short (w/ digital kitchen)

Picture This – writer of Microsoft promotional short (w/ digital kitchen)

Fan on the Street – writer/director/host of Chicago Blackhawks piece (w/ digital kitchen)

Interbrand Schecter – three years of freelance naming, focus group and market research analysis work

Paul Simon for President – regional advance man and press secretary

UW Sports News – Wisconsin Athletic Department staff writer of features and releases for three years


Stage Work

Hometown Holiday – head sketch writer for four seasons of live and broadcast shows

Act Now Improv – co-head writer for two years of weekly sketch comedy and improv shows

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago – adaptor of 12 different classical works produced by the company


Screenplays

US Sharks

A Midwestern electronics store serves as a microcosm of America, circa 1988.  “Newbie” JC Pepin quickly finds out that on the sales floor it’s swim with the sharks or sleep with the fishes in this ensemble comedy. 

Land of the Free

As if having Quinn’s childhood friend in the house weren’t bad enough, Staci invites an actor to stay with them during his run of Othello.  Add rage, jealousy, alcohol and firearms to the mix as this dark comedy takes aim at the American qualities of racism, classism and sexism.  The screen version of the play.


Original Stage Plays

Land of the Free                

As if having Quinn’s childhood friend in the house weren’t bad enough, Staci invites an actor to stay with them during his run of Othello.  Add rage, jealousy, alcohol and firearms to the mix as this dark comedy takes aim at the American qualities of racism, classism and sexism.  Written with Mark Ulrich, the play has been produced at The Artistic Home Studio, providing emotional grist for the actors and post-show debate fodder for the audience.  3 men, 1 woman.

A More Perfect Union

Perhaps Gabe is just too good a person to be elected to public office; that is, until Mackenzie takes over his campaign.  Politics, both professional and personal, are examined in this tragi-comic (im)morality tale.  A new play awaiting production.  2 men, 3 women.

Crate Expectations

Whether one’s box is literal or figurative, there’s a scary, wonderful, exciting world outside of it.  More a neo-vaudevillian experience than a standard play, Crate Expectations features two clowns and a classically trained opera singer.  Written with Nathan Carver, the show delighted audiences of all ages at Chicago Dramatists.  2 men, 1 woman.

Cruise Control

A young couple’s lives will never be the same after taking their car to this garage.  Attacking religious hypocrisy and zealotry, the ten minute dark comedy was produced by The Artistic Home Festival in their second annual Cut to the Chase Festival.  1 man, 2 women.


Stage Adaptations

The Cricket on the Hearth (Dickens)

On the eve of the new year of 1860, the Peerybingle household is turned upside down when a mysterious old stranger comes to visit.  A heart-warming Dickensian seasonal tale of love and redemption… that isn’t A Christmas Carol.  Produced by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago and Seanachai Theatre Company, discussions are underway for a remount in late 2016.  4 men, 4 women.

50 Minute Hamlet (Shakespeare)

Retaining the passion, poetry and pathos of Shakespeare’s masterpiece, the play boils the action down to one class period.  Utilizing minimal narration and the props contained in a bag, one actor assays the melancholy Dane while his female counterpart takes on every other character.  The cornerstone of The Shakespeare Project of Chicago’s  educational outreach program since 2002, the show has been performed in Chicago’s public and private schools — as well as throughout the Midwest.  1 man, 1 woman.

Babbitt (Sinclair Lewis) 

A middle-aged man thinks he has all the answers until his world collapses around him.  Exploring the themes of identity, empathy and existentialism within the context of pursuing The American Dream, the adaptation of the classic novel brings to life the family of anti-hero George F. Babbitt and his 1920’s town of Zenith.  A new play awaiting production.  7 men, 5 women.

In Medea Res (Euripides)

It’s all Delphic to Creon.  The classic story of Medea and Jason is the jumping off point for this irreverent, contemporary and often funny reworking of Euripides’ tragedy.  First produced by Aspect Theatre and subsequently by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.  3 men, 3 women.

The Parvenu (Moliere)

Skewering the shallowness of the upwardly mobile, this rollicking, free adaptation of Moliere’s Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme follows Monsieur Jourdain as he endeavors to learn the basics of music, dance, philosophy and fencing – all to impress a potential mistress.  Utilizing acerbic wit and comedia del arte characterizations, the familiar Moliere devices of clandestine loves, impertinent servants and double-dealings drive the plot – resulting a gratifying end where all the players receive their just desserts.  Produced by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.  9 men, 4 women; 4 men, 4 women (with doubling).

Faust (Goethe and Marlowe)

Seeking knowledge, fame and power a man sells his soul to the devil — but is his reward worth the price?  The sprawling prose of Goethe and the poetry of Marlowe come together in this 60-minute verse adaptation, first presented by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.  7 men, 3 women (with doubling).

Ghosts (Ibsen)

A dramatic critique of duty, sacrifice and morality, the play centers around Mrs. Alving protecting her son, Oswald from a world of truth and viciousness.  The Shakespeare Project of Chicago first produced this taut, actor-friendly adaptation.  3 men, 2 women

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare)

“Lord, what fools these mortals be.”  Seven actors assay a character in each of the court, mechanical and fairy worlds in this fast-paced adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic comedy.  Produced as Lakeside Shakespeare’s inaugural show, and subsequently by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago (breaking an all-time attendance record), the show is a challenge for actors and a delight for audiences.  4 men, 3 women.

Henry VI  (Shakespeare)

From the funeral of Henry V through the introduction of the nefarious warrior who would become Richard III, three epic Shakespearean histories are condensed into one two-hour play.  Rife with rebellion and political intrigue, this adaptation of The War of the Roses trilogy was first produced by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.  8 men, 2 women (with doubling).

Henry VIII  (Shakespeare)

The line between politics and love is blurred as Henry’s historic divorce from Queen Katherine, marriage to Anne Boleyn and the birth of the future Queen Elizabeth I are all dramatized.   Shakespeare’s late history play is restructured and dissected, incorporating historical context written in verse. Produced by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.  12 men, 3 women.

Cymbeline (Shakespeare)

Shakespeare’s late romance is experienced through the POV of Imogen and is guided by an invented narrator character, The Bard, who speaks in verse created and culled from other parts of the play.  Each actor, save Imogen and The Bard, play a contrasting Roman and Briton character.  Produced by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.  5 men, 3 women.

The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare)

Two pairs of identical twins are engulfed in mayhem in this riotous Shakespearean comedy of mistaken identity.  Subverting the stereotypical gender assumptions of the play, all the genders are swapped in this version, leading to perhaps and even funnier telling of the tale.    First produced by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago.   4 men, 8 women.

Love’s Labours Lost  (Shakespeare)

A vow of monastic study by King Ferdinand and his followers is quickly broken when beautiful women arrive at the academe.  Dismiss the pedants and one set of lovers, combine some characters and rearrange some scenes, and the laughs are unrelenting in this fast-paced adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy.  Produced by The Shakespeare Project of Chicago and Lakeside Shakespeare.  6 men, 5 women.


For manuscripts or more information