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 work and clients.

Representative Work

Screenwriter and playwright (see screenplays and plays below)

Screenvision – head writer of 55 episodes of national movie preshow shown on 1700 screens (w/ digital kitchen)

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

Sarofsky creative – scriptwriting for corporate films and advertisements, as well as ongoing developmental work

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

The Chicago Cubs – writer of animated entertainment shorts O, Wrigley Field and Heroes (w/ Sarofsky)

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

Tessera Publishing – writer of website and promotional material; editor of product copy; creator of company branding

Microsoft  – writer of promotional shorts Connections, Mail Day, Picture This (w/ digital kitchen)

SoFi Stadium  – writer of stadium tour video (w/ Sarofsky)

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

Groove Guild  – co-writer of brand identity video (featured in Adweek)

11th Magnitude – writer and co-director of brand identity short films (w/ The Shadow Gang)

Nexus Insight – writer and editor of client white papers 

1911 Ventures – naming and brand identity work 

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

Frightline – co-writer of animated short shown nationally on 1700 screens (w/ digital kitchen)

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

Songwriter of over 100 songs in over 20 years with Ingenious Whittler

The Shakespeare Project of Chicago – adaptor of 12 different classical works produced by the AEA company, 8 years promotion

Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre – adaptor of three different classical works produced by the AEA company, 16 years promotion

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

Interbrand Schecter – naming, leading focus groups and market research analysis work over three years

Paul Simon for President – regional advance and press secretary

Jim Ziegeweid for Congress campaign manager and press secretary

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


Echo Chamber

Tragedy is the only way the story can end in this scathing condemnation of social media.  Set on a college campus, the 30-minute film is a modern retelling of the Echo and Narcissus myth.  Released in 2020.

The Board

Buying into the condo of her dreams, a free-spirited woman must navigate the nightmares of ownership and negotiate the enigmatic force that is the condo association board.  A single-camera comedy in a multi-unit dwelling.  Series being developed with Erin Sarofsky and Kevin McClintock; writer of the pilot episode.

The Cricket on the Hearth

Love and hope prevail as the lives of a young married couple, a blind girl, a broken old man, a merciless merchant and a mysterious stranger converge in mid-19th century London to weave a timeless tale of renewal and redemption.  Adapted from the holiday novella of Charles Dickens.

US Sharks

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

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 feature 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.  4 actors.

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.  5 actors.

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.  3 actors.

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.  3 actors.

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, Seanachai Theatre Company and Irish Theatre of Chicago.  8 actors.

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.  Produced by Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre in 2018.  2 actors.

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.  12 actors.

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.  6 actors.

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.  8 actors (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.  10 actors (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.  5 actors.

The Two Gentlewomen of Verona (Shakespeare)

Flipping the genders of the major characters, one of Shakespeare’s first comedies resonates in exciting new ways while retaining all its uproarious hilarity. Shakespeare, as always, displays his keen insight into human folly, giving us lines like “Love’s a mighty lord,” and “In love, who respects friend?” and gives us everything we want from a comedy: funny characters, funny lines, funny situations – all combined with a few lessons learned on our journey to the happy ending.  Produced by Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre in 2019.  12 actors.

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.  7 actors.

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.  10 actors (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 and subsequently by Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre.  15 actors.

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.  8 actors.

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.   12 actors.

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.  11 actors.

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