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Jeffrey Sweet (born May 3, 1950) is an American writer, journalist, songwriter and theatre historian. Sweet's father was James Sweet, a science writer for the University of Chicago who aided Supreme Court chief justice Earl Warren in drafting two anti-McCarthy speeches; his mother is violinist Vivian Sweet.

Sweet has been a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, critic, journalist, teacher, theatre historian, and sometime songwriter and director. He is a resident member of Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater, where thirteen of his plays—including Flyovers, The Action Against Sol Schumann, The Value of Names, Berlin '45, With and Without, Court-Martial at Fort Devens, and Bluff have been produced. His most recent play, Class Dismissed, opened there in March, 2009 under the direction of artistic director Dennis Zacek.[1]

His involvement with musical theatre includes writing the book to a musical version of Murray Schisgal's play Luv with lyrics by Susan Birkenhead and music by Howard Marren. Originally produced off-Broadway under the title Love, it won Outer Critics Circle prizes for best book and best score. It was subsequently revived off-Broadway at the York Theatre in New York, directed by Patricia Birch, under the title What About Luv? and was later produced in London and Tokyo. He also collaborated with Melissa Manchester on a musical called I Sent a Letter to My Love based on the novel by Bernice Rubens. Sweet is also the author of Something Wonderful Right Away (an oral history of Chicago's The Second City troupe), The Dramatist's Toolkit and Solving Your Script (two texts on dramatic writing).

Sweet's plays fall into two groups—those inspired by historical-political subjects and those springing from more personal impulses. The most produced of the former is The Value of Names, a story set against the backdrop of the aftermath of the blacklist. In it, a young actress finds herself facing the prospect of working with the director who named her father to HUAC during the McCarthy era. Since its 1983 premiere at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Names has been revived a number of times in the past few years, most notably in a series of productions starring Jack Klugman (the most recent at the Falcon Theatre was nominated for "best play" in the Ovation Awards of Los Angeles; it was a remounting of the 2006 production directed by James Glossman at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ). Other actors who have played in it include Howard Morris, Ed Asner, Garry Marshall, Hector Elizondo, Shelley Berman, Byrne Piven, Warren Mitchell, Allen Swift, Robin Groves, Helen Hunt, Sally Murphy and Larry Block.

Flyovers, which premiered at Victory Gardens in 1998, represents a more personal project. The story of a film critic who returns to the small town in Ohio where he grew up and encounters threats he thought he left behind years ago, the play anticipated the confrontation between red state and blue state cultures. The original production, directed by Dennis Zacek, starred William Petersen, Amy Morton, Marc Vann and Linda Reiter. Gary Cole and Teddi Sidall took over for Petersen and Morton when the run was extended. The play won a Joseph Jefferson Award for its script, and it was recently published in Victory Gardens Theater Presents Seven New Plays From the Playwrights Ensemble, an anthology from Northwestern University Press. A showcase production in New York in 2009, produced by Artistic New Directions, 78th Street Theatre Lab and Jeff Landsmann, starred Richard Kind, Michele Pawk, Kevin Geer and Donna Bullock. Northwestern University Press also published an anthology containing nine of his scripts in under the title The Value of Names and Other Plays by Jeffrey Sweet; Chicago Tribune theatre critic emeritus Richard Christiansen wrote the foreword.

Sweet has also written for other media, including hundreds of hours of television as well as radio adaptations of some of his plays. His work for the soap opera One Life to Live resulted in a Writers Guild of America Award for writing for a daytime serial in 1992 and an Emmy nomination. Under the title of "creative consultant," he also co-wrote the adaptation of Hugh Whitemore's Pack of Lies for the Hallmark Hall of Fame. The script, officially credited to the pseudonym Ralph Gallup, was nominated for an Emmy, and the show won a Peabody Award.

Sweet serves as a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild, is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, and is an alumnus of New Dramatists. He contributes a regular column to the magazine, Dramatics.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Weiss, Hedy (1 April 2009). "1960s turbulence at Victory Gardens' 'Class'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Sweet — Please support Wikipedia.
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388858 videos foundNext > 

Cover by Jeffrey Sweet

scene from Cover by Jeffrey Sweet. Adrien Cirou and Sassan.

Howard Jeffrey: Sweet Seductive Screams

(c) 2008 QVQ Publishing Words and Music Howard Jeffrey.

Jeffrey Sweet's "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love:" Russians

A scene about Russians from Jeffrey Sweet's one-man show "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love," playing at FringeNYC 2011. To learn more, please visit http://Hy...

Reva & Jeffrey - "Sweet Child"

A Reva, Jeffrey and Colin O'Neill MV.

Dave's Gone By Interview (6/8/13) -- JEFFREY SWEET

Dave Lefkowitz interviews playwright and theater critic Jeffrey Sweet Topics include: Tony Awards, Best Play, Best Book of a Musical, William Kunstler. Segme...

Dave's Gone By Interview (5/28/06) -- JEFFREY SWEET

Dave Lefkowitz interviews playwright and theater critic Jeffrey Sweet Topics include: playwriting, theater, Flyovers, The Value of Names Segment originally a...

Wayne Jeffrey Sweet Caroline

Wayne Jeffrey live Aug 1 2008 @ Daniel O'connell's Pub.

Jeffrey Sweet Dreams

Jeffrey Sweet: You Only Shoot the Ones You Love

Playwright and Second City historian Jeffrey Sweet in excerpts from his one-man show at Ensemble Studio Theatre, "You Only Shoot the Ones You Love." Video pr...

Niet Jeffrey - Sweet Child o' Mine

388858 videos foundNext > 

178 news items

 
The Saratogian
Tue, 04 Nov 2014 16:33:45 -0800

Funds raised will send medical students to Kigali in Rwanda, an African country in desperate need of doctors; and funds raised will come by way of laughter, as New York City playwright and actor Jeffrey Sweet performs his “You Only Shoot the Ones You ...

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal
Fri, 30 May 2014 13:18:01 -0700

In "The O'Neill," his history of the O'Neill Theater Center, a Connecticut performing-arts complex named for the playwright, who grew up nearby, Jeffrey Sweet tells the story of professional experimenters who have never relinquished the idea of giving ...
 
The Saratogian
Mon, 01 Dec 2014 13:33:45 -0800

Creative Place season offers everything from 'Pinocchio' to 'Other People's Money'. Broadway actor Jeff McCarthy as radical lawyer William Kunstler in Jeffrey Sweet's new play, “Kunstler,” will be presented by the Creative Place International in the ...
 
Windy City Times
Sat, 13 Dec 2014 12:15:00 -0800

The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and ...
 
Bee news.com
Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:22:30 -0800

The Orchard Park Presbyterian Church got the phone call from Village Building Inspector Jeffrey Sweet early Tuesday afternoon. There were 20 motorists stranded off Route 219, and Sweet wanted to know if the church could accommodate them. Since the ...

American Theatre

American Theatre
Fri, 21 Nov 2014 12:02:50 -0800

When it was done well, the Harold could “make your hair stand on end, because you're in the presence of something coming together in a magical way,” says Jeffrey Sweet, the playwright and theatrical historian whose oral history of the Compass and ...

Washington Post

Washington Post
Fri, 20 Jun 2014 07:36:13 -0700

This handsome tribute to the venerable Eugene O'Neill Theater Center combines Jeffrey Sweet's knowledgeable text with a marvelous array of black-and-white photographs. Michael Douglas and Meryl Streep, who both provide laudatory forewords, are ...

New York Times

New York Times
Fri, 03 May 2013 17:09:55 -0700

In Hudson Stage's newest production — Jeffrey Sweet's wise and revealing “Kunstler” — the title character, who cheerily delivers those punch lines to an imaginary law-school audience, is well aware of that cardinal rule of public speaking. First ...
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