Jeffrey Sweet

Sweet has been a playwright, screenwriter, lyricist, critic, journalist, teacher, theatre historian, and sometime songwriter and director. He was a resident member of Chicago’s Victory Garden’s Theater where thirteen of his plays—including FlyoversThe Action Against Sol SchumannThe Value of NamesBerlin ’45With and WithoutCourt-Martial at Fort Devens, Class Dismissed, and Bluff have been produced. In recent years he has performed a solo piece, You Only Shoot the Ones You Love (which premiered in the New York Fringe) and authored Kunstler, a play about William Kunstler, the radical attorney.

His involvement with musical theatre includes writing the book to a musical version of Murray Schisgal 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 O’Neill (a book about the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center) The Dramatist’s Tool Kit and Solving Your Script (two texts on dramatic writing). A forthcoming book, What Playwrights Talk About When They Talk About Writing, will be published in February 2017.

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