Jeffrey Sweet visits the UK this summer, in July, to deliver his masterclass. The scripts for more and more plays, films and TV shows are being developed out of improvisation (Curb Your Enthusiasm and Mike Leigh’s films are vivid examples). Jeffrey Sweet will run an intense workshop on how to get started.
Sweet is himself a playwright and TV writer based in the States. He is perhaps best-known in improv circles for writing Something Wonderful Right Away, a book about the early history of improvisation that inspired the creation of Chicago’s famous improv companies, i/O (the home of Charna Halpern and Del Close where Amy Poehler got her start) and the Annoyance (founded by Mick Napier, where the creators of Transparent worked out). For the past several summers, he has gathered together high-profile writer-improvisers including Dan Castellaneta (Homer on The Simpsons), Jonathan Stark (writer-producer of The World According to Jim), and Bill and Cheri Steinkellner (writer-producers of Cheers) to work together for intense retreats to develop new projects. One, Catherine Butterfield’s It Has to Be You, opened off-Broadway, and Deb Lacusta’s Old Man in a Big Car won the 2015 Renegade NOW prize.
Some of Sweet’s own work started improvisationally, including a play called With and Without, which played New York and Chicago (Variety called it “solid, craftsmanlike playwriting at its finest”) and was recorded as a special by LA Law stars Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker.
Sweet will offer techniques for setting up initial premises to be improvised that will guarantee scenes with stakes and tension. Then he will show how to work with transcripts to finish polished drafts that retain the vitality of improvisation while targeting what to cut and enhance.
This is not a workshop for improv purists but for people who want to direct their chops to building finished projects that can be put into production.
How to book: email Nathan firstname.lastname@example.org
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Date of workshop: 23rd – 24th July, 11am – 5pm