Deemer / Screenwriting



Two “cutting edge” forms of narrative

As I prepare to retire from teaching, I challenge my students to explore and continue two areas of narrative that have consumed my creative energy in recent years.  These are “hyperdrama” in live performance and what I’ve been calling “stories in overdrive.”


 I’ve been credited with coining “hyperdrama” as a term describing stories in performance with split, parallel and simultaneous story lines (which may or may not be true), but at any rate I became obsessed with this new way of storytelling since being commissioned to write a play in this form in the early 1980s. I’ve written about my passion in the Kindle book, Hyperdrama: my obsession with a new theater form.

In my literary archive is a complete section on hyperdrama, at

 What excites me most presently, and which I would get involved in if younger, is creating a permanent theater-home for hyperdrama, so that audiences can see it as a play rather than as a special event; hyperdrama requires a permanent home. My own design of concentric circles for screens, performance area and audience will work. Other designs will work as well. What is needed is an artistic director with vision and technical savvy to bring this exciting theatrical form to audiences on a regular basis.

 In my archive is my presentation “Changing Key,” which I prepared on request for presentation at a hypertext conference in Pittsburgh in 2008. A series of videos introduces the form, presents a dramatic example, and discusses the nuts & bolts of preparing a hyperdrama. This is a good place for an interested writer to begin.

 Stories In Overdrive

 Begin at the website

 These stories are “tweaked screenplays” made more presentable for a general audience. They are not novelizations of screenplays. This is an essential point. The vertical writing style, the minimalist rhetoric, the story economy of the contemporary spec screenplay all lend themselves to easy reading on smart phones and tablets, which increasingly become the reading tool of choice, especially among younger readers.

 Given the fact that more “invisible stories” exist in screenplay form than in any other kind of narrative, this translation to a form presentable to a large and growing audience has extraordinary potential. My own experiment in this area is the tip of the iceberg. I hope a writer takes the concept farther.