A conversation with Shahari Moore. The Screenwriter's Workshop.

IFP Chicago and the Chicago Screenwriters Network and Greenhouse Theater partnered to create a unique intensive Screenwriter's Workshop for local Chicago writers.

Today, we sat down with one of the winners, Shahari Moore, whose script for her web series "SUB DOM PROF MILF" received a live reading and talkback session starring the 2015 graduates of School at Steppenwolf. 

IFP CHI: Can you tell us about your script?

SM: SUB DOM PROF MILF has been in my head for a little more than two years. It explores the life of Nancy Wheeler, a college professor who experiences a loss of income and becomes a dominatrix to make ends meet. 


IFP CHI: What inspires you as a writer?

SM: I love great storytelling that makes me think about the message and the themes that the writing explores long after the credits roll or the curtain falls. I love story lines that are unique an unexpected. I love playing with voice and filling my characters mouths with meaningful and thought provoking dialogue. 


IFP CHI: What did you want to communicate to your audience with your script, SUB DOM PROF MILF?

SM: I want to explore eroticism and power. I want to explore the lives of everyday people who have many layers to them. Often when we think about people with alternative lifestyles we tend to judge and stereotype them. I want to show the normalcy in things that we deem as abnormal particularly in American society. 


IFP CHI: What are your future goals for the web series?

SM: I'd like to see it as a web series and I'd like to sell the script as a half hour pilot to a progressive, and cutting edge network. 


IFP CHI: Can you tell us about your experience in the Screenwriter's Workshop so we can share it with future writers?

SM: I loved the experience! As a writer, I can be guilty of not talking about my projects in their early phases. This is the earliest that I've ever shared my work publicly. "SUB DOM PROF MILF" has been in my head for two years. I'd written a draft some time ago, but had not revisited the script until I saw the call for scripts from IFP. For me a call is motivation with a deadline. Thanks IFP for putting that call into the world. Right before I saw the opportunity, I prayed for more opportunities that are writer specific. Writing is my first love, my first passion, and I want to give her more time. Everyone in the workshop was phenomenal! I appreciate the talent and the spirit of the writers in the room! Each of them are so talented and contributed mightily to the workshop. I've always been a fan of "Meet The Parents", but to meet Mary Ruth Clarke and workshop my script with her was beyond what my imagination could fathom. I am still saying, "Did that just happen"? She was honest, patient, gracious, and she challenged each of us to rethink the relatability of our characters. The talented actors of the Steppenwolf Theatre did an amazing job of bringing our scripts to life! Special thanks to the Greenhouse Theatre and Judson Rose for being so hospitable. And Keaton Wooden… Wow! Thank you to you and to all who designed the Writers Workshop for the passion and the heart that went into tailoring a day with the needs of writers in mind. Everyone from IFP worked so hard and the day was a major success! I will always remember today, and I am beyond excited about the next phase of this project!


IFP CHI: What is next for you? 

SM: Right now I am going to be in the lab, writing. I am also working on a documentary on Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize. Please follow me at @Shahari on twitter. I will post updates on projects there. 



To learn more about the Screenwriter's Workshop or to sign up for IFP Chicago's new members Table Reading Service, contact info@ifpchicago.org