Ian Brennan (writer)

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Ian Brennan
Ian Brennan by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Brennan at the San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2011.
Born Mount Prospect, Illinois
Occupation Screenwriter, actor, television producer, director
Nationality American

Ian Brennan is a television writer, actor, producer and director. He is best known for his work on the American television show Glee.

Early life[edit]

Brennan is the son of John and Charman Brennan.[1] His sister, Sarah, is one of the founders of Amandla Charter School in Chicago. Brennan spent four years at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois during the mid-1990s, and was a member of the school show choir, which he did not find particularly enjoyable. Brennan aspired to be an actor, and as his high school musical director was also the show choir director, he joined the choir to enhance his chance of being cast in musical productions. Brennan credits his high school theatre director John Marquette for inspiring him to act. The character Will Schuester in Glee is partially based on Marquette. Brennan went on to study theatre at Loyola University Chicago.[2] He graduated in 2000,[3] and acted for a time in Chicago, studying at The Second City Training Center and working with the Steppenwolf and Goodman Theatres,[4] before moving to New York City to continue his acting career.[3] He has performed in off-Broadway plays at the Vineyard, Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theatres.[4] His early writing experience was limited to sketch pieces in high school and college plays he describes as "terrible".[2]

Career[edit]

Brennan conceived the idea for Glee based on his own experience as a member of the Prospect High School show choir. He explained: "I find it interesting that there is something in everybody, a longing for something transcendent, particularly in a place like Mt. Prospect, a place that’s very suburban and normal and plain. Even in places like that, there’s this desire to shine. That’s fascinating and very funny to me, especially when people try to accomplish this through show choir – which, to me, is inherently a little ridiculous."[2] In 2005, a choir director at Prospect High was accused of inappropriate behavior with a student and was later convicted of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.[3] Brennan was inspired by these events,[4] and in August 2005, purchased a copy of "Screenwriting for Dummies" and wrote the first draft of Glee, initially envisioned as a film rather than a television series.[2] He completed the script in 2005, but could not generate interest in the project for several years.[3]

Mike Novick, a television producer and a friend of Brennan's from Los Angeles, was a member of the same gym as writer and producer Ryan Murphy, and gave him a copy of Brennan's script.[5] Murphy had been in a show choir while at college, and as such felt he could relate to the script. Murphy and his Nip/Tuck colleague Brad Falchuk suggested that Glee be adapted to a television show format.[2] The script was entirely re-written,[3] and was picked up by Fox within 15 hours of being received. Murphy and Falchuk became the show's executive producers and showrunners, while Brennan is a co-executive producer and Novick is a producer.[6] Brennan, Falchuk and Murphy wrote all of the show's episodes in the first two seasons,[7] and were nominated for two 2010 Writers Guild of America Awards for Glee, with nominations in the "Comedy Series" and "New Series" categories.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Brennan lives in both New York and Los Angeles, and works on the Glee scripts in the latter.[3]

Credits[edit]

Film and television
Year Title Format Role Notes
2000 Early Edition Television series Valet Episode "Everybody Goes to Rick's"
Too Much Flesh Film Bert
2002 No Sleep 'til Madison Film Dave
2006 Flourish Film Dr. Carter Kaufman
Growing Short film Writer, actor (Jeremy)
Save the Last Dance 2 Direct-to-DVD film Franz
2007 I Think I Love My Wife Film Department Store Salesman #1
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Television series Lance Morein Episode "Renewal"
CSI: NY Television series Joe Silver Episode "Buzzkill"
2008 New Amsterdam Television series Chris Duncan Episode "Keep the Change"
2009 Glee Television series Co-creator, writer, narrator, director
Staten Island Film Hippie in Tree
Infamous Video game Voice
2011 The Glee Project TV program Judge
2014 Cooties Film Writer Filming
Theatre
Year Title Role Theatre
1999 Saturday Night[9] Gene Gorman O'Rourke Center for the Performing Arts, Chicago
Finian's Rainbow Performer Marriott Theatre, Chicago
2005–2006 The Man in the White Suit[9] Performer Martel Theatre, Poughkeepsie, New York and Beckett Theatre New York City

References[edit]

  1. ^ Naqvi, Jameel (January 18, 2010). "Suburban-tied 'Glee' a big winner at Golden Globes". Daily Herald. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Mastony, Colleen (September 8, 2009). ""Glee Club" TV series creator uses Mt. Prospect high school for inspiration". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Company. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Arado, Matt (May 19, 2009). "Mount Prospect native helped create new Fox show 'Glee'". Daily Herald. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Ian Brennan". Fox Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Fernandez, Maria Elena (April 26, 2009). "Will TV audiences watch with 'Glee'?". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Company. Retrieved 1 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Schneider, Michael (July 23, 2009). "Fox greenlights 'Glee' pilot". Variety. Reed Business Information. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Silver, Curtis (December 7, 2009). "We’re All Gleeks — 10 Questions for Glee Co-Creator Brad Falchuk". Wired. Condé Nast Publications. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  8. ^ "2010 WGA Awards TV Nominees Announced" (Press release). Writers Guild of America. December 14, 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2009. 
  9. ^ a b "Ian Brennan". Broadway World. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 

External links[edit]