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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Plot - The dire necessity

I often stand in awe of those who can have their play fully plotted. It seems like so much full-in-the-blank after that. If there's a major talent I lack, it's for plot.

I can come up with events and hooks, solid ideas, characters, disturbing juxtapositions. But the plot itself of any play I've written since King Arthur (which of course needed only a little massaging in order to push it's square pegs into verse structures round holes) has been rife with loose ends, odd lines in early drafts that wind up in the trash bin because they were simply placeholder to get me from point A to point Z. I'm a messy writer, often writing something just because I think the title is cool. I think I actually wrote and entire bad play, since discarded, under one title, only to attach that title to what wound up being an entirely different play. The play was "The Americans" and the second time, the title was in the right place.

In "Divorce in Love" there was a subplot about a Key. I had no idea where it was going, or why. It's just a simple, mythological image and it helped me get the play started. It's a key to...where? What? Why is it being hidden? See? Fun. But now it's out. Kaput. No need for it, served its purpose. Fare thee well, my bright star.

For a while I thought the play would be a rewrite of the Bluebeard story. But Bluebeard isn't a drama at all, it's just a little nightmare that speaks, in its way, directly to the sex, fear, mistrust and death of the entire concept of coupling. Anything I write in this play at all is likely to echo that, therefore.

I also thought that Mother would have three sisters named Grace, Faith and Hope. Alas, Faith and Hope are no more. (I'll just leave that statement where it is.)

All of this is just dandy. I am leaving in, though, Lill's disease. Lill is the 11 year old daughter of Mother and Father, an internet right-wing celebrity that's been homeschooled and has a disease which Mother describes in this way. (A little bit of the play, early draft. Copyright Matt Freeman, crew.)


It says here that you’ve got a voracious herpes mastication complex and a variety of blood deficiencies. You’ve got brittle bones, an allergy to peanuts, and a great number of weak cells that could suddenly implode, causing anything from AIDs to anthrax. In the midst of all this, for no particular reason, it says you may well have the autumnal mumps and the vernal equinox. The fact is, if you walk out of this house when it’s more than forty-five percent humidity, below forty five degrees, or when the sun is between noon and six o’clock by any good sundial, your entire body will burst into a mass of carbon and plasma.


Does that help darling?

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