About Me

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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.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

New Focus - Writing A Play

I've decided to use this "blogspace" to jot down notes and thoughts about my process of writing my latest play. It will probably help to organize my thoughts, but I also think it might make for an interesting read for anyone who cares to pay much attention.

As I've taken up this blog, it's been focused essentially as a sort of "online diary" with links to articles and what-not, and random thoughts about whatever crosses my desk. I think maybe a little focus will help bleed some usefulness out of this bizarre medium for me.

So for the next month (or however long it takes) I'll be writing about writing. Hopefully, some of you will check it out and leave me comments.

For starters, my latest play currently says "Divorce in Love" at the top of the page. It's a working title, and may well wind up as the true title. I started writing it just as an exercise, just to try something "fun" with characters that speak in a way I find entertaining. Then, as characters are wont to do, they started looking for something to do. And I've been trying to provide them with one.

As it currently stands, the characters include "Mother" and "Father," a middle-aged couple; their 11-year old daughter Lill, their grown up daugher Jessica, Mother's sister Grace; and Father Comeuppance, the local minister. The major action of the play is this: Mother and Father are getting divorced, and despite what appears to be their absolute devotion to each other. In commemoration for this, Mother has planned an elaborate "Unwedding" to officially, and in the eyes of God, show wifely obedience to this parting.

I've gotten a little feedback from my friend Matt, David and my girlfriend Pam. I've also gotten some solid playwrighting advice from my friend Kyle, who directed one of my scripts "The Great Escape" and was featured as an actor alongside me in my play "The Americans." He's becoming a very solid partner in my process.

That's the setup. Off we go.

Friday, August 26, 2005

"The Expanding Economy"

In the linked article from the New York Times, it's noted that energy bills are doubling and tripling this year, such that Americans are going to have to cut back on some of their basics, like heat, in the upcoming winter.

Then the article refers to an "expanding economy" and some experts seem to place the blame on "inefficient consumers."

It's like there's only one version of "economic crisis" or "economic depression" and someone's got this secret math equation for it. If the number of the equation doesn't say 5% or something like that, the entire media is clammed up.

In the meantime, the rest of Americans are dealing with a 40% uninsured rate, gas prices at over three dollars a gallon, wages that are not competing with inflation...you know what? Why bother. You know this. The only people missing it are the press and the President.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Salon's Essential Coverage of Iraq

Link the above title (you may need to obtain a Salon Day Pass if you're not a subscriber) and take a look at a gallery of images, and a corresponding story, that will make your hair stand on end.

In all the politics and wasted air that surrounds this war, what about the true pain of war? These photos don't tell the whole story, but they add a huge missing piece.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Republicans on War (In Bosnia)

Ok, first of all...this is a link to Rosie O'Donnell's blog. It's awful, hilarious, and worth reading because of it. Pam turned me onto it, and she is a lovely girl. Pam describes Rosie as trying to be e.e. cummings and ntozake shonge.

But this post is...well...pretty darn worth a look. Because it says just how much politics plays into positioning. And what hypocrites these guys truly are.

Pat Robertson - Christian Assassin

I'm not saint, but then, I don't pretend to be. This guy is supposed to live by the Ten Commandments.

Oh , I sing your praises on Bended Knee.

What do you have to do in order for someone to take away your Christ Card?

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Book Review for Book Fans

This review is good just a piece of writing. Love it. Holden Kakutani. I like the sound of that.

Oh Glorious News

Check out the latest poll from the American Research Group concerning Bush falling long and hard to the earth, like Icarus.

So many glorious factors. Like Cindy Sheehan (do I really need to mention her to anyone?); the blasted price of gasoline; and the continuing story of Iraq, a cat who has gone to the dogs.

What a mess he's made. And he is showing no signs of being remotely interested in changing course. In fact, he thinks we're all just whiners for not smiling at him about it. That's why his polls are coming in at 20% lower than Clinton's second year polls, and that's AFTER he got himself blown by whatshername.

I guess what we've been screaming all along is true: lying about war is far worse than lying about sex.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fringe Reviews

As the Fringe moves forward, I'm reviewing three shows for nytheatre.com's comprehensive coverage. My first is up "Lynndie England followed by No Space." "Shutter" and "Pipe Dreams" should be up today and tomorrow.

Two of these shows were at PS122 upstairs and one was the new Collective Unconscious Caberet Space. One positive: air conditioning.

Some rather unhappy news, otherwise: My cat is missing and has been for nearly a week. He got out of the house Tuesday night and I haven't seen hide nor hair of him since. I love this cat. Joe is his name.

He's sitting there next to a stuffed animal. If you see him, tell him I miss him.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The glorious Frank Rich, Roger Ebert Whips it Out, Someone Out There Liked Me

A few notable little links today. Just for me.

I'm going to keep sending people to Frank Rich until everyone becomes a funny, informed, genius.

Go, you beautiful bastard. Go!

Roger Ebert brought the pain to Deuce Bigalow: European Gigalo. Sometimes the old man seems like he's out of juice, and then he whips out the big guns. This is one of those reviews you wish that someday you will have the authority to write.

Finally, I found this on technorati.com...just sort of trying to find out if anyone doesn't like me, I found some young lady that posted something I wrote to friends on the evening of the Bush re-election. Sort of touching to see it on some's Blog, so I'll link to it as a sort of "Thank you."

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The New York International Fringe Festival - The Mainstream Fights Back

While this year's NY "International" Fringe Festival is smaller on paper (180 shows? Pish-posh!) it is featuring an infusion of accomplished, established performers who can barely be categorized as "fringe." Take "Bridezilla Strikes Back!" a show featuring a young woman who appeared on Reality-TV; or "Silence! The Musical" which features a cast of veterans ad naseum. Take a look at the NY Times article which cherry picks a few of the bigger numbers.

As usual, the Times is forced to speak out of both sides of its rather large mouth. (I mean this all with the greatest respect, oh ye powerful Times.) It notes that the fringe is featuring a more mainstream line-up, but then highlights only exactly these performers and shows.

This is not to say that these performers don't deserve to have their day on the stage. This may well speak simply to the fact that it's so difficult to find a home for new work, that even the clunky, overworked and under-air-conditioned fringe has started to appeal to just about anyone with a goofy idea they can't sell a producer on.

The problem, of course, is that the festival is still too big to be covered, not selective enough to be taken seriously, and too addicted to the politics of shock-value. "Fringe" has become in our era what "Alternative" became to the music scene: a genre that is sold, regardless of budget or artistic merit. It was about five years after Nirvana that it became clear that all you had to do was wear the flannel and not shave and you were "grunge," no matter how much your father paid for your SUV. The Fringe Festival has a similar take: If you are a satire with an exclamation point, feature a celebrity in your title, or can add "The Musical" to the end of something that seemingly resists songs, you are Fringe materal. If your choreographer recently worked on Broadway, it's not big deal. He's just slumming it.

Fringe musical titles of the future will clearly be: "Cancer! The Musical," "Iraq! The Musical" and "Sling Blade! The Musical." Our straight plays will feature such titles as "Scientology is a Sex Cult," "Morgan Freeman is My Baby Daddy" and "Spadling Grey Lives!"

None of this honestly will make stars or feature the next Beckett, the new sensiblity of young writers (at least not those whelped on something besides South Park), or will draw us to new conclusions about the world. They will, instead, sell to their market and happily call it "art." Increasing numbers of agents will direct their quarries to this easy publicity mark, looking for the ever present "street cred" for performers who would much rather be doing commercials.

I'm certain that in this festival, like all of them, there are going to be 50 or 30 or, heck, 10, unheralded and beautiful productions. The Widow of Abraham is a brilliant play, and is by a Humana Festival participant, for example. Let's just hope the Fringe sees the merit of dumping the little money they have into fewer shows of higher quality, and stop wasting time and space on the mess of publicity stunts.

Friday, August 05, 2005

A new job

Strangely enough, I find myself employed in a business that buys life insurance policies. The short version of this is, the company pays someone cash to become the owner of their life insurance. When that person dies, the company reaps the rewards of the policy.

Yes, the company I work for makes money when people drop dead. Plus, they try to figure out just how sooooon they're going to drop dead...the sooner the better for a better "investment."


But rife with comic possibilities.

Tally ho.