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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.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

In Private/In Public

This calling out of Tony Kushner is irresponsible. Kushner is a private citizen, not an elected official. He has no obligation to go "on the record."

This is a vague threat, I feel:

"At some point we'll just have to assume he supports NYTW's action. Or, perhaps worse, is suddenly indifferent to free speech in the theatre. And to open discussion of the Middle East(!)."

None of these assumptions need to be made, for any reason.

That's my last word on the "Rachel Corrie" issue, folks. Let's just remember we're here to help and talk about something we love, not hunt people down or drag people into a fight.

3 comments:

Jason Grote said...

That line you quote might be a bit overwrought, but it's also true that you can't go four blocks in Manhattan without running into Tony Kushner giving a speech somewhere. Seriously - one semester in grad school, I saw him speak at NYU, The Public, Cooper Union, The 92nd St. Y, and the Society for Ethical Culture, all in the space of like 3 months. Silence on ANYTHING is oddly out of character for him...

He'll be speaking in DC on the 20th - I know this because I have a reading at Baltimore Centerstage on the same night, and I had to convince my sister, who interns for Sen. Kennedy, to go to my thing instead of his...

Hey, my verificaton word is "zibsnib." Awesome.

parabasis said...

My verification word is nlchw. Which, I think could be expanded to Nilchew. Anyone wanna come up with a definition for that?

I agree, Jason, and Matt, actually. I hear that Kushner is trying to deal with it privately. If he that is absolutely his perogative. Friends tell their friends the truth, that doesn't mean that friends shame friends in public. Kushner has a right to deal with this how he sees fit.

If he is, in fact, doing nothing, than that's a serious abrogation of his responsiblities as the World's Most Famous Living Playwright. It comes with the territory.

I have a feeling that some of the anger that people are pointing in Kushner's direction is at least somewhat built on the fact that they didn't like him (personally or politically or artistically) to begin with. And I also suspect that some of the wrath pointed at NYTW is based on the fact that people don't like Rent, Angles, or I don't know The Seven or whatever and there is a certain desire to punish in effect.

I say this not to excuse what NYTW has done. I support the outcry, and I would like them to publicly explain what really went on in forming this decision and then to commit to doing the play, if the Royal Court will still let them do it.


Ooops... now I have a new word verification "Xnlaswpi"... that one is not as cool... lesse... "Xanlaswopi" doesn't really sound anything like a real word.

Joshua said...

Hey Matt -

people are calling on Kushner because he is, in a way, a famous playwright who's done work at that theatre and has taken a very public position via Palestine / Isreal - so it's not so unusual that people are asking for a public response, since Kushner has taken a very public position on Isreal / Palenstine AND the role theatre plays in society. He's not a guy on the street, he's a Pulizter prizing winning playwright with a public record on this very political issue.

There's a difference.