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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.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Hey everyone! My Mother Likes It!"

I'm often reminded of The Goodbye Girl when I talk to friends about the success and/or failure of my plays. The mantra of many of my friends (and perhaps the internal monologue of the audience) is "Did your parents read this?"

After they watched "The Most Wonderful Love" on Saturday, I wandered over to my stepfather and my mother. My Stepfather, Joe, leaned away and cried "Don't touch me! I don't want it to rub off!" So yes...I felt the play was a success.

Of course, my Mother liked it. She thought it was funny. She wants to know what my Father will think. I mean, my Father thought that The DaVinci Code was blasphemous. Wait until he sees Act III.

He even loaned us his own robes. Boy, I really should have warned him.

I'm out of the Will. I can feel it. I am no longer an heir to the Freeman Dollar. That's what you get for making "Art."

My Mother is a saint for surviving "The Great Escape" though...which steals liberally from her life. And, um, uses her actual name.

I'd love to know what other people's experiences are with their parents. We're in a weird and confessional business. Do any damage? Get any extra love?


Lucas said...

Congratulations. I thought for sure you would be disowned entirely.

parabasis said...

Actually, the interview I'm posting on Saturday with Ayun Halliday (who has written four memoirs organized around different themes) addresses this at some point...

my family wanted to know why I did so many disfunctional family plays in college (and believe me, every single play I did after Freshman year was in some way about a disfuctional family with the exception of John Guare's COP-OUT). Which I thought was a hilarious question to ask, frankly.

I think all work that you choose to do is going to be on some level autobiographical, regardless of whether you write it or not. I think my interest in "The Shadow", for example, must have something to do with issues of power and friendship in my life and in my perception of the world... but it's more a straight-up thing for writers. Because everyone assumes what they're doing is *completely* autobiographical.

I'm surprised, Matt, that you didn't mention your program bio in this post ("thanks to my family. this is not about you"...)


Adam said...

I'm glad you mother liked it. my parents are coming this weekend.

devore said...

It's a strictly don't ask, don't tell policy.

Alison Croggon said...

My relationship with my mother took a nosedive and never recovered after my novella Navigatio was published. My father didn't read it after my stepmother read it and told him not to, but at the time I wasn't speaking to him anyway (I speak to him now, though). One of my sisters barely speaks to me, only once a year at Christmas, and the other still tiptoes around that book. It can't all be blamed on that book, but it marked some sort of watershed.

I claimed that the novel was not autobiographical (it's more of an imaginative essay/memoir/fiction), I said it was about me, not them (every chapter title begins with "A" and anyway half of it is set a century ago in Coleridge/Poe land) but that didn't help, they thought it was about them.

I didn't resent their reactions; I realised it was fair enough. It must be hard having a writer in the family. Strangely, my poems that dealt with the same issues never got the same reaction. I think it was after that I started writing fantasy.