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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.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Today is Today

5 years. I was rehearsing "The Death of King Arthur", working at a place called Principal Asset on 44th and 6th, and living on 49th and 8th with Sean and Bobby.

How about you?

4 comments:

Joshua James said...

Since you asked -

On that day, I woke up excited - we had just started previews on Sept 7th for the workshop production of my play TALLBOY WALKIN' and, in addition to a full house, got standing ovations. I was told by our publicist that all the papers would be coming that night, Tuesday the 11th, including the Times (don't know for sure, but that's what I as told) and everyone, my agent and the producers, felt that this show would breakout big.

My agent also had just specced out a new screenplay of mine that same weekend and felt it would sell. So this week, five years ago, was supposed to be the week I broke out, so I was told (I'm very leery of saying shit like that, but that's what everyone involved with the play believed, and my reps).

That Tuesday morning, my best friend Ato (who was in the show) called me from his job in Jersey and told me to turn on the TV.

I watched the whole event on ny1, relaying to my friend (in his car, listening on the radio) what was being said and happening. When the first tower went down, I told him.

We both cried.

In Astoria where we lived then, on the bank of the river, we could see and smell it.

We had no show that night, nor for the next couple nights, but that seemed to be the last thing on our minds.

We started up the show again that friday, but there were no reviews or much attendence. Everyone's mind was on matters other than the performing arts. After three weeks, we closed the workshop. It was a great production with great acting and directing.

Would the play, and myself, have broken out? Hard to say, really. It was good, but no one really knows what's going to catch on or what's not. Did the attacks affect things? Absolutely, they affected everyone in large and small ways.

But in light of what happened to many others, those who died and those who lost loved ones, not only in the attacks but in the illegal war waged in Iraq, which would not have happened if not for hte attacks, in light of all those things, I consider myself lucky.

Alicia said...

I was on my way to Christopher Street from Brooklyn on the train. After the first hit, my cell phone rang. I was still above ground in Bklyn, so I answered. It was my ex-boyfriend in Miami calling early on a Tuesday morning. Weird. He said something about a plane crash and was I ok and I was confused but I said I was fine and then just as he watched the second plane hit on his tv screen, my train went underground and he lost me.

I was on my way to set up my classroom. I was starting a new job as a preschool teacher on Barrow Street. The first day of school was supposed to be September 12. When I got off of the subway at Christopher Street, I could smell the smoke. Still confused, I went up the stairs and saw a crowd of people on 7th Ave South staring up at the two burning towers. I stood there, on the corner of Bleeker and 7th Ave S. and watched both buildings fall in front of me.

Not being able to contact anyone in my family or any friends by cell phone, I went around the block to an internet cafe, where the whole scene was being replayed on the big screen tv. I signed on to so many instant messages from friends in LA, London and Miami. I was able to tell enough people I was ok, and give them numbers to call for me (my parents, brothers, etc). Now I was lost. What now? I couldn't get on a train back to Brooklyn. I certainly didn't want to hang out on the street anymore. I left the cafe and just across the street, on Bleeker, I saw two old friends that I actually went to high school with. In Miami. We three ran to each other in the middle of the street, hugged and cried. We went back to my friend Poppy's apartment and just sat there, numb listening to music and trying to call home from the land line.

Eventually I got home and saw it all on TV AGAIN. I locked myself up in my apartment - I had just moved there a month ago, and was living by myself for the first time. I didn't eat or sleep for maybe 3 days.

I had my first stand-up gig scheduled for the following weekend. I still have never done stand-up.

I consider myself extremely lucky. To have witnessed such a tremendous, world-changing, horrific event, and then to not only survive it - but to be one of the lucky ones who didn't suffer the personal loss of a friend or family member. I know others who were not so lucky. Today my thoughts and my heart are with them. Even though I live in LA now (for a whole 3 months), my heart is today, as it ALWAYS is, in New York City.

Thanks for asking, Matt.

Ian G. said...

I was in Washington DC, having just moved from Brooklyn and beginning my third week of graduate school. There I was in voice class when a weird roll of thunder was heard on what was clearly a beautiful morning. The director of the program barrelled in in total shock to report that a plane had just hit the Pentagon and all hell was breaking loose in New York. We frantically hooked up a TV that was in prop storage (it had just been used in "Timon of Athens") in just enough time to see the second tower fall. Only one member of our class had gotten cable thus far, so we went to his (we would learn later that his cousin was on United 93) apartment to put on CNN. Walking through Capitol Hill that morning was surreal - traffic was completely gridlocked at 9:30 in the morning as everyone in the area tried to get the hell out -- reports were that more planes were being taken in the air and headed for the Capitol, literally a few hundred feet from all of our apartments. The Army and Marine barracks down the street were mobilized and small platoons of fully armed soldiers were tearing around like an aerial attack was expected at any moment. Because it was. We spent the rest of the day hunkered in our classmate's basement apartment like we were in the London Blitz. As the day progressed, planes got back on the ground, and it became clear that it was over, for the moment anyway, we went down to a local watering hole where most of Capitol was getting a much needed drink. On the street in fron of the bar several uneven metal plates covered some construction work and whenever a jeep or truck-mounted rocket launcher (the military was out in full force now) went over one, the almighty bang sent already-terrified drinkers scrambling for cover under tables or barstools. We were all a little jumpy that day.

kirabug said...

On the way into work that morning, the DJs on the radio were talking about how clear and beautiful it was. Somehow that stuck in my head.

One of our perpetual web-surfers yelled out over his cube wall a few hours later that "some idiot managed to drive his plane into one of the world trade center towers" -- we all pictured a prop plane or something and actually laughed about it a bit.

When we heard what size plane, we stopped laughing.

When the second one hit we all started combing the 'net, the radio, anything we could find to get an idea what was going on. My husband called (he was off that day) and described the towers falling over the telephone.

I think I spent most of that day watching our main campus across the street (I work for a major financial institution), wondering if they were going to come after us too, and wondering how many of our company we'd already lost, and wondering how many of my second cousins (who are police officers and firefighters in New York City) were there when the towers fell.

I was supremely lucky -- we lost no one from work and no one from the family.

I remember when the "no fly" lifted, I'd jump when a jet flew over. Airplanes had never been weapons before.