Not sure yet if we're going to bring it back for an encore in January, but it seems possible.
Thanks to everyone who came out to see the work. We're all proud of it, and it seemed very well-received and worthy of the conversation it was meant to inspire.
Thanks, especially, to Kyle, Cat*, Matt and Joe, who put together my quickly written play with skill and verve. Made me look like I knew what I was doing. That's all a writer can ask for.
A couple of thoughts from the experience for both of my readers:
There's been a great deal said recently on the blogosphere about "Development Hell." Standards of Decency certainly was the opposite: untested, commissioned works, that were put on their feet, essentially as-written. Lots of imperfect writing, unneccessary beats, oddball moments, messiness. Speeches that could have been cut in half. It had tons of life in it. I wouldn't say anyone walked away feeling like they saw anything polished on the part of the writers...but polish certainly isn't the only virture.
I did talk to one actress who was wrestling with a play that she felt had language that felt intuitive and unclear and she couldn't make sense of each word. I, personally, love both writing that is careful and clean, and writing that seems to come from a place of impulse. Writing that is impulsive can be very difficult for an actor to parse, of course. It's a bit silly to think, though, that the playwrights job is to justify every word for an actor, or the audience, or a director, or a lab.
The goal of perfection often seems to be reductive: take out all that doesn't work, leave what is justified and proven correct and good, the rest is first draft impulse and meant for the red pen. Certainly makes for compact, direct, narrowcast plays and seem far more clear than my life ever has been to me.
Should our art surpass our thoughts or reflect them?
- 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.