It's perhaps no surprise that, while Charles Isherwood and Ben Brantley have sent dispatches from theatre hubs like Chicago and London, the Times has committed only a single article, thus far, to its coverage of the New York International Fringe Festival. Fairly, this may well be a matter of scale and of the Fringe's growing reputation as an overcrowded grab-bag.
Pointedly, the coverage of the Fringe this year has been arbitrary on most fronts (an article to acknowledge its presence) and, overwhelmingly, negative. Most coverage has been about how chaotic it is, how it needs fixing, how its quality is in question.
Most of this coverage has come out of wariness, though, and not experience. How many Fringe shows have you seen actually reviewed (outside the always amazing efforts of Nytheatre.com)? Why doesn't the Times commit a single freelancer to covering the Fringe the way they sent their top man overseas, blogging style, on the website?
- 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.