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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.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Ending

Here's a question I have, partially as a writer, partially as an audience member myself:

Which works better for you...

A mediocre play with a fantastic ending?
A very good play with a not-so-great ending?

How important is that final moment to you?

8 comments:

cgeye said...

It's like a decisive chord on a meandering musical piece. Wake me up, get me out of my chair, but give me a sign it's over....

cgeye said...

Also, the working backward thing might work, in future versions. If the passion's at the end, then the writer can figure out why it was missing before.

Danielle Wilson said...

all's well that ends well....
seriously.
I've seen several pretty good plays ruined by bad endings. If it has a good ending, I'll forgive it some mushiness in the middle.

Zack said...

I'm not sure. I do believe the ending is very important. But would probably say the latter.

parabasis said...

I think the latter.. I used to believe the former, but I've seen a lot of plays (or read a lot) where a lot of energy was put into the beginning and end and the writer kind costed through the middle... and now I find that very very disappointing.

Paul Rekk said...

In the former I come out focused on how great the ending was; in the latter on how disappointing the ending was because the rest of the play was so good.

The first is more immediate, but even at that moment, the second has already lodged more of itself in my mind. So... the second?

Scott Walters said...

Sometimes I think I'd welcome either of these options - there are so many plays out there who lack either one! But if I had to choose, I'd take the strong ending. Mainly from experience. I directed "Marisol" a couple of years ago, which is a really compelling play up until the very end when -- for reasons I can't quite figure out -- he resorts to narrative to finish the play. As much as what he wrote at the end was cool, the shift from drama to narrative made it almost impossible to end the play with power. The audience seemed to leave dissatisfied. Maybe I just couldn't make it work, maybe it was my fault, but after 2-1/2 hours of power it hurt to see it leak away.

J.D. said...

A mediocre play cannot have a fantastic ending. Unless it is the mere fact that it is finally over, and one feels fantastic about that.

The ending is everything!

J.D.