- 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, June 30, 2008
Oh, did I mention seeing Tom Waits in concert? Holy Shit he was amazing.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I have recently been thinking- perhaps under the larger heading of "Mortal Panic"- of how many theaters I have learned, performed and directed in that are gone.
All of the challenging, funky and lived-in spaces that Emerson College had at 69 Brimmer Street have been gutted and, I believe, have become luxury housing. The Actor's Workshop in Boston, where I directed SubUrbia for The Other Theater, (starring a young, still-acting Matthew Freeman as Jeff), is now a building with a lot of little medical offices in it.
That old Theater Row building, that was on the corner of 42nd Street and Dyer, was a big part of my life when I got to New York City. We rented out the old Abingdon Theater space on the fourth floor to do a production of As You Like It, and then Matthew Trumbull and I got involved with Pulse Ensemble, who used to do shows on the bottom and second-story level, as well as in the courtyard in front of the... was it the John Housman Theater? (Also, has anyone noticed that Wikipedia has thorough articles for every comic book character in the world, but no comprehensive listing for New York City Theaters? I could easily find out who all of Wolverine's old girlfriends are, but no entry for The John Housman Theater to let me know if that is the place I'm thinking of. Do the Theatre equivalents of comic-book geeks just not like Wikipedia?)
Well, anyway, that's all torn down. That corner will eventually have another big condo building on it, I believe.
So, risking mortal panic of your own, what are some of the theaters you worked in, loved or perhaps begrudgingly loved warts and all that are gone? Spill some out for us.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
So lately I've been posting a little infrequently, as work and life and summertime have made things a bit more complicated for me. To remedy this appalling lack of content, I have invited my dear pals David D. and Matthew Trumbull to throw in a few postings here and there.
Both are fine actors and clever gentlemen. We've been friends since 1994. Too long, really. Perhaps this blog experiment will be the thing that finally ends our friendship. At long last.
For those who follow my work, David and Matt have been prominently featured in many of my plays, most recently "Trayf," "The White Swallow" and "When is a Clock."
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I went to Emerson College with these beautiful people. Worship at their black hooded hoods.
Oh Schnappp! REMIX!
Monday, June 23, 2008
The play is a dissection of class competition and generosity. The generosity in Benefactors is deceptively corrosive, and kindnesses, even those with good intentions, are performed with a roll of the eye, at least, or a twist of the knife. It's rare to see a perfectly constructed and well-acted play with no trickery to prop it up. The play never feels playful or clever: it feels smart.
It's playing for one more weekend and I heartily recommend it. The four actors (James Arden, Lisa Blankenship, Francine Margolis; and my good friend Ian Gould, who was featured prominently in When is a Clock) are fantastic, and Marcus Geduld's spare direction hits all the right notes of a deceptively complex piece.
Thursday is already sold out, so get your tickets for the last three performances here.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
"Given the place of the reviewing and critical community in the post-capitalist ideology that maintains journalists, the business community and artists as closely-
Not terribly likely, of course.
But, in the interest of discussion...what do you think this would accomplish? Even as pure fantasy, what would your community look like without the major critics? Would it have little-to-no effect? Would is free you up? Would it effectively take theatre off the public radar?What do you think?
Monday, June 16, 2008
Playgoer Liveblogged it. You might find it interesting if you like the Tony Awards. He's the champ, that Playgoer.
I was playing Metal Gear Solid 4 all weekend instead. It is...wonderful.
Also, this is a video of Baby Sloths.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
It's been tabled, of course, by spineless leadership. The reason given, now as always, is that it would be divisive and time-consuming. One might wonder how time-consuming doing nothing for the environment has been. And how one might balance a concern for divisiveness with the impeachment of a President that performed countless illegal actions in bare view of the country, with no consequences except declining poll numbers.
Give it a read. It's damning.
Bravo, Dennis, for having principles.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I saw How Theater Failed America this weekend. How's that for being late to the dance? I'll post about that shortly.
Am seeing Trujillo's play and Folding Chair's production of Benefactors this week.
I also have every intention of buying a Playstation 3 this week, in order to play Metal Gear Solid 4. It is important to me.
So, dear readers, how are you?
Friday, June 06, 2008
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
If anyone involved in the Festival wants to let readers know what they should expect, please comment away.
Over at nytheatre.com, they've got a full boat of YouTube clips to promote these piece. Check it out!
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Of course, this is absurd and it's always been absurd. That fact that she's making this argument gives me all the more reason that I'm secure in my vote for Obama. It's a shame that she's willing to pit the voters of Michigan and Florida against the rules of her own party...all it does is make winning those important states more difficult for the Democratic Party in November. It does...almost...nothing...else.
A primary is not a pure national election, is it a party nominating process that has specific rules made up by, essentially, a very big club. The rules are wonky and often counter-productive. But if the Democrats decided that their nominee should be decided by a dart board, they could. It would not make for a smart process, but it would be completely within their rights. The fact that Florida and Michigan's Democratic leadership chose to skirt the party rules and move their primaries up is what disenfranchised their voters, and that, in the end, is not the fault of the current leadership.
Fault aside, many voters probably DID NOT go to the polls when they learned their votes were not being counted and candidates were not running in their state. That fact alone should disqualify some high-minded talk of democracy being made mock of. Clinton wants states counted that benefit her, and because no one else was on the ballot in Michigan, and because name recognition was the only SORT of running going on in Florida, she received those votes.
If name recognition were the entire contest, Clinton could have been handed the nomination at the start, and moved on. She, in fact, came in THIRD in Iowa to begin the very long process of finally giving up the ghost. When all the candidates were in the race, she didn't win. When the primary is primarily uncontested, she did just fine.
She also did well where primaries were hotly contested. That shows just how tough she is. But in the end, she hasn't won, and wins only by intellectual slight-of-hand, and that has been true for a very long time.
It's time for her to stop doing damage to her legacy, to the party, and to the Democratic Nominee. Especially with smoke and mirrors and disingenuous outrage about "counting every vote." If she truly felt that way, her own math wouldn't start counting on February 19th.
Let's hope she makes the right move tonight.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
James Comtois certainly wears his source material on his sleeve in this production, being Watchmen and a lot of the Dark Knight Returns stuff. But he diverges in a few key ways that makes the material his very own, and I truly found those departures rewarding.
The first was that Comtois removes the idea of flight entirely from the superhero genre. His characters, even the most powerful ones, are earthbound at their core, in more ways that one. With his main super-powered character Overman, Comtois blends Superman and Dr. Manhattan. But in the end, Overman is entirely new... a character who loses touch with his humanity because of actual experiences, not because he has mastery over all atomic structures (like Dr. Manhattan) or because he's essentially alien (like Superman.) He has telekinetic powers, he's nearly impervious to pain, he's an entirely new kind of human being. But he's also a son of a cop, someone who never wanted to go into law enforcement, who finds himself to pure embodiment of tyrannical law through power. And because he cannot fly, he never gets the bird's eye view that Superman or Dr. Manhattan are afforded. When he escapes, he escapes to a jungle. He can be found. He is not invisible. He is never freed entirely from being human.
Which is what makes Comtois solution to this all the more unique: he shows the importance of finding kinship. That being alone, lonely, or singular is essentially a dehumanizing experience, and the moment Overman meets his match, his response isn't the sort you'd see in the movies... he finds himself suddenly humanized.
It's the new place Comtois takes this material. Certainly there's a great deal in Colorful World that is said in its entirety in Watchmen or elsewhere. But this particular take on the material, that kinship is a humanizing force, is the sort of healing statement that makes this material not a product of 1980s nuclear fear (as is Watchmen) but a product of the current era. That in order to be citizens of the world, no matter how powerful we are, we need to see peers in the world, not challengers to our power.
If Overman represents, in many ways, the United States... a new and young nation with power far beyond its ability to maturely handle... then Overman enacts the very odd misanthropic fantasies that the US does. Better to wipe out what we don't understand, or wipe out what challenges us, than to seek understanding. Perhaps the best thing possible for the US, in this way, is the growth of other world powers, of peers, whose interests coincide with ours. That check our behavior, reflect on us, and make us a sibling, not an enforcer.
My congratulations to Nosedive and to James. Well done!