- 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.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
League of Independent Theater Responds to New AEA Basic Showcase Code
After many years of determined advocacy in the Off-Off, Independent community with the terms of the Actors' Equity Association Basic Showcase Code, Equity has announced a new Code to take effect Monday, May 25, 2009. The new Code increases the allowed budget of a production from $20,000 to $35,000 (exclusive of AEA actor stipends) and increases the allowed rehearsal period from 4 weeks to 5. Other core issues, such as the number of performances allowed and the inability to videotape a Showcase production, remain unchanged.
The League of Independent Theater New York (LITNY) Executive Director John Clancy responds, "We applaud the efforts of AEA in addressing the critical issue of Code reform and see this revised Code as a small but important step toward their recognition of Off-Off Broadway as a legitimate sector of New York City's cultural landscape. We will continue to advocate for a new Code that recognizes the economic reality of our environment, protects the AEA actor, and allows Off-Off and Independent Theater to flourish and continue its tradition of providing the foundation of theatrical artistic culture to New York City."
LITNY is the advocacy group for Off-Off Broadway, organized to promote the artistic and economic interests of theater professionals working in New York City in theaters of up to 99 seats; to organize and protect its members to ensure that independent theater is economically viable for all of its practitioners; and to advocate on behalf of the decades-old tradition of off-off Broadway theater to ensure that it remains, and grows, as a thriving artistic and economic sector in New York City.
Visit the League of Independent Theater on the web at www.litny.org
Thursday, May 28, 2009
The conversation was certainly a lot of fun, and I think that comes across. Hope you enjoy it.
Pictured: (from the bottom clockwise) Tom Staggs, Matthew Trumbull, Gary Shrader, David DelGrosso, Robert Buckwalter, Stephen Speights, and Carter Jackson. Not pictured is cast member Bruce Barton.
Have you got your tickets yet for Glee Club?
Read more about the show on the Blue Coyote website.
NYC Performing Arts Spaces, a program of Fractured Atlas, has put together this survey to assess the current economic situation for artists, facilities and arts admin – and also one for cultural facilities and performing arts venues. We’d love to get your feedback. If you have additional questions on this information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click the link below for the blogpost with the surveys. It's very short. Should take less than five minutes.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
• Liberal ideology, not legal qualification, is likely to guide the president's choice of judicial nominees.They just listed all the things I WANT her to do! I hate the rights of the unborn especially. They don't pay taxes.
• Justice Souter's retirement could move the Court to the left and provide a critical fifth vote for:
• Further eroding the rights of the unborn and property owners;
• Imposing a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage;
• Stripping "under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance and completely secularizing the public square;
• Abolishing the death penalty;
• Judicial micromanagement of the government's war powers.
In all seriousness, I would like the government's war powers more closely monitored, I'm pro-choice, I'm not a fan of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance; I'm in favor of full equality in the marriage laws (screw you California); and the death penalty is barbaric and ineffective.
I've been reading The Nine by Jeffery Toobin lately, which is a fantastic book about the Supreme Court and timely reading. If there's any lesson I can take from it, it's that judges, no matter how they look upon appointment, are unpredictable, eccentric, and never a sure bet. The right's insistence on being the party of obstruction isn't substantive or even warranted: it's just all they've got left.
It sounds terrific. I can't wait for you all to hear it.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
It's a no-brainer: the man's entire philosophy has been rejected by the American people, many in his own party, and the world at large. Also, it's been proven in practice to be a staggering failure. Why his prescriptions and opinions aren't met with more straightforward outrage is really the biggest surprise. This man is publicly defending torture, and saying that any action taking by America in its own defense is, regardless of the action, justified. It's a revolting argument that should be met with resounding silence. He should be in prison, not on CNN.
James and I both have productions upcoming at the Antidepressant Festival. His play, Infectious Opportunity, should provide quite a bit of fodder for post show drinks and debate.
When the interview is online, I'll be sure to post a link here!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Movement on this front is good, encouraging, and welcome. Still, the extended weeks for rehearsal, with no change in hours, seems odd. I don't see how that will really change much for producers and actors who are working under tough time constraints anyhow. In fact, as Tim Errickson notes in the article, it will likely just be an extra budget item without a concurrent raise in the basic code's ticket cap.
The increase in budget, though (up to $35,000, exclusive of AEA stipends) does seem to accept the premise that "showcase code" productions aren't the sort of operations that the Code was meant to regulate, i.e. limited runs that actors would self-produce in order to get industry attention. If that message is getting through, more reform is definitely possible.
On the Seasonal Code front, there has been an increase in top ticket price (up to $25 from $20) and now companies can spread there 20 to 24 performances out over six weeks, up from five. This will help companies on the press front, and maybe gather audiences more effectively. With an extra week and a higher ticket price, that's a very positive development.
I'd love to hear readers' thoughts about this. This has been something I've written about often in this space. I'm extremely encouraged to see changes being made. I also don't see the changes here that could truly help New York's small theaters in a fundamental way. It's, as they say, a step in the right direction. Baby steps, perhaps.
Either way, this can't be seen as anything but good news.
UPDATE: I'd like to add that what it all comes down to, in the long run, is that we need more performances. That's the bottom line. Everything else is playing on the fringes of the actual issue. Obviously, all of the above is good. It'll help in small ways. But most of the main problems with the Code remain, even with these positive alterations.
UPDATE: Definitely read the excellent commentary here. Some of the comments seem frustrated and I can see why. Still, I think Nick Micozzi notes that there are some rather substantive roadblocks to true change. Reasonableness and patience are a virtue here. AEA seems to have some rather hard to turn wheels. The fact that they are acknowledging changing circumstances is a large concession to OOB.
Today is the 10 year anniversary of the release of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. I saw it three times on opening day. With Liza. I had just arrived in NYC. I guess it's something close to my 10 year anniversary living in New York City as well.
This movie, now almost universally considered the meaning of the word "letdown," carved an 0dd place in my skull: an odd mixture of denial, determination, happiness and comfort. I can speak the entire film to you from memory. I've always been the only person in the room defending it. Now, long after anyone gives a damn, I somehow still am.
All of this may not be my fault. Genetics are the last refuge of those of us with compulsive loves. Last weekend, my father was at Serial Fest. All the movies he loves are what my favorite movies all used as their models or aspired to mimic. Dad and I spent a fair amount of time last year talking about The Phantom Empire, a Gene Autry-science fiction serial from the 1930s, that undoubtedly inspired the name of Episode I.
Perhaps I just have my father's midichlorians.
Either way, today I will be watching this movie again, of course. And sobbing. May the Force be with you!
Monday, May 18, 2009
I promise that if you attend a performance of GLEE CLUB by yours truly, you will hear a great deal of language that the FCC would disallow on Fox or wherever. This should be a selling point.
We sing like goddamn angels. Like motherf*cking angels.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Requiring something lovely on his arm
Took me to Stamford, Connecticut, a quasi-farm,
His family's; later picking up the mammoth
Girlfriend of Charlie, meanwhile trying to pawn me off
On some third guy also up for the weekend.
But Saturday we still were paired; spent
It sprawled across that sprawling acreage
Until the grass grew limp
With damp. Like me. Johnston-baby, I can still see
The pelted clover, burrs' prickle fur and gorged
Pastures spewing infinite tiny bells. You pimp.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Now, we're back.
As you might have noticed, my blogging muscles have gone a bit flabby. I'll continue to write when it moves me; but you may get a fair amount of linking and promotion over here. I may even tell a few jokes. One never knows.
Glee Club is going to be a great show, and I urge you to get your tickets well in advance, as there are only four performances and we have a relatively large cast.
I started working on something new, currently titled "That Which Isn't," and I'm enjoying that. I'll say more about that in the coming weeks, I hope. The Bull Crime is still being worked over and beaten up and turned into a play, whether it wants to or not. Bluebeard may have a public reading relatively soon. I'm pretty excited about it.
Have you purchased a copy of When is a Clock? No? Why not? Is ten bucks too much for you, cheapskate?
Anyhow, I hope all who bother to read this blog are well, and happy, and looking forward to a summer filled with theater festivals.
Onwards and upwards!
Monday, May 04, 2009
Hope everyone's out there having fun and kicking ass.