About Me

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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.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Up!

I just saw UP which, like Wall-E, is this perfect mix of exciting and heartbreaking. It's a fantastic movie. And beautiful. And actually about something.

Can't wait to see Drag Me To Hell, as well.

Quite the weekend for pop entertainment at the movies.

Friday, May 29, 2009

LITNY responds to changes in the basic AEA Showcase Code

Here is their press release:

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

Gotta say

This review is pretty funny.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I interview James Comtois

James Comtois and I recently recorded a podcast for the "nytheatrecast." You can listen or download the MP3 directly here, or read a bit more about it here. It will also be available on iTunes. We chat about antiheroes, HBO, lying to get attention, the Antidepressant Festival, and of course, his new play Infectious Opportunity.

The conversation was certainly a lot of fun, and I think that comes across. Hope you enjoy it.

Glee Club Tickets!


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.

Survey

Hey everyone - check this out -

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 davidj@nycpaspaces.org

Click the link below for the blogpost with the surveys. It's very short. Should take less than five minutes.

http://nycpaspaces.org/blog/postShow/id/26

How to win votes

The Republican party is now pro-torture and anti-empathy. I call that a winning political message.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

99 seats

This post is good reading for those of us committed to adjustments in AEA's rules for small theaters in NYC.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"I liked the whole thing!"

Maybe it's just because I know the little reviewer in question...but this review made me smile.

Cosmic Brew!

GOP Talking Points against Obama's Pick - Whoo Hoo!

I'm excited by Obama's pick for the Supreme Court. What's got me more excited is this piece from TPM, which lays out the GOP lines of attack.

• Liberal ideology, not legal qualification, is likely to guide the president's choice of judicial nominees.

...

• 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.

They just listed all the things I WANT her to do! I hate the rights of the unborn especially. They don't pay taxes.

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.

A new song

We've been rehearsing Glee Club for a few weeks now, and the cast has been rehearsing "The World Will Make You Smile." The song, written by Stephen Speights (with a few small contributions from me) is a very traditional sounding, terribly earnest chorus number.

It sounds terrific. I can't wait for you all to hear it.

Theatre Ideas is moving

To a new blog, as Scott Walters focuses on his next project. Read the announcement here. Good travels!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day

Think hard. What didn't you remember until just now?

I remember my Big Wheels. Remember those? I loved that damn thing.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

On Cheney

The least popular politician in years stands at a podium to say 9/11 made it okay for us to torture, kidnap, lie and murder.

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.

nytheatrecast upcoming with James Comtois

I'll be chatting with James Comtois, recording another podcast for the Nytheatrecast. This will be similar to my chat a few weeks ago with Adam Szymkowicz. That podcast proved very popular and I think it was a good first effort. If you haven't listened, Adam and I talked about theft as a concept, in preparation for his successful run with Pretty Theft at the Access Theater, produced by Flux Theatre Ensemble. You can download that podcast here.

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!

The Knife Paintings of the Ultimate Warrior

Everyone loves art.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Roommate needed in Astoria for June 1st!

Hi there folks--Matthew Trumbull, Freeman Blog Lieutenant, here.  Great news!  There's an opportunity to live with me opening up on June 1st!  Here are the details!  Get it while it's hot!
Location: The apartment is on 37th Street, between 30th Ave and 28th Ave in Astoria. 

Your Rent: $770 a month, $770 security deposit. 

What you get for that: Really big room. 156 sq ft. Great light. Living room and kitchen are also very spacious. Your room, if you so choose, comes with a bed. I have Time Warner basic cable + HBO and utilities to split with you, and high-speed internet. The apartment is in a 3 unit building, on the 2nd floor, up one flight of stairs. 

Me: Pleasant, relaxed guy on the quiet side--charming with witty, slightly nerdish qualities. Nothing too crazy. Not a neat freak, but responsible and interested in having pleasant, hygienic living conditions.

You: Also pleasant/relaxed, with a stable income, and a preference for as much of a drama-free existence as you can manage in this life. Someone who doesn't smoke, or is content to do it outside on the stoop. Someone who is also content with living pretty quietly here, and not having loud gatherings, parties, or the usage of illegal drugs in the apartment. A family with young kids lives below me, so I try to keep the noise down at night. 

Pets--Rico and Boris live here. They are cats. They are super wonderful creatures. I keep their litterboxes clean and odor-free. If you are cat-adverse, this probably isn't the place for you. If you come with a creature that is a dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, or anything that doesn't live in an aquarium, same thing. 

Look forward to hearing from you: matthew.trumbull@gmail.com--and thanks!

Showcase Code Modifications!

Some changes have been made to the Showcase Code! You can read about them here.

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.

Buy your tickets now for GLEE CLUB


GLEE CLUB opens June 7th. We have a large cast and very few performances, so I'd suggest getting your tickets well in advance.

You can purchase tickets here.

10 Years of Darth Maul


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

Glee Club Promo # 5

Some TV show

Apparently, there is some TV show coming out called GLEE or GLEE CLUB. I am now aware of this. I resent the television in this instance.

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.

Question for a Monday Morning

What gives you the right?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Surprises

Wanted to share this poem by Louise Gl├╝ck. Reprinted here entirely without permission, because that's how I roll. Read it this morning on the train. It contains all these perfect, biting surprises.

LABOR DAY

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

The White Swallow

I've published the full text of THE WHITE SWALLOW, a brief play from early 2008, online for your fun and profit. It's been affectionately dubbed "The Egg Play" by friends and those who saw it.

Enjoy!

Note: This play contains adult content.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Returning from Vacation

Still in the glow of a drowsy, absolutely fun vacation. We went up to Buttermilk Falls Inn and Spa in Milton, NY; had a good few days of no computers, not answering phone calls, and eating great food. Went to Storm King, wandered the grounds of the Inn, saw llamas and chickens and peacocks, and drank wine and read on big comfy couches. Pam got her tarot cards read by Rachel Pollack. I ate lobster. We bought books in New Paltz. I saw Star Trek, which is a total blast. Grand, grand, grand.

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

On Vacation

Pam and I have taken the week off from work, and we'll be out of town Tuesday - Thursday. Not that I've been blogging up a storm lately or anything, but I will definitively be unavailable for the next few days.

Hope everyone's out there having fun and kicking ass.