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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, June 23, 2010

The Octoroon kerfuffle

Okay so this post at the Village Voice and the thread below are fucking hilarious.

Isaac writes about it.

George writes about it.

Helen Shaw writes about it.

My thoughts? This sucks for the actor involved and sucks for the production. I don't know if the e-mail was actually sent to the press or to friends and acquaintances. Either way, its gossip-mongering and that's a shame. But come off it. Is this a "leak?" Is this a national security scoop worthy of getting a piece of the shrinking newshole? The question, for me, isn't whether or not the Voice has a right to publish it, or if it's ethical...but is it worth anyone's time? I mean, look at all the comments. It's insane. The Voice just published a personal grievance by an actor who copied the wrong person or some crap like that. Do we think it's news that people occasionally don't get along in New York City theater? Arguments like these happen every 30 seconds. There are plenty of burned bridges all over the city. So...what?

I'll tell you what. People love this stuff. Theater is boring to talk about. Try to get through the sentence "American theater needs to re-examine it's approach to..." without falling asleep.

People want a little blood in the water. I've had this blog for more than five years. Trust me. I could ask questions about political theater all day. I could write about the nature of theatrical marketing. I could write about decentralization or ticket prices or Peter Brook. I could post my own unfinished work online and ask for feedback.

But if I wrote a post called "[Insert fellow playwright's name] is an untalented, useless jerk and here's why..." I would have about 152 comments in a few hours.

So Karl Allen... take heart. This too shall pass. In fact, it's the day after. You're half way to this being just a funny story you tell at bars.


George Hunka said...

Actually, I don't really find it hilarious, but saddening, especially as it comes from the organization that founded the Obies oh-so-many years ago. And rather reprehensible, if the post remains up, because it will then set a precedent of sorts. Whether it's worth anybody's time, is amusing or unamusing (I don't find it amusing at all, really), etc., is beside the point. It causes quite real grief not only to the writer, but to the personnel involved in The Octoroon besides.

Anybody care to "out" the Village Voice contributor who posted it in the first place?

Freeman said...

I guess laughter is my response to the ridiculous and awful. But I totally respect your view that a lot of people are feeling furious and hurt today.

joshcon80 said...

I'm with you.


joshcon80 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Johnston said...

If this whiny little bitch is so ashamed to be in this play, why doesn't he quit?

Joshua James said...

Agree ... with Freeman.

Kyle said...

Well s***, I'm going. I have an extra ticket. Who wants it?