I'm about to get married. I've lived in New York City since 1999. I've been at this Off Off or Indie Theater thing for a while now. I'm feeling...I dunno. Like looking back or something like that.
One thing I think goes unspoken for playwrights like me, or for many of us, are the uncontracted, unspoken, entirely key partnerships that we form over time. I know I've been particularly blessed in that respect. Over the past several years, I do have a sort of core group of people that I work with, and who work with me (thank God for all of them) that have facilitated my work.
One of the key people, and you probably know this if you've read my blog over these last five years, is Kyle Ancowitz and the rest of Blue Coyote Theater Group. Blue Coyote is my home, for certain. Kyle, though, has directed nine of my plays if you include short plays: The Great Escape, The Most Wonderful Love, When Is A Clock, An Interview With The Author, Glee Club, What To Do To A Girl, The White Swallow and Trayf. He's also the director of my current show That Old Soft Shoe. I like to say that no one works as hard as Kyle does at making my career possible. We work hard for one another, and we try to do our best work and inspire one another, and I'm incredibly grateful for it.
Gary Shrader, another of the four artistic Coyote core, directed both the 2004 production of The Americans (a play and production I still have a great fondness for) and originated the role of Paul in the original Glee Club production. Stephen Speights wrote the music for both The Most Wonderful Love and Glee Club, as well as playing the role of Ben in that production. Bob Buckwalter played the lead The Great Escape and did wonderful work as the divorced Mark in Glee Club.
There are countless other partnerships. Obviously, most people know that I've worked with actors David DelGrosso (who appeared in The Most Wonderful Love, When Is A Clock, An Interview With The Author, Glee Club, The White Swallow, Trayf and is currently in That Old Soft Shoe) and Matthew Trumbull (who appeared in Reasons for Moving, The Death of King Arthur, The Most Wonderful Love, 465 at the Metropolitan Playhouse, When Is A Clock, An Interview With The Author, Glee Club, What To Do To A Girl, The White Swallow and Trayf.) But there are many other people I've worked with rather often. Tom Staggs, for example, played Mordred in The Death of King Arthur, Gordon in When Is A Clock and Hank in Glee Club. Laura Desmond appeared in The Great Escape, The Most Wonderful Love, When Is A Clock, The White Swallow and now appears in That Old Soft Shoe. Sean Kenin played King Arthur, appeared in and produced Reasons for Moving and was recently in the original cast of Exposition. Plus, he's the guy that introduced me to the Coyotes in the first place.
That's just to name a few people who have been mainstays in my work, and have given my work great faith, time and energy. There are tons of actors beyond these that have appeared in multiple readings, two or more productions, or has been a part of my life in New York and my work for a very long time (Kina Bermudez appears in Exposition/Denouement but was the Page Boy in The Death of King Arthur back in 2001, for example.)
I post all these rambling citations not just to offer up a list, but to inspire you to think about who it is that has formed your own core and community. One of the facts about theater is that it is not a solitary life. Who, out there, are your teammates or is your teammate? Who makes your work happen? Whose work inspires you to keep working? When you're shuffling between work and laundry, who, besides yourself, do you run home and write for?
- 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.