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.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monologue from Brandywine Distillery Fire - Opening

Also in Brandywine Distillery Fire ...

I've always been fond of the speech that opened that play. I figure why not share it here too? This was written for Moira Stone (and so it bears her name), and it borrows largely from improvisational material generated by the cast of Exposition.

On a side note: it's nice to share some of my creative work in this space. I don't do it that often, and I hope to remedy that.



She asked me if I would zip it up for her. I said I would. She turned around. I zipped her up. I don’t know. It could have been the way she turned around that made me start crying. But it was only a little bit of crying, and she didn’t notice it. Or she did notice it, and she didn’t say anything about it. She does that. She actively says nothing. Chooses zero.


She’s cheerful. She’s stuffed into this turquoise and coral dress like it’s a pig’s mouth and she’s an apple. Years ago, she was sitting in a pair of beige pants and only her bra sobbing into an ashtray. I was, what? Ten? Younger? She asked me to open a box of cigarettes because she couldn’t. Now, here we are. Here she is. I work somewhere, I do something, I’m married, I don’t think about being married. It’s all she thinks about. Being married.


When she dies… I wonder if she even will die. Will she? She could. She’s supposed to I guess. If she does, when she does, I’m going to just watch television and wear jeans. I’m going to flop down on a couch and watch TV until I just flick it off and then I’ll stare at the black screen and wait. Did you know that when the TV is off…it’s dreaming? Of Sanford and Sons and Car 54 Where Are You and waves and pixels and light trapped in tombs. Of light trapped underground in Paris. When it closes its eyes, it’s dreaming.


Leigh Hile said...

This is an absolutely beautiful monologue. I love the imagery, especially, "stuffed into this turquoise and coral dress like it’s a pig’s mouth and she’s an apple." Now I wish I had seen the show. Thanks for sharing.

Moira said...

Well, obviously I'm a fan of this.

I have a whole bunch of very personal associations with this monologue, as one might expect. The dress, my mother, the television and a particular pair of jeans. The couch. An apple, even.

But oddly, I developed them all weeks or even months into the process of learning and performing it. The shape and sound of the words and the phrasing were far more important than words' meanings. (Anyone at our first rehearsals could see that, I'm sure. I can still hear MG asking me to get rid of the beauty.)

It's a weird way to work - from the poetry inwards - but one that was suited to the project. And it's a way of working that I've taken with me to other projects now. It's not feeling-centric, it's not objective-centric. It's ... er. I don't have a word, really. But it's useful. I like it.