- 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.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Under St. Marks is in trouble. They need to raise $50,000. They are at, as of this writing, just about $13,000. That means you, yes you, must donate as much as you can to this cause. I'm serious. You know how you're thinking about spending $50 this weekend to see a movie and then get some beers? Spend exactly that amount right now to save this theater space. Contribute here.
I mean it. Contribute. Do something today you'll feel proud of.
Horse Trade has been producing theater in the East Village since 1998. We offer inexpensive space rental for self-producing artists; we produce with guest artists, resident artists, and our veteran resident artists. Horse Trade hosts FRIGID New York, a festival that gives 100% of the box office back to the artists, The Fire This Time, a festival that gives voices to emerging African American Playwrights and Imbewu, a contemporary South African theater festival. We bring performers from Canada, South Africa, and all over the United States. We have sent our local New York talent to share their work in Indianapolis, Orlando, San Francisco, New Orleans, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Edmonton; and the list keeps growing.
Over the past 13 years we have painstakingly created a home for a community of varied voices which values and displays a vast amount of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. We view ourselves as the research and development wing of American theater. We are proud to provide a training ground for Broadway’s future stars, writers, technicians, designers and other artistic and management personal.
We have been called "A mecca for teriffic off- off Broadway theater," by Martin Denton of NYTheatre.com and “the epicenter of the independent theater world in New York," By Leonard Jacobs Director of the Cultural Institutions Unit at NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Rachel Chavkin of the TEAM has written that "Companies tend to establish a reputation around the Horse Trade Theaters."
The building that houses our UNDER St Marks Theater, one of our three theater spaces, is now up for sale. We hope to purchase 94 St. Marks Place and make a permanent space where artists can create, learn, grow and share. The amount of money we are attempting to raise in this fundraising drive is not enough to buy the building, but it will be enough to launch a capitol campaign that will allow us to do so.
What We Need & What You Get
We will use the funds we raise to draw up architectural plans, create legal documents, and put together a professional business and marketing packet. These things cost money and this is why we are asking for your help. What you will get in return, aside from the trinkets associated with your donation amount, is a permanent home for artists to come and express themselves in front of a live theater audience. You will have a hand in creating a place for people to share their work, get inspired or just be entertained in the company of others. If you have seen a show at UNDER St. Marks you understand; if you have not, then help us insure that you get that opportunity.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please pass word about this campaign to everyone you know, the NYC real estate market is tough to beat but our work goes out to people all over the North America and there is real power in numbers, help us reach those numbers and increase our power.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
A truly great day. Was watching "Sweet Smell of Success" on DVD with my wife and David Johnston when the news came in. Champagne, long saved, was brought out to celebrate.
Love to all out there - including my brother Dan and his long-time partner Joe - who deserve nothing less than equal citizenship. Here's to a great step forward. For a long time, "Albany" has been the equivalent of incompetence, disappointment, corruption. For tonight, their name equals "the right side of history."
RULES FOR THE NAMING OF PLAYS
So you have examined the Rules for the Writing of Plays and lickity-split you're the author of one of the next great American Works of Dramatic Artistry. How, pray tell, do you trumpet the heralding of the harbingers of this monumental act of creationism?
By naming the play with gusto, dear readers.
Heretoforthwith, we shall delve (reference to Stoppard) into the naming of things, the power of names, and how naming and titling are related.
First... we shall look at the great titles.
Hamlet is the title of a play. So is Death of a Salesman. Other play titles one might note are Doubt, Waiting for Godot, and The Odd Couple. There are many more titles of playworks. They include Bug, King Lear and, of course, Fences.
What do these titles have in common? So very much.
Hamlet is the name of the most important character in all of modern history and the first human mind expressed in its fullness. So much so that he even impressed Harold Bloom. No small feat. If your main character is capable of impressing Harold Bloom and interesting Peter Brook, name the play after this character. For example, Beckett did not name Waiting for Godot "Estragon." Why? Because Estragon isn't, in and of himself, capable of hanging himself. Hamlet is perfectly capable of killing himself. Hence, title character.
Death of a Salesman is an excellent title because it gives away the ending. People aren't interested in being surprised. Give away as much as you can without being cheeky.
Doubt, a more recently play, names itself after the theme of the play. While at some point in time this might have been frowned upon (should Shakespeare have called Hamlet "Indecision?"), these days, high school English teachers are overmatched by the reductive power of text messaging and YouTube. As a playwright that is alive, you are well-served to consider the theme of your play as its title. It will only help underpaid teachers explain what the hell is going on.
The Odd Couple is such a good title they turned it into a TV show. Write that down. These days, that play would have been written by Paul Rudnick. Shame that it wasn't, in a way.
Let us move past the examples of the past and think more forward-like. You have written a new play that is untitled. Let us say this play is three acts long and the plot revolves around the sun. Meaning, it is a history of our study of the sun. The main character is Copernicus, but you have named him Nicky Copper, and put him in 1930s Chicago.
Call the play Chicago Sun Times.
You see? Simple math. One word for each act.
Or, perhaps, you have written a ten minute thriller about the history of Tibet. In ten short minutes, you are able to sum up the history of the struggle for Tibet Freedom. It is a hit at parties, this play, and you can tell it will be beloved by the Actor's Theater of Louisville.
Call the play Ten Minutes in Tibet. So everyone knows what you're up to.
Or, dear dramatist, you have written a political masterpiece, which uses devilishly disguised figures with names like Decider and BlossomPoo and Mary Queen of Scots. The play spans the lifespan of the spanned life of a fictional kingdom called the Universal Capitalist Tribes and its many wars over plastic toys in the Middle Desert. It is an alternate history of sorts, barely researched and therefore unclouded by anything but fresh thinking.
Call the play The United States of America. That will really show them.
Regardless of how you go about titling your masterwork of new drama, you must remember that it is as much science as art. Precision and testing do the trick. Ask you Mother what she finds most memorable. Look for important phrases in songs and rework them to match your needs. Name your play Title for a bit of metatheatrical giggle-laugh-riotry. But most of all: Be Yourself.
To close, and to be generous, other play titles you can use are:
Lucinda's Dog Walking Business
The Big Red Balloon
Christ is Watching The Eyes That Are Watching God
They Still Boil Lobsters, Don't They?
The Historical Tragedy of Amerigo Vespucci
This, I Should Not Have Sniffed
Dedicated to My Mentor, Freeman
James Comtois and Qui Nguyen: With Fights!
Endgame (which you are trying to write anyway)
Kickstand: The Bicycle Cycle
Ten Short Plays Copywritten
Two performances left. A must-see, as they say.
Oh and don't just take my word for it. The Times agrees.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Actors alert: pick up a copy of this new monologue anthology, Exceptional Monologues 2 for Men and Women.
Features pieces from Itamar Moses, Sarah Ruhl, Sheila Callaghan, Jenny Schwarz, Adam Szymkowicz, John Clancy, Ken Davenport. Oh, and two pieces from When Is A Clock, by good old me.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
How many plays are we going to have to write about you before you give us the attention we deserve?
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Thanks for the heads up Megan F!
Which is why I so appreciate this perspective from the Guardian. Love Jerusalem and War Horse, Tony nominated and, in the case of War Horse, Tony Awarded? Thank the British taxpayer.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
If you want great alternative coverage of the Tony Awards, try The Playgoer and/or Jaime Green at The Awl.
And, if you want an actual alternative to the Tony Awards and all things Broadway, check out Standards of Decency 3 this week.
Friday, June 10, 2011
So... on Monday evening I wrote a short play. Too late, perhaps, to rehearse and include into the festival, nevertheless, Kyle Ancowitz quickly shot and edited the play into this 10 minute video, featuring a pair of terrific performances by David DelGrosso and Moira Stone. From written to released in four days. Newfangled, fast, and fun. I hope you enjoy it.
The play is called Character(s). It's about Congressman Dick Peters meeting with his aide Carol to hastily craft a statement of public apology.
If you dig the video, definitely share it with your friends. For live pieces like this one, including my play The Metaphor, come and see Standards of Decency 3: 300 Vaginas Before Breakfast, which runs until June 18th, 2011. (Critic's Pick at Time Out New York!)
Thursday, June 09, 2011
The winner of Best Musical will find a new home Off Broadway!
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson will be heard of outside the Tri-State Area!
The next day, many of the people who appear on the show will have a small, depressing party at the office, college or restaurant that employs them!
An annual pre-written pile of blog posts and articles about the terrible ratings are on the way!
Sour grapes, served up nice and cold on this hot June day.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Tonight and next Wednesday, use the discount code 15Weds to get $15 tickets to Standards of Decency 3: 300 Vaginas Before Breakfast. Usually $25. A bargain!
The show's been getting welcomed by critics and it's been grand.
"A thought-provoking and enjoyable look at the effect of pornography on our lives and relationships...if you don’t walk out thinking you saw a scene about yourself, your boyfriend, your mom, or someone you know, you’re lying as much as the guy who’s never seen porn.."
Jessica Cauttero, THEATRE IS EASY
"For the latest edition of its Standards of Decency series, Blue Coyote Theater Group commissioned nine playwrights to create 10-minute plays "to help us understand what the new media are doing to us…at the place where technology, sex, and relationships interface." Mission accomplished... All have something to say. Nearly all are diverting, some distinctly thought-provoking...the best provide real delight."
Jon Sobel, BLOGCRITICS.ORG
"Fast-paced and enjoyable...an entertaining look at the topic that comprises one quarter of all search engine requests.”
John Peacock, FLAVORPILL
Monday, June 06, 2011
Where are the philanthropists? Is there someone out there that would care to step in?
Anyone else find this ironic just as we keep hearing about "too many plays, too much theater?" How about no theater and no plays? Would that satisfy economics and economic principles enough?
Sunday, June 05, 2011
The Death of King Arthur by Matthew Freeman
Glee Club by Matthew Freeman
When Is A Clock by Matthew Freeman
The Americans by Matthew Freeman for only $1.99 (for the Kindle, for the Nook)
Rabbi Hersh and the Talking Lobster or Trayf (in Great Short Comedies Vol. 5)
Genesis (in Playing with Canons)