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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

9/11 Collection on Indie Theater Now featuring The Americans

Indie Theater Now is a website which allows theater lovers access to the best plays of the New York City Indie Theater scene over the past decade or so. It launched just last month, and now has expanded with the 9/11 Collection, a collection of plays written on that theme, to commemorate the 10 year anniversary.

You can check out the entire collection here. Among the playwrights represented are Julia Lee Barclay, Leslie Bramm, Richard Hinojosa, Kelly McAllister. It also includes my play The Americans.

I'd love to know if you're using Indie Theater Now, and how it's working for you. If not, why not?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

next up: a workshop at the Brick Theater

Those lovely guys at The Brick have given me some time in their house to workshop a new script. The play (which I've mentioned in this space before) is called in the great expanse of space there is nothing to see but More, More, More. Much like Exposition or Denouement two years ago, this production will have a three night performance schedule, September 29th, 30th and October 1st.

The cast is a terrific group of actors: Lindsey Carter, Maggie Cino, Stephanie Cox-Williams, Rebecca Davis, Alexis Sottile, Stephanie Willing and Morgan Anne Zipf.

Also, I will be directing the project myself! Shudder!

More details to come. The piece is extremely musical and architectural; I certainly look forward to hearing responses.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cookie Monster is Tom Waits

Yeah, I'm the last person to link to this. Whatever. It's the best thing ever ever ever made and it might as well justify the internet by itself.

On Wasserstein's Secrecy

I think you'll enjoy this essay in the Sunday Times about the secrecy of Wendy Wasserstein. Yes, you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mike Daisey announces 24 hour monologue

So...is this brave? Brilliant? Has he lost it? Is it a wait and must-see? Speak on't, blogosphere.

Me, personally, I'm all for it. There will be meals. It's something new under the sun, and may God bless the new. I also love when performers mess with what our idea of the "right amount of time" is. Plays have gotten shorter and shorter. 90 minutes. 65 minutes. As if to say "don't mind us, we're not here to bother you." This is quite the middle-finger to that impulse.

His announcement below...



Created and Performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory

Saturday, September 17th at 6pm until
Sunday, September 18th at 6pm

Tickets and details:

For years Mike Daisey has been working on an insane project: a live, 24-hour monologue on the scale of War and Peace and The Iliad. Unbelievably, this dream will at last be realized as the finale of this year's T:BA Festival. Conceived as an epic story that shatters the framework of the theater, All the Hours in the Day spans the globe, weaving together stories from every time zone into an electric road movie for our time. In this marathon event, Daisey uses his skills in the largest story of his life, melding fact and fiction, and subverting and delighting audiences in an effort to find the still-beating heart of humanity here at the dawn of our corporate age. Combining song, dioramas, pageantry, surprise guests, unexpected developments, devastating reversals, and the keen possibility of failure, Daisey will strive like Scheherazade to create a universe with a daring and fearless audience. Join us in an impossible pursuit.

Called "the master storyteller- one of the finest solo performers of his generation" by The New York Times, Mike Daisey is the preeminent master of the monologue form today. He is also an author, playwright, citizen, raconteur, professional dilettante, and working artist.

Audiences are encouraged to stay for the entire performance. There will be regularly scheduled meal breaks with food and drink available for purchase on site for the duration of the performance. Outside food and beverage are permitted (excluding alcohol). Do not worry. We will take care of you. It will be an adventure.

"What distinguishes him from most solo performers is how elegantly he blends personal stories, historical digressions and philosophical ruminations. He has the curiosity of a highly literate dilettante and a preoccupation with alternative histories, secrets large and small, and the fuzzy line where truth and fiction blur." - The New York Times

* * *


Pam and I took in Jerusalem on Saturday, which is absolutely brilliant (no news there). So many of the recommendations to see the show were based on the performance of Mark Rylance, who is of course phenomenal - brutal, precise, mythic, untrustworthy, tragic, bold.

What I was unprepared for, perhaps because the performances were so highlighted to me, is just how wonderful the play is. Jez Butterworth's play made me joyfully envious at every turn. It's positively abundant with terrific writing, rich symbols, and guts. I mean hell, the play combines Falstaff and Oberon and Lear in the form of a man who has all the cocaine in the forest. I enjoyed, also, how it's jagged, inexplicable edges become a part of what's exhilarating. It's not symmetrical, not careful, and it's built more on momentum and heartiness than being user-friendly.

In short: I loved it. Go see it while you still can. And thank an English tax payer, next time you meet one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Jason Zinoman does quite right by the Amoralists in this review. Not only announcing Sarah Lemp to the world, but also calling out those that disapprove about the company's signature style.

"Mr. Ahonen, the Amoralists’ leader, who also directs, has a showman’s sensibility. Some critics take issue with his knock-about melodramatic flourishes, but grumbling about the shouting in his shows is like going to a musical and complaining that the actors broke into song. Like it or not, that’s his style. Even at their most over the top, Mr. Ahonen’s plays are notably earnest, especially in this work, which ponders a subject that resists ironic distance: sex. "Link

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity on IWantWrestling.com

Boy is this totally awesome. Go Lagana and go Kristoffer Diaz. See? Theater and wrestling come together and form AwesomeVoltron.

Is it okay to boo, too?

Since we've decided that the indefensible is now debatable ("Do we torture?" "Do we not pay our bills if we're the US government?" "Is it okay to audibly show live human actors we don't like them in public?" "Is Roe v. Wade settled law?") I think we should open up all sorts of other questions to debate. Why should anything be settled in a world of free speech? Let's not take anything for granted. I offer up these questions for your future blog posts or filler pieces...

Is it okay to punch someone if they are not killed by the punch?

Is it okay to go see a movie you didn't like, for a second time?

Is it okay to raise children to be assholes, even if it wasn't on purpose?

Is it okay to stand up and start giving lines to a play you have memorized, from the audience, just to help out?

Is it okay to buy DVDs even if you have On Demand?

When you watch a play, is it okay to walk out in a huff, and then come back and say "I'm walking out!" and then walk out again, just to make sure no one thought you were just going to take a call or something?

Is it okay to stand up and clap as if a play is over when it's really obviously not over?

Will it offend an actor if he or she is slapped while eating?

If a playwright is present at a rehearsal, may he or she be used in status games, to illustration "low status?"

Should a person announce how they intend to use the toilet exactly, loudly, at dinner?

Should a person be allowed to have only one wife? Is that enough wives?

Is it totally okay to really hate yourself if you also hate your pet?

When a person breaks his arm, shouldn't his other arm be broken, in the interest of fairness?

Is it okay to buy a ticket, sit down, watch a play, go home, go to bed, and the next day, forget all about it?


Have fun!

Is it okay to boo?

Isaac talks about this, as it's been discussed all over the place for some reason.

Is it just a slow summer?

No, it's not okay to boo. It's just bad manners. Does that need more explanation? Perhaps an online survey?

Monday, August 08, 2011

Introducing Indie Theater Now

Martin and Rochelle Denton have taken yet another fantastic step forward in sharing the work of New York City's Off-Off Broadway (or "Indie") scene with the broadest possible audience. It's a truly exciting and innovative offering.

Indie Theater Now is a website that offers readers to sample and enjoy the full range of the drama being produced in New York City at the vibrant smaller stages all over the city. A range of playwrights are offered. Many of them have multiple works available, some for the first time. The collection includes production photos, playwright bios, a review from nytheatre.com, an excerpt of the script, and a synopsis.

In order to take advantage of the service, you must create an account. Then, you can add a play to your digital "library" for $1.29. If you'd like to add multiple plays to your online library, you can purchase at a bulk rate of 5, 10, or 25 plays (which is now discounted as an introductory offer).

In order to roll out the large number of works, they will be bundled into collections. The first of which is the timely FringeNYC Collection.

Plays can be sorted by genre, in this handy keyword list.

All in all, a remarkable offering and a great price.

Several things to love about this.

First of all, the playwrights will receive a percentage of all sales, much like other publishing houses might offer. Instead of this being simply a nice way to promote their works, they're being treated like the professionals that they are.

Second of all, it protects the playwrights digitally. These works are digitally locked and formatted, so illegal copying will be difficult at the very least.

Third, there are many plays here that cannot be found elsewhere. (My plays The Great Escape and The Most Wonderful Love, for example, were both critical successes and audience favorites, but have never been elsewhere. I'm excited that they'll soon be available in this way.)

Finally, it's a wonderful new model/smart hybrid. It's curated to be a more user friendly-experience than a database, it's digital, it offers royalties, it highlights exciting but perhaps relatively unknown works, and it moves the capture and celebration of the Off-Off scene into (yes) the 21st Century. I'm extremely proud to be a part of it, and I hope you'll use it, discuss it, and support it.

The miserable Fringe coverage

So what is there to make of the onslaught of coverage of the NY International Fringe Festival, that makes it sound like the worst way possible to spend your time? Try as we might to make light of it, the truth is, it's a rather brutal and consistent blow to the ethos of "Indie Theater." Like it or not, to many people, the Fringe Festival characterizes Indie Theater and Off-Off Broadway theater, summarizes it, and apparently, they don't love what they see.

There are definitely some great shows every year at the Fringe (I'm going to put up a post of recommendations soon). Then again, small theater loves to complain that it's unfairly characterized, even as individuals experiences seem to add up to "unsatisfactory" again and again. The brand of Off-Off Broadway has become one that's increasingly synonymous with an "aw shucks" "shoe-string budget" attitude that's about disposable gimmicks (Lisa Loeb: The Musical Tragedy!), wannabees for other mediums; or just plain mediocre writing and production values.

So...what can be done? Clearly, the quality control level of the Fringe, unfairly or no, is being called into question. There simply seems to be no desire to pull back on the number of shows, or rethink the model, even as the press treats it like the bastard step-child of NYC and other festivals (notably what's going on at the Brick) seem to have usurped their sense of being unique and thrilling.

What do you think of the NY International Fringe Festival? Are you excited about it every year? Or do you think something needs to change? I realize, honestly, that part of the Fringe model is its sheer size and that's what keeps it happening year in and year out. So I'm not suggesting they have to burn the thing down and start over. The coverage just seems to prevalent to ignore this time. What to do?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Double Edge Promotional Video

Love this promo video for Double Edge Theatre. It does a terrific job of establishing the look and feel of the company, branding the theatre, differentiating it, and celebrating it. Take notes.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

2011 IT Awards Nominations Announced

2011 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominees were announced last night. Read the full list here.

Glee Club on sale through Playscripts

An excerpt from GLEE CLUB, available from Playscripts.


BEN. We’re the worst people on Earth.

MARK. You are. And the rest of you. I’m a bad father, but I don’t try to kill people.

STAN. I didn’t do anything.

MARK. You don’t factor in, Stan. But everyone else just proved they deserve hell.


PAUL. Let me just say…this reminds me of when I was a kid. My father had just put a trap together for mice. The trap was a glue trap, but he had these other attachments he made himself. When the mouse got stuck in the glue, it would immediately cut the paper into four equal slices. Usually the mouse too. Then he’d drown the pieces of the mouse, just to be sure.

MARK. How does this remind you of that?

PAUL. Sometimes, you can’t be sure unless you drown the mouse.


BEN. That means nothing.

Monday, August 01, 2011

An interview with Taylor Mac

Love this interview.

J: How did it used to work?
T: Well, with the Open Theater, they wouldn’t open until they were ready to open. They would keep rehearsing, keeping doing it, but it was a different time then, a different world. The realities were different, the finances were different. You didn’t have to carry the rental of a theater, everything was cheaper, everything was less lawyerized, legalized, so I think it was just a little easier. I mean, I don’t know I wasn’t living then, but for some reason they are not working in that way anymore. And I think that is just because of financial reasons.

MTV 30 Years Old

Oh No. Oh No.

Martha Quinn! Still really cute!