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, May 31, 2006

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

An interview with nytheatre.com

nytheatre.com posted an interview with me about "The Most Wonderful Love" today on their site.

It should be linked to their main page today, but the interview can be directly linked to, and read, here.

Any thoughts about it? Let me know.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

More from the Wonderful

Back from a wedding in Sonoma, and it was gorgeous out there, and I feel great. It was a Quaker Wedding between James Yeargain (fine actor) and Suzannah Murray (jeweler and artistic soul). Great people bot and I wish them happiness. Had a great time on the plane with this kid, as I always do. She's a goofball and pretty.

Think I'll go see X-Men 3. Yeah. Fun.

Season 2 Finale of Lost was cool. Weird. Can't tell if they have ANY idea what they're doing. Michael Emerson is king of all media.

Either way, happy as a clam, looking forward to a little time spent in rehearsals to see where we are, and tomorrow we all have the day off. Lovely, lovely.

The postcard art for Most Wonderful Love is live on the site, and I think it's very "Old Broadway" and I sort of love it. Here it is.

Turns out Scott Walters is back and George Hunka wants to take a break. Either way, let's everyone be nice to each other. I have to agree with Isaac...this isn't a contest. We are here to celebrate our mutual love of a unique art form.

I'm working on an interview for nytheatre.com... harder to write these than it used to be. When it's up, I'll be sure to send a link.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A few thoughts

As I attend rehearsals for "The Most Wonderful Love," scribbling down line changes and lying on my back, I find myself thinking a lot more about what's next. Blue Coyote is producing an evening of FCC challengers called "Standards of Decency" so I figure that'll be next on the plate. Then, I want to finish up this new adaptation I'm working on, and get back to writing "The Lower River" which is a sort of follow-up to "The Americans" in style. I've also recently been enamored of "If on a winter's night a traveler..." and I've been batting around an homage to that in my head a bit too.

It's been a bit of a funky career (I'll call it that) stylistically for me. Two verse plays (Arthur and Genesis), a short (465), three full length plays about suburban ennui (Reasons for Moving, The Great Escape, the Americans), and one play that is a three monologues in tandem (The Americans). All of them with very, very different tones, structures and subject matters. I've never really settled on a voice for myself, which I'm going to abitrarily view as healthy. I've almost made it a point to write the next play in stylistic opposition to the last one.

That's why it's hard for me to defend an aethetic. I don't feel any aesthetic is superior to any other. An aesthetic, a structure, a narrative...these are tools through which a writer expresses whatever it is that amuses or exposes him or her. The current play (which I hope many who read this blog will come drink with me after checking out) is a comedy in its bones, and ends with pairings, and talks a lot about marriage and religion. It's main character is a woman in her late 50s or early 60s. It was written by accident, like all good things, and it's taken time to give it real shape. What you'll see is the result of intuition more than planning, at least on my part.

Anyhow, I've been thrilled by the creativity of the cast and the oddball nature of the entire endeavour and the dilligence of skill of Kyle, the director. When it's on stage, costumed, with the songs written and the teddy bear props in the right hands and the stage blood ready for its close-up, I'm sure it will delight and frustrate more than it's share. I am, though, already sort of moving out of the comedy mode in my brain, and already sort of doddling with this new play about water and healing and resentment and fatherhood.

Onwards and upwards.

I'll be in San Francisco from Tuesday-Saturday attending (what else) a wedding. If I don't blog before I leave, best thoughts to all.

A question to leave you with: "Is being a playwright the same thing as being a storyteller?"

Friday, May 19, 2006

Show Dates for "The Most Wonderful Love"

Here are the performance dates of "The Most Wonderful Love." (There are three previews the weekend prior to the 12th. All show times are at 8pm.)

June 12th
June 14th
June 16th
June 17th
June 21st
June 22nd
June 23rd
June 24th
June 27th
June 28th
June 29th
June 30th
July 1st

Jot it down in your Outlook, or Calendars, or Cell Phones or Palm Pilots. Let me know when you're coming, and I'll try to make myself easy to find that night.

I'm off to rehearsals! Have a great weekend.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Small Donors and a Culture of Giving

My current job is working in Annual and Planned Giving for a non-profit organization. Obviously, all non-profits are familiar with the idea grant writing, gifts, donors and fundraising. But recently, it occured to me that the mantra of most large gift organizations is that Planned Giving and donation come exclusively from elderly donors or wealthy patrons.

Part of this is practical: Most of the more complex and large gifts are designed to benefit the very wealthy or the very old. A Charitable Gift Annuity, which is a popular type of Split Interest Gift, or a Charitable Remainder Trust, is useless to a small donor who will receive an annuity for years. Even if you don't know precisely what those things are, suffice to say, they are popular at the Metropolitan Opera, and in Churches, and for Universities. They are donations of generally large amounts, with tax benefits. And they are not available to those of us who are under 60.

So most of the fundraising done by Indie Theatres, Off-Off Broadway Theaters, or small theaters, especially in NYC, is rather rudimentary. It includes labor exhaustive grant writing, events that are intended to raise a certain amount of money by almost fooling the small donors into thinking they're paying for free booze (this happens a great deal), or simply doing some sort of calculus on ticket sales that, god help me, no one seems able to make work.

Even Awards are small and unfulfilling for small theater. The Obie Awards (bless them, this is not a complaint) offer what amounts to a pat on the back for a job well done. I wouldn't send back $1000.00... but I make more in one month at my relatively low paying day job than I would for winning an Emerging Playwrights Obie Award.

So I think it's time to reimagine the donor base for small theater and speak about how we can create a culture that encourages small, consistent annual donations from the base that we already have access to. I have proposals on this...but I wanted to put those terms out there and see if they get any response.

What do you think about small donations and a New Culture of Giving?

Monday, May 15, 2006


Bush speaks from the actual White House, not in jeans behind a podium with some invited well-wishers. He's coming to us from the Oval Office, like in the olden days after radio but before Karl Rove.

National Guardsmen as the Border Patrol? A disgusting way to appease his base...aim weapons at Mexico.

I haven't said a word about the NSA scandal yet. Somewhere in my heart, I wish no one would have to say another word. It is so clearly illegal and Orwellian that anything less than impeachment is an acceptance of the logic of dictatorship.

So tune in...and have your favorite bottle of booze at the ready.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Actor's Equity Reform, Continued

The discussion started about Actor's Equity Reform has grown a bit. Playgoer linked to a discussion I have been hosting here, which I invite and encourage you to join.

Furthermore is John Clancy's own blog, which he's using as a sort of rallying point for organization and ideas. I suggest anyone who's interested in the nuts and bolts of producing in New York (whose name isn't Arielle Tepper), to take a look at what John wants to make possible for more of us.

Big Day Today! Shout Outs!

Mother's Day and my Mother's birthday. She has officially turned 30 twice! Wow. Who else can brag of such accomplishments?

I love you Mom! Happy Birthday!

Hip Hop shout outs to Big D, Lady Trippa, Warfield's Mom with the Mostest, Izzo's Momma, Matty B's Mom, David Del and the Trumbinator's Mommas, My Own Beautiful Momma, All the Italians in House, Any Mom With Her Hands in the Air and is Wavin' 'Em Like She Just Don't Care, Those That Created Devore, General Zod and His Posse, Phantasmaphile's Bee; and all the Moms, all over the world, who are in the Middle of Almost Being Second Moms (I got the hot pads, ladies!)

...and of course...Hunka!

More shout outs? Comment below!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Future

Looks like I'll be finished the next play before Labor Day. Hence a recent e-mail. I can do it. I know I can.

I have a "final"-ish draft due today, er, yesterday.

I sat at a table reading and watched Kyle and the actors slowly work their ways through the eccentricities of the play. They were able to make observations that were absolutely supported by the text, made perfect crystal sense, were utterly motivated, and that I was completely surprised by. That's why this sort of thing is an art, and not a science.

I've become obsessed with The Hanso Foundation. It's like tailor made for geeks like me.

Question for all of you that love the future: What will it be like?

Monday, May 08, 2006

More Rewrites and Some Other Guy

Went to Kyle's birthday party on Friday night and met this guy.

After the initial moments of "He looks so young" (meaning me, because I do) and "Who's Taller?" (me) and "Who has more impressive facial hair? (him) We had a very nice chat about this and that. Things like books and where we live and what's it like to get instruction from Christopher Durang (he knows, I don't.)

His girlfriend is a playwright named Kristin Palmer and they live together. Two playwrights in a railroad apartment. That made everyone say things like "That Must Be Interesting" and raise their eyebrows. Love it. It's the kind of story that winds up looking good in interviews years later.

In one of those moments I always appreciate, I said "You know how it is when your play is about to go up." His response was, quite correctly, "It's awful."

My girlfriend worked with me on the play yesterday, because I just needed a little boost. That was fun. She objected to the use of the word "pickle" but I stood my ground.

It's still my play.

(I did, of course, listen to her regarding things like plot and character.)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Rehearsals Begin

Wednesday was our first rehearsal and read-through of MWL, and it went swimmingly. Of course, I still feel like certain things aren't clear enough, even in this shorter draft. So it's back to the desk to work on it. Can't be handing them a rewritten script any later than this... after the beginning of a four week rehearsal schedule.

Right now the rewrites are focused on Mother's arc throughout the play. What's odd about her is that her motivation is ambiguous. As the center of the play, that makes the rest of the action hard to nail down. Ambiguity is a good thing, of course, but right now it's just making the other characters much more vividly "of their mind." So the next draft should hopefully remedy that.

On my comments section someone asked why white playwrights rarely write about black characters. I'm not sure. Anyone have a thought about this, I'd love to hear it. Maybe there's a big obvious exception. And don't include Genet's "The Blacks." I think that's not really what Kyle was talking about.