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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.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Thy name is this review.


Zack Calhoon said...

I love the way David Cote writes. His "Pirate Queen" review was hysterical.

I must admit that I was deeply moved by the Cynthia Nixon and Tyne Daly's performance when I saw it, but I'm not sure it represented the best writing of the season. However, that does not mean I don't think David Lindsey-Abaire is a good playwright.

I think this says more about the kind of writing that is being produced in big commercial theatres. I think this should be linked to your Richard Nelson post. It's a discussion that keeps coming up. The homogenization of American playwriting. Terrence McNally was saying the same thing on a playwrights planel hosted on the American Theatre Wing's seminar "Working in the Theatre".

Anonymous said...

Hear hear. That loud crashing sound you heard a few days ago was my respect for the Pulitzer Prize shattering into thousands of brittle shards.

Mark said...

Posted without comment? I remember you having some strong opinions about this review. Changed your mind?

Freeman said...

Hey there, Mark. Fair question.

I think I posted that simply because it was pertinent to the existing discussion and remembered that it was out there.

I did make comments, probably too rash ones, way back when it was first posted. Institutional memory among bloggers is pretty long. What I said then, about the review, was that I felt it blamed Lindsey-Abaire's play, in a way, for the programming choices of the MTC and used the review as a way to let off steam. I didn't feel, at the time, that it was the right context. In many ways, Cote has found a better place for that kind of commentary, which is on his blog.

That being said, I'm not above changing my kneejerk response and I certainly have. There isn't really a cut & dry answer. The review DOES speak to Cote's response to the play as he watched it, and it does speak to a perceived complacency within the larger producing institutions. I posted it without comment because, in many ways, I've grown a little weary of being a commentator in a direct way. My own views on these things are far from absolute.

Personally, if anything (and I'm thinking this because you asked the question) this reminds me that Rabit Hole, in and of itself, is not really the problem. Neither is David Lindsay-Abaire, who is a terrific writer and deserves as much as he can receive. We should be careful, certainly, to keep our criticism of the Pulitizer nominating process, or the choices of MTC, to include criticism of a writer who is simply doing his work and getting the best productions he can. Should we all be so fortunate.

On Garret's blog, George Hunka suggested that Lindsay-Abaire reject the Prize out of a sort of protest of the process. Frankly, I think this is expecting a writer who has done solid work to accept the belief that his work is not experimental enough or challenging enough for a vocal few. He wouldn't and shouldn't. It's wrong to expect him to judge the value of his own work by someone else's standards.