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.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jason Grote's Obie Follow Up

Jason Grote, a while back, wrote a bit of a diatribe about his experiences at the Obies. To follow-up, he's written this piece (which I think is necessary reading) after a conversation with the publicist.

I think he's pretty clear here that his initial criticisms were not intended in any way as against the concept of the Obie Awards and what they provide for the theatre community as a whole. Criticism is not the same thing as calling for public execution.

The Obies are a part of the institutional memory of Off and Off-Off Broadway. Let's hope whichever corporate parent that now holds the purse strings understands that the Village Voice's strength is its connection to the New York community, and its voice (no pun intended) would be hindered by a reduction in its role as unifier and advocate for the arts in New York City.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event

The Brick Theater, Inc. presents

The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event


The Pretentious Festival

Tickets are FREE!

Sunday, June 3, 9pm-10pm.
At The Brick Theater

The New York community of Theater Bloggers blog about blogging as a theatrical event, live, at The Brick Theater or anonymously at a undisclosed locations. Audience members are encouraged to join the blogosphere conversation on laptops provided at the theater for this event. Experience a conversation about the current state of theater and the web from some of the city’s sharpest writers and artists. Live and online at the same time!

Announced participants include
• Aaron Riccio for Theater Talk, That Sounds Cool and metaDRAMA
• Ian W. Hill for Collisionworks
• Isaac Butler for Parabasis
• Jaime for Surplus
• James Comtois for Jamespeak
• Leonard Jacobs for The Clyde Fitch Report
• Ludlow Lad for Off-Off Blogway
• Matt Johnston for Theatre Conversation and Political Frustration
• Matthew Freeman for On Theatre and Politics
• Moxie the Maven
• Rocco for What's Good/What Blows in NY Theatre
• The Playgoer

and many more!

For reservations, visit www.bricktheater.com.


God I love it when the Times says "digs." It's so now.

The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event (Two for the Price of Two)


On Sunday June 3rd at 5:15pm, Interview with the Author takes the stage. It shall bring you great joy when you look upon it. It is at the Brick Theater, as a part of the Pretentious Festival.

On that same evening, at 9pm, I shall take part in The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event as a part of the Pretentious Festival as well. This event will feature a gaggle of theater bloggers, all blogging onsite and off-site, at the same time, as a theatrical event. It will be...well...whatever it is. You'll love it. You have no choice.

If I were a wise person, I would attend Interview with the Author, stick around for Bric-a-Brac at 7pm (or go grab a beer at the Alligator Lounge up the street) and return for the Impending Theatrical Blogging Event at 9pm.

I would be filled to the brim with Freeman. Yes, I do mean that the way it sounds.

...like I am a cup of coffee.


Sunday June 3rd

5:15pm Interview with the Author (buy tickets now!)
7 pm Bric-a-Brac
9pm The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event

Monday Morning: Hungover from the majesty of introspection and beer.

Need I say more?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Recently, I was having a late-night chat with a few friends, and we were discussing the term "experimental." The consensus was that the term simply brings up a series of genre images: actors speaking in chorus, disconnected images, naked people hanging from scaffolding, Richard Foreman, The Wooster Group, multi-media, etc. The term has become, for the most part, divorced from its roots, which is to experiment with the form. It's become a genre term, much like Alternative Music was in the 1990s. Foreman, for example, isn't experimenting, one could argue, but is presenting the sort of theatre that he has established as his style for a very long time.

Theatre has a limited palette of descriptors. Drama, Comedy, Tragedy, Experimental, Absurdist. Noh Theatre. Kabuki. Puppet Theater. One-Act, Two-Act, Three Act, Five-Act. Ten-minute play. Monologue. Musical. Improv. Comedy Sports. When we get creative we take a few terms and shove them together. Dark Comedy. Tragicomedy. Dramedy. Play with Music (as opposed to musical.)

There is Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway or Indie Theatre. There is Chicago's Off-Loop, so-called Regional Theater.

Think, then, of the vast array of descriptors in music. Classical and Neo-Classical. Jazz (Smooth Jazz, Fusion Jazz, Dixieland, Traditional). Rock (Hard Rock, Acid Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock, Grunge). Hip Hop (Grime, Crunk, Hardcore, Trip-Hop, Gangsta Rap), Blues...need I go on? Endless derivations and schools of thought and music, all with their particular audience, all easy to find, all easy to quantify and identify.

Thinking about even the term experimental, we still use that term to describe the aesthetic of the 1960s... the Open Theater and the Living Theater.

As we try to reach out to new audiences or consolidate our relationship with existing audiences... perhaps part of our challenge is to more adequately describe our work. The irony of language is that it creates rather firm limits on our imagination if single words are allowed to describe too many things (that is "good" that is "interesting.") As one of the mediums that embraces word play, we can do far more to create new genres or more accurately explain the many types of theater that are present in today's world.

We can stop describing theater by region or size of house or general outcome (Tragedy shall make you cry, Comedy shall make you laugh), and describe the actual feel. Think about words like Crunk, or Funk, or Smooth Jazz. They are Onomatopoeia. They make us immediately imagine what it is that we are going to hear. What we are about to pay for, perhaps.

Think of Elevator Repair Service. From their website:

"The group's theater pieces are built around a broad range of subject matter and literary forms. They combine elements of slapstick comedy, hi-tech and lo-tech design, both literary and found text, found objects and discarded furniture, and the group's own highly developed style of choreography. "


"Since its first production in 1991, the company has received frequent high praise in the New York, national and international press. New York Magazine has called ERS "the best experimental theater group in town," while New York Newsday has called the group's work "wacko enough to be truly inspired." Reviewing its 1996 piece, "Shut Up I Tell You" ArtForum noted that "in an admittedly spotty theatrical season E.R.S. . . . stands out not only for its humor and intelligence, but also for its defiant theatricality . . . one of the most intriguing theatrical events I've experienced in some time." The Village Voice says of "Total Fictional Lie," "The work, here, has integrity, intelligence, and precision as well as imaginative skill; and its actors have talent for days." And The New York Times praises TFL for its "fresh and surprising perspective."

That's a very long description, unspecific, and hardly fitting a company with so unique a voice and perspective.

Here is The Wooster Group from its website:

"For over thirty years, The Wooster Group has cultivated new forms and techniques of theatrical expression reflective of and responsive to our evolving culture, while sustaining a consistent ensemble and maintaining a flexible repertory. Wooster Group theatre pieces are constructed as assemblages of juxtaposed elements: radical staging of both modern and classic texts, found materials, films and videos, dance and movement, multi-track scoring, and an architectonic approach to theatre design.

The Wooster Group has played a pivotal role in bringing technologically sophisticated and evocative uses of sound, film and video into the realm of contemporary theatre, and in the process has influenced a generation of theatre artists nationally and internationally. The Group's work is unique because it attracts not only the theatre-going community but also artists and enthusiasts of many other cultural disciplines, such as dance, painting, music, video & film. "

It would take a bit of an effort to see, quickly, the similarities or differences between ERS and Wooster from these descriptions. These are two of the most distinctive theatre companies in country. How do they describe themselves? "Ensemble-based, multi-media, experimental."

I'd take Crunk any day.

Anyone have a better name for what these two do?

Here's a little brainstorm of in-no-particular order genre names for new plays and genres:

Non Cents
Qui Nguyen

What can I say? I'm no expert. Anyone have some other ideas? Hit me. Anyone recently seen a play that you would called "Vox?" Or "Unison" Theater? or "Pop?"

UPDATE: George Hunka responds to this post here. Or, at least, he appears to. As usual, George and I don't see eye to eye on this subject.

Blackbird is a Librarian

Love this. I take it that we should not only be overjoyed that the British Invasion Mark 2.0 has brought us so many wonderful plays, but grateful they can tame our rowdy, Blackberry obsessed, plebian audiences.

Cindy Sheehan

This is tragic.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Monday of a long weekend.

In order to keep this solemn day in our hearts, let us remember the tragedy of spending $300,000 on a workshop of a Broadway musical. A musical that was already relatively well-tested as feature film ("Cry-Baby").

Apparently, this beats spending $25,000.00 for a reading.

This kind of waste would make the Department of Defense salute.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Star Wars Animated - Tales of the New Republic

Great. That's a whole lot more money and time I'm going to spend trying to relive my childhood. I thought I was free! I thought I was free!


Apparently this is a very good fan trailer. Whoops.

This, though, isn't. And, um, it's much better.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Fare thee well

Theatre Conversation and Political Frustration. A shame, but it happens. Blogs are self-generated content. Sometimes the need for that sort of expression just isn't there anymore for an individual. Matt (and I can say this 'cause I know the guy) is doing quite well.

Scott Walters Interview

Scott Walters, in the theatre blogging community, is pretty essential. Here's why: He's aching for a fight and he has a strong point of view. I might not agree with him at all times, but I respect his right to have his say. That's the wonderful thing about the internet: it's Democratic.

He is quick on the draw, at times. He can get people pretty riled up. But that's ok with me. He's not New York-Centric, and he has a unique perspective.

So I'd suggest you read the interview with him here. Watch as the Comments Section over there grows.

Star Wars Turns 30

May 25th, 1977 the original Star Wars was released in theaters.

I love today.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Do you see more productions because you read theatre blogs?

Trying out this polling stuff, which I always find a bit fun. Here's a question I've been curious about.

Of course, the comments section is open for further depth about the polling results.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Presidential Candidates on Arts Funding?

Shouldn't the arts community (there are a lot of us after all) be requesting a statement from each presidential candidate about their arts funding priorities?

Of the major Democratic Candidates for President, only Dennis Kucinich mentions the Arts on his website, with basic and supportive platitudes and no hard pledges.

Of the Republican Candidates, I found not a single mention of the Arts on their websites.

Now, I'm not a simpleton: I know that the candidates are simply responding to and framing the issues they realize will sway voters in a national election. Iraq, Immigration and Healthcare will get these people elected, the NEA won't.

I'd be curious, as things move foward, what, if anything, is mentioned in interviews, debates and public statements about the arts and arts funding. Am I missing something? Has anyone heard the arts mentioned? If so, where?

NOTE: This from Playgoer, along these lines.

"His stomach ached with loneliness."

Thanks to Phantasmaphile for showing me this image, which makes me giggle with mirthful despair
She found it, I'm told, herein.

Dear readers...Admit you love the Sea Monster. Admit it.

"Legally Blonde" Unfairly Judged

The Broadway-Musical-Based-On-A-Movie-About-How-Hard-It-Is-To-Be-A-Pretty-Stick-Thin-Blonde has been...disrespected? Because it wasn't actually nominated for a Best Musical at the all-important Tony Awards?

I weep for the integrity of Broadway Producers and Television Executives. What is the world coming to?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spoiler Alert! - Interview with the Author

- Interview with the Author has been noted here, here and of course here.

- You can get your tickets here. They're only $10.

- It will feature not only the Author, but playwright David Johnston (Candy and Dorothy, Busted Jesus Comix, The Oresteia) and actor David DelGrosso (who played Jack, the Gentleman Caller, in The Most Wonderful Love). In what capacity? You'll have to come find out, won't you?

- It will be directed by Kyle Ancowitz and produced by Blue Coyote Theater Group.

- I would like to apologize, in advance, to Sarah Ruhl and Paula Vogel.

The Obies

Jason Grote gives a first hand accounting of attending the Obie Awards last night. Check it out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Around the Theatrosphere Today

Over at Parabasis, more on Class.

Mr. Excitement asks for your Obie predictions.

Playgoer puts Brantley and Hilton Als in the Crossfire, with competing views of August Wilson's legacy. (Gotta love that picture of Brantley!)

George Hunka quotes someone I've never read about someone I've never heard of.

And, of course, Matt Freeman generously sends you links to them all. You're welcome.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

On Class - Mr. Excitement

Mark Armstrong begins a series of posts on Class. (Something I took a crack at myself last month.)

The first post is here. Check it out. Great stuff.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


More episodes of my favorite WNYC radio show...RadioLab! Whoo-hoo!

Check this stuff out if you haven't. Jad. Oh Jad. Let me buy you a beer.

How do you make your choices?

As the brother of two adopted siblings, one of whom has Downs Syndrome, this piece in the Times interested me.

I'm pro-choice, and I'm a great believer in Science. What I find odd about living as a Progressive in the United States, now, is that the people I find most carefully moral, who believe firmly in being good to others, who donate their time and speak eloquently about a society that takes care of the needs of its citizens...are often people who proclaim themselves atheists or at least agnostics.

I believe there is something essentially faithful and spiritual about the belief that human beings have a responsibility to take care of one another. One could argue, of course, that if a species is to survive, it does so best by sharing and caring for all its members, i.e. altruism has an evolutionary foundation.

One could also say that we see and feel something greater than ourselves, even if we are unconvinced by the specifics of any particular organized religion.

I am less outraged by the current cultural climate than confused by it. There were days when the union organizers, folk singers and inspirational leaders freely used Jesus as their model. It was Woody Guthrie who wrote "Jesus Christ for President," after all. Now, the people who follow in his footsteps...those who believe firmly in collective bargaining and the power of music and words to transform the world, have had his religion stolen from them by fascists and racists and union busters.

This isn't to say that I believe one needs to be a Christian, or any a member of any particular established faith, to have a moral code or a set of values. It just seems to me that the lineage of these moral codes have come from a religious tradition.

The woman noted in the article above believes in the right of women to have abortions, but felt morally opposed to making a genetically selective abortion. She had the right, and she exercised her right. That's as it should be, I believe. One shouldn't be guided by what they are allowed to do...one should be guided by what they feel is correct and good and right for himself or herself.

As we move into an era where science can create both powerful dangers and amazing breakthroughs, where science can both cure us and kill us with increasing efficiency, the question becomes less what we are capable of, and more what what we choose and why.

I know that I have found myself, out of a desire to reject the Religious Right's clear disdain for science, speaking with approval about things that actually give me pause. I also know that those who are deeply faithful occasional take stands against things like Stem Cell Research (healing the sick seems to be a fundamentally religious impulse) because of some legal wrangling with the Left.

There are fewer and fewer limits on what we can do and how many people we can cure and how many people we can kill. With most Progressives rejecting religion as a moral guideline as we move into that future...the question becomes...from where do we get our moral compass?

Thoughts on this?

Tony Award Nominations Announced

For those that are interested in that type of thing...here is the list.

I'm sure that there will be some excellent discussion about the Tony Awards here. As it is, the biggest news is that Legally Blonde didn't get nominated for Best Musical and Mary Poppins did. If you really, really care about that... you are probably not a regular reader of this particular blog.

Awards shows require an almost religious zeal to enjoy: You have to believe in and love the meaning of entirely symbolic gestures; ignore reasonable pleas that cast doubt upon your enjoyment; and accept blissfully rules that seem arbitrary and unfair.

It's exhausting. Have some dip.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hey...I'm the Jerk!

I realize that this prominent and active Theatre Blog is not on my Blogroll. What gives Freeman? What gives?


Left Nut, I Would Give To See This - Yoda

Obi-Wan is Iago? Sweet!

Perhaps he'll slice Othello up and leave him burning beside a river of lava?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Learn What A "Play" Is!

Click here, my minions. Click, click, click!

Within these links you shall find one true destination. I hold court on the Pretentious Festival blog.




An Interview with The Author - Questions?

Worked on my play for the Pretentious Festival late into the night last night. My fingers are ink-stained, my eyebrows filled with pools of my own worksweat. I disgust myself, and that is why I expect you to buy tickets.

I ask myself...what would the readers of this blog like to know? What answers could I give that will satisfy your lust for Freeman-Truths?

If you have any questions you'd like to see me answer on-stage, fire away in the Comments Section. You may well hear them in the show.

Season 4 Battlestar Galactica's Last?

Say it ain't so!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mamet's Presidential Satire

David Mamet returns to Broadway later this year with "November."

I have to say... Mamet is sort of late to the dance on satirizing the now lame duck Bush Adminstration on the stage (if that is, in fact, what he's doing.)

Sure he's done some stuff for Huffington Post (so I read). Maybe he's been too busy doing car commericals and writing a show about covert government operatives to make some sort of significant statement about current politics?

It's interesting how few of the more significant US playwrights seemed interested in tackling Bush, even though this White House is clearly the most corrupt in our nation's history.

So...what happened? Where were the American playwrights? Why did we need David Hare to write "Stuff Happens" and "The Vertical Hour?"

Mamet's never been a political writer, per se. But to write this now is almost an afterthought. We got 8 years of Bush, and now we get a satire?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Coming June 29th! Sooner than I thought.

Excited for it.

Times Today

"The state of American drama is always being lamented, but the situation isn’t quite as bleak as it seems from the seats of Broadway and our major nonprofit theaters. Look downtown and you will find a new generation of adventurous writers like Ms. [Jenny] Schwartz, Anne Washburn, Will Eno, Young Jean Lee and Sheila Callaghan who aren’t trying to compete with the realism of television. Instead, in their very modern way, they are making a rather old-fashioned case for the power of the written word." - Jason Zinoman, The New York Times from his review of God's Ear

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

George's Modest Proposal

Yes, he thinks we should eat babies. It's amazingly persuasive.

No, no. Take a look.

Personally, this doesn't seem remotely like my cup of tea. I feel very much like it's a misreading of what bloggers do. It's very easy for print media to treat truth-telling as sour grapes... but I think bloggers should enjoy their independence and embrace being a loose affiliation of independent voices.

Pop Culture Fluff

Ah the pop culture. I shall indulge, for the sake of my own relaxation on this Tuesday morning, in a bit of mixed media hackery. It's a lovely day, I've got a cup of coffee, Summer Movie Season (lame as it may be) is super dumbass fun and I go down for it. I go down for it hard.

My thoughts on my favorite TV show, and Spider Man 3. I know you were all just waiting for my opinions. They are very, very important.


Yes, that's right. LOST. Utterly ridiculous, oft decried and oft ballyhooed LOST. I love that goddamn show and I don't care who knows it.

Phantasmaphile and I got the Season 1 DVDs just before the start of Season 2, watched 'em all, and then watched Season 2 (oddball scheduling and all) straight through. Now we're in the midst of the Third Season and it's gotten really fun. Season 2 was ambitious and a bit overreaching and sometimes not-so-good and sometimes really very, very good. Season 3 has really picked up the pace and if you 1) stopped watching in Season 2 or 2) have never seen the show, now's a pretty good time to check it out.

Now... there are a bunch of valid criticisms for the show ("No one acts like that," "It's like a bunch of models were trapped on an Island," "This makes no sense" and "They're making it up as they go along.")

Here's why I don't honestly care that much: The show is about as ambitious a Sci-Fi series as I've ever seen on TV (excluding, maybe Battlestar Galactica.) It also, so far, actually has the ability to surprise me with some rather bold choices. It's model is clearly far more Stephen King than The Prisoner, but it's mixed in elements of sort of all of the above. It presses all my happy geek buttons. It's got all sorts of great little reveals and a sense of mythology that I personally love in long-form storytelling. Maybe it's tone is more X-Men than The Wire. So be it.

(Speaking of comics...LOST recently hired Brian K. Vaughn as a staff writer. He's responsible for Y: The Last Man. His episode this season, called "Catch-22,"was pretty goddamn cool.)

Now, they've done something wonderfully unthinkable: They've announced an end-date for the show and reduced the number of episodes per season. The first three seasons had 23 hours in them (including a two hour season finale.) The next three will have 16 episodes each.

Nice to know it won't just keep running on forever. It also means they can definitively plot the entire series out: No More Running in Place. LOST is not going to wind up as the X-Files, and that's a relief.

Either way, I'll be watching the end of Season 3 blissfully on every Wednesday until it's over. And it pleases me to no end.


I love summer movies. I am incredibly forgiving. I do not expect Oscars.

I also grew up on comics and things like Secret Wars (where the black symbiote stuff originally came from, crew) and Crisis on Infinite Earths and The Watchmen and Batman Graphic Novels, etc. etc. Movies are different: I'm not a purist. Give me something that works as a film.

Spider Man 3 doesn't really. It's not, as you might have read, impossible to watch and I wasn't pissed off. It's a movie about Spider Man. Frankly, even THIS movie was unthinkable to guys like me when I was growing up. So I'm freaking grateful.

That being said...Spider Man 3 is essentially three very good movies squished together to make one big sort of rushed movie.

1) A movie about Peter Parker discovering the true identity of his Uncle's killer, the Sandman, and discovering that it wasn't just being bad that made the guy a criminal, but circumstance
2) A movie that concludes the Peter-Mary Jane-Harry Osborne story and closes out the series arch of best friends with a blood feud
3) A movie about Peter competing with a sort of mirror of himself: a photographer who is far more immoral than he is. Black alien Stuff comes down, makes everyone his worst self, and eventually Spider Man battles Anti-Spider Man.

Each of those movies would have been possible for a director like Sam Raimi to make. Right now, it's like a mix-tape of those three movies, and therefore, it features some very good scenes from one of those movies at a time, and then has an obligatory, TERRIBLE scene to tie them together. Scenes where Venom literally says "Hey! Sandman! Let's team up!" Because honestly, without something that patently absurd...they never, ever would.

These are my thoughts. Thank you for indulging me.


I feel guilty. Donate to this theatre company to make me feel better.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Back in December 2006....

I posted this.

Now I see this and this (to which I contributed).

It warms the cockles of my heart. I say... let this trend grow.

Maybe a monthly list? Or, perhaps, any time an arts organization is mentioned on ANY blog, we try to post a link to how to contribute?


Or like THIS!

Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets for all the shows in the Pretentious Festival are now on sale. $10 a show, crew. $10. That's right.

So... click on the top link to your left to find order tickets.

I would hope, of course, you'd find a way to check out "An Interview with the Author."

Noteworthy, for those who are calendar-happy, is that the opening performance of "An Interview with the Author" (on Sunday 6/3 at 5:15pm) precedes the ""Impending Theatrical Blogging Event" which happens just a bit later that evening. The latter includes yours truly and many other bloggers around the 'sphere.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dreams to the Highest Bidder

Not long ago there was some discussion of class around the 'sphere. Recently, I became aware of a worrisome trend that puts the inequities of economic opportunity in high relief for me.

Many non-profits make very good use of unpaid internships. They're an opportunity for a young, inexperienced artist or professional to make connections and get real-life experience in their field. Unpaid interns provide many companies with free labor and a steady supply of enthusiastic hands, ready to do things like take out the trash, their eyes on being hired or building their resume.

While there's nothing wrong with this specifically (people are free to volunteer however they might choose) it does depend on a certain amount of economic freedom. If you're able to work for 30 hours unpaid during your week at a not-for-profit, chances are you've got sources of income that allow for that to be possible. I'm sure there are many who simply never sleep, and I've got no hard facts that these opportunities go only to affluent people. It's just common sense that affluence helps one take unpaid work.

That being said... as internships become more and more necessary in order to secure actual work in any given field, capitalism has found its way to the world of the volunteer worker. Organizations like University of Dreams locate internships for students for a fee.

(According to their website $500 dollars for domestic internships, $1000 for international internships.)

What will this mean? Where once it was a question of the ability to support oneself while working for free, it will increasingly become a question of paying for the opportunity to work for free. Who will get squeezed out of this? Those with limited financial resources. There are, according to the University of Dreams, loans available to cover the cost of the unpaid internship placement firm, (on a website horrifically titled www.myrichuncle.com). Further debt for those who, I would assume, are already taking on a great deal of debt just to attend four years of college? Why not? Without spending the money, they'll be passed over for those able shell out.

What's the solution here? Not entirely sure.

First of all, my understanding is that these search firms are servicing larger industries at the moment (music production is what was discussed when I first heard about this.) That doesn't mean a trend such as this stays in that stratosphere forever, but it doesn't seem to have hit things like Theater as of yet. (Correct me, someone, if you know better...)

I'd hope that no arts organization would use a firm like this to locate its interns. We should resist the urge to reward those who might pay for opportunities that they haven't, by way of merit, earned.

I would also hope that Arts Organizations consider that a heavy unpaid mid-afternoon schedule might punish those who need to take full-time work simply to pay rent. It's a discussion worth having internally. For the sake of inexpensive (or free) labor, one should consider how available your organization is to those who must make money elsewhere.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

James about Media Violence

I liked this post very much. It also links to the posts that got the conversation rolling.

Personally, I think the debate can be self-serving on all sides. Parents blame the media for not controlling their content, the media blames consumers for encouraging the product by purchasing it and the media claims the parents should take more responsibility, artists claim freedom of speech and then decry a decaying culture in which we take part.

The cure is more speech, not less. If I were a parents (and I'm not) I would be very careful and aware of what sort of media my child is exposed to, of course. But I also don't think that violence and sexuality in the arts and the media are unique to the culture at present: they may have taken different forms in the past, but the ideas were always present. Perhaps MORE present in behavior than in popular entertainment... systemic oppression is a form of violence and it was pretty much standard practice for women and minorities until only recent history began to tackle it. Still, humankind made its strives and good people emerged despite what they were being shown.

Let's remember, we're all thinking creatures. We are not simply a product of what we see. Or even what we make.

Obama and the Internet

Isaac posted to some of the common "issues" that are coming up for Barak Obama lately. The biggest one (hilariously in my book) is some drama with his Myspace Page.

There's more about this at the Daily Kos.

My take...this is utterly absurd.

Now, I am not about to say I'm completely sold on Obama of late. I think he's a pretty brilliant person, and is a fantastic speaker. I also think that in the recent debate, he came off as overly cautious. Of course, as one of the frontrunners, it would absolutely idiotic of him to make statements that could be easily attacked, especially a year away from the actual election. But John Edwards certainly comes off as more passionate and plugged into the Healthcare issue, and Hillary Clinton comes off as far more versed in actual Policy with a capital "P." Like it or not, the next President will be inherenting a disasterous war, and so her command of the issues (whether you like the way she's voted) means that Obama will have to show more than an inspiring message and the desire to build bridges.

That being said: He has substance and there's tons of evidence of it. He just needs to step up to the plate, which I'm confident he will do.

Whether or not the Campaign mishandled a fan of Obama's who had an unofficial Myspace page has, well, no weight. It's just self-conscious silliness on the part of the internet community for anyone to care, beyond sympathy for the guy who got caught up in serious politics and feels screwed.

The country is in the midst of a moral crisis. Healthcare, Immigration, Terrorism, Social Security, Violence, Education, Gun Laws, Abortion Right, Minority Rights, Gay Rights: these are the things on which any discussion of a candidate's ability should be hung upon.

Barak Obama is an actual candidate to be on of the most powerful human being on Earth.

It's the height of sophomoric silliness to propogate any "scandal" about myspace as an issue worthy of discussion under those circumstances.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Rule Britannia?

This posting from the Guardian (thanks Mark) takes stock of the American Playwrights' Plight.

Noteworthy to me is that Dying City is rightly noted as a British Import, even though it's by a young American-born writer, Christopher Shinn.

What does this tell us? We all need to start producing further East, maybe? Maybe the next Arthur Miller should write a play about Minnesota and have it produced in London?

Four Years After Mission Accomplished

This is worthy reading. It's a distillation of the coverage from the New York Times of the now-infamous press event.

Via TPM.

Oil Sharing Legislation

While the War in Iraq rages with no clear end in sight, and civil war continues unabated despite the "Surge" of Troops...

It's good to know that the Iraqi Parliament and their whipmaster, the Bush Administration, have their priorities straight.