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.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Back from Arizona

We stayed in Sedona. Amazing. Great time. Back in NY.

So what's up theatrosphere? Anything I should be reading?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

National Premiere

UPDATE: Tomorrow I'm heading out to Arizona for a week-long vacation with Pam's family (and Pam of course), so, more than likely, I won't be updating until next Friday.

I invite everyone to use my comments section to hammer things out; to read Slay's posts on the subject (like this new one) and comment over there.

I've received a few e-mails at this point from interested companies (which is wonderful and thanks to all who contacted me) and I invite more. (Mattfr at gmail.com). Slay's also invited interested parties to contact him, so I suggest that as well. I'm sure he and I will compare notes.

I hope that other bloggers chime in (especially
Art, who was a part of the initial conversation and really helped spark the idea) and that readers connect companies they know with this concept. Let's see if we can turn conversation into action.

Well the "theatrosphere" has become a very active place, no? After the Tonys, there was a fury of postings about theatre and television and how they compare. I posted this, which sparked some fantastic comments which brought to the fore, for me anyhow, the idea of simultaneously opening a single play, on the same day, all over the country.

Read more about this, and a great distillation of the discussion, here.

Here's the reasoning:

One of the challenges of theatre is that it is an art that takes place at a single place, at a single moment, with live performers. That is its strength, but it is primarily a technological challenge. Film and television can distribute their work on multiple platforms (theaters, in your home, on DVD, via rental, downloads, iPod, Netflix) and plays simply don't work that way. How, then, to create a sense of national awareness and national conversation about a single production, outside of the niche of theatre fans and New York-o-files?

What currently happens, for the most part, is that a play opens in a single location (New York for example) has its run, and then either tours afterwards, or is picked up by individual companies. This happens in a very traditional way: the playwright tries to use reviews of the initial run to garner interest in other companies. This work means that productions after the original require a sort of repeated effort each time on the part of the playwright to get a production to happen.

Here's how a National Premiere might work, and help to move theatrical distribution of new works to a more modern model:

A series of smaller budget theater companies, who work at a professional level but have, say, less than 99 seat houses, agree to open, on the same day, a single work by a single writer. Let's say March 1st, 2009. Each company would pool resources for marketing, but essentially mount separately cast and directed productions of the single work. That means the resources these companies usually put into any given production would remain the same, but they would be a part of a national event, announcing a new work to the country, as opposed to their region. In some ways, it mimics the model of film distribution.

Why not larger institutions like The Public? Frankly, it would take years for companies of this size to come together with other companies of comparable size. They benefit from having a World Premiere in a variety of ways, but in terms of clout and finance. The sheer number of lawyers it would take to get the Goodman and the Public and the Guthrie to share a premiere would shut it down relatively quickly. That's my assumption, from the outside.

Furthermore, smaller companies are just more agile. They can make decisions like this more quickly, gather resources more quickly, and a loose affiliation is probably a more easy way to make a National Premiere work.

The playwright in question, of course, would have massive benefit. If each company paid standard royalties (which they would do if the show was not a part of this type of model anyhow) then the playwright would be looking at a substantial royalty check at the time. The playwright would also be seen by more eyeballs in the event of a single-month run at one time, than they likely would be in a six-month run in a single city.

Smaller companies would benefit from having immediate access to the cutting edge work, and also be a part of something that would raise not only awareness within the theater community of their work, but also potentially bring new audiences to their doorstep.

It's an idea, I think, that has legs. The problem, of course, is that there is a large gap between online activity ("That's a great idea!") and action in the real world. So...what would need to happen?

First of all, I, personally, would be happy to hear from any company that would find this interesting. I would also be happy to contact companies myself on the recommendation of others. Basically, this is the starting point... connecting companies with one another and gauging actual interest. Speaking to artistic directors about how possible this is.

All the real logistics would come afterwards. Which play, what date, how many companies. The first step is interest.

The make it simple, I'd like to focus on these areas:

Washington State
Washington DC
New York
North Carolina

That's a start. I'd love to hear from at least ONE company that's interested (or about what company that should be informed) from each of those states. If that can happen, I think it might be possible to add more. If you're not in an urban market, that's just fine. If you are, sweet. It would be fantastic to be able to post a series of companies that have specifically raised their hand to say: "I want in."

E-mail me at: Mattfr at gmail.com

Love to hear more thoughts and more ideas. I've read that some think colleges should be involved. I've read the idea of a "dinner theater" model that brings standard programming to a variety of cooler art spaces. Sort of a franchise version of this idea. There's been discussion of existing networks that do this, on some level, already. Could those networks be used as the framework to make this happen?

Exciting stuff. Let's see where it might go.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mac on Me

Evil? You think your puny armies of Good can stand against me?!

Kris Vire

Blog I just was introduced to today. Pretty great stuff, out of Chicago.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

National Premiere - A Challenge

Hey there...read this. Run a theater company and want to get involved? Know a theater company that should be involved? Contact Slay.

Looks like this has taken off a bit. I'm actually very excited by the idea.

Show Showdown on "Interview with the Author"

Thanks Aaron! (Flubs, on that night, there were. Therein lies a tale...)

Christopher Shinn on Blogging

"I don't blog much, but I think that's important to have a presence online these days. I put most of my energy into my work and my personal relationships and frankly find that the internet inspires a pretty regressive and limited dialogue. But it's enough a part of our lives that one can't ignore it completely. Still, what interests me most is live interaction among real human beings."

- Shinn

Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the bloggers that seem to so support Shinn's work, is it? Ah well. One can't ignore the internet completely, try as one might.


I got a very fair e-mail from Christopher Shinn, explaining that while he stood by his statements that live experiences, real life and "deep reading" are far more valuable to discourse than is the internet; he was thinking more about political blogs than theatre blogging, and meant no disrespect to bloggers that support (and don't support) his work. He was intending to speak more to "electronic media" than the day-to-day discourse we may find here.

I appreciate his explanation. It's more than I deserve, to be honest. He didn't ask for an apology, bu I owe him one. My first instinct, upon waking up this morning, was to remove this post.

On second thought, I'd like to explain a little bit about why I think this posting was wrong-headed and maybe, instead of "deleting" or getting defensive, act like a grown-up about why I was just acting like a child.

What's unique about this medium is its immediacy. If I read something, I can speak to it. I can interact with it. I can interact with other bloggers, and the news media, and my artistic work. There's no substantive process that takes place between my typing this and you reading it. The only thing that controls what I say and when I say it and how I say it is...me. Purely. I play this game alone, and other people get to watch, and we, as a community, sort of self-regulate. What's good about me can be carefully presented and constructed, and used to promote my ideas and my work. What's bad about me, what is careless, thoughtless or self-aggrandizing, can be highlighted and distributed pretty quickly too.

What I just did to Christopher Shinn, therefore, was irresponsible for a few reasons. First of all, it's precisely the sort of limited conversation he's criticizing. It's shrill, it's glib, and it lacks substance or context. It doesn't actually respond to what he's saying. If I disagree, or I don't understand his statement, I think it's perfectly acceptable to use public space for it. Just to give him heat, though, is school yard silliness.

Second of all, it's bullying. Christopher Shinn writes something I disagree with, and I use my forum to force him to explain himself. Why should he feel it necessary to send me an explanation? I don't personally know the man, and my statement was unfair. I demanded (in a roundabout way) some sort of response. Bullying, in a sense, as opposed to public discourse.

The essential question that should be asked, when using spaces like this is...what am I hoping to accomplish? Will this further discussion? Will this alienate, needlessly, another artist? Will this create debate, or just create a sense of snippy superiority. "Here," I say, "I think Shinn misspoke and I'm not going to let him get away with it!"

If I were to act this way to him in person, it wouldn't be any better. The fact that I'm doing it from the safety of my office, or the computer I use it work, makes it worse. It assumes a moral authority that is granted to me by...whom? Blogger.com?

In short... I don't think that all posting needs to be carefully constructed, or an essay, or a news article. Part of the fun of blogs can be the glib humor and the quick jabs and the playfulness. But the jab I just took at Christopher Shinn was unneccessary, inaccurate and pretty much confirms the worst part of the immediacy of the medium. Instead of deleting it, I'd rather leave this up as reminder to check in with myself before criticizing someone else publically.

Is it really that big a deal? On the surface, no. It is to me, I think, because my own behavior is one of the few things I can control. If I want to see gentility and fairness, the first thing I can do is act with gentility and fairness. If I'd like to see, for example, another blogger or commenter occasionally say "My mistake" I should be willing to do so myself.

So...I apologize for using this space to give Christopher a hard time. I certainly hope to be a bit more careful about it in the future.


Ok, ok, Isherwood. We get it. You love Sarah Ruhl. Ok!? Fine. Why? Because she went to Brown? Is that it? Is that it?!

I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday Morning Notes

Good morning, true believers.

1) Interview with an Author's performance on Friday was a great success and I'd like to thank everyone who attended any of the performances. Remember that the Brick has many more shows over the next few weeks as a part of the Pretentious Festival, so check them out. $10!

2) Ever watched Slings & Arrows. God, it's good!

3) Note here the discussion of "Nation-wide Premieres." Great comments here, and I think it's all worthy reading, both pro- and con-. I'll do a full posting about this to follow up as soon as I am able.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Final Performance Tonight

Wanted to remind everyone, for the 300th time, that the final performance of An Interview with the Author will be tonight at 7pm at the Brick Theater, as a part of the Pretentious Festival.

Love to see everyone there.

Take a look at these links for great things that have been said about the piece:


You can purchase advance tickets in the link on the sidebar or step right up to the Brick itself before showtime.

Make sure you check out the other great shows as a part of the Festival as well!

For more conversation, and less plugging, there has been a run of fantastic comments and ideas on this post. Do check it out. The post itself seems to have sparked some great discussion about "nationwide" play openings.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tony versus The Tonys

So the ratings are in and of course 11 million or so viewers watched the Sopranos Finale, against about 6.2 million who watched the Tony Awards on Sunday night. Because of the ubiquitous Salon article, these figures are of interest. Some have used it as confirmation that Theatre is failing to reach audiences, and use it to point to what they see as flaws of playwrighting and producing the medium.

I've said, in a bit of a rambling way, that I found the article to be indicative of stereotypes and also a misunderstanding of how development affect theatre as a whole. Jason Grote speaks well to a lot of this here.

Let me get a little more to the point and sort of bring my thoughts on this together.

Over at Superfluities, George Hunka threw his hat into the ring regarding the debate about Howard Barker and the sudden lack of funding that his company is receiving. The argument can be reduced to this (I'm sure it's more complex, but bear with me):

We have a responsiblity to fund and support significant artists as a public, because simply applying the standards of commerical viability to them does them a disservice. Not all value can be reduced to dollars.

What struck me as a bit paradoxical in George's argument, and in the arguments of some others, is that while he was supporting Barker's right to public funding, he has also noted that he felt that one of the reasons that audiences haven't been attending the theatre, is because theatre artists are lacking something. They are making trite, uninspiried works that fail to communicate something of merit, or that fail to reach audiences. In this respect, George and Scott Walters are in a sort of agreement: They both seem to believe Theatre is broken and needs fixing. One way or another. Either because modern theatre lacks the desire to adventure in form, or content, or because it is too beholden to the marketplace, or because it refuses to abhor the marketplace, or because plays are using old forms, or because the new forms aren't new enough, etc. etc.

This, oddly enough, is the logic of the marketplace. It might be the marketplace of ideas, but it's still a marketplace. It says that audiences follow and find good works because of their quality. That seems to contradict the idea, of course, that the Arts need public funding. If Barker needs public funding, does it mean that his work fails to attract an audience, and therefore is of low quality?

The answer, of course, is no. How does this connect to the Sopranos versus Tony Awards discussion? The same principle is at work here.

No single factor brings audiences together, just as no single factor creates quality artistry in any medium. The Arts do need public funding, because the value of a dollar does not equal the value of an actual thing. If it did, public school teachers would be paid more than NBA Basketball players.

They aren't, of course, because the value of a dollar is merely reflective of a revenue stream. What goes in must come out. Basketball players are necessary members of an industry that uses a game to sell labels, products, tickets, t-shirts, television adverstising, the works. They have a revenue stream that supports thousands of people and hundreds of products. Public school teachers do not create a revenue stream. They create (ideally) intelligent, responsible citizens.

That is why public school teachers should not be held to the same market standard of basketball stars. They are not in the same business. It's simply not an apt comparison. It might indicate that the society's standards for the value of a dollar are skewed. It might also, simply, indicate that dollars move in certain ways around a market economy and the function of government, and public funding, is to stress the importance of things that are not immediately reflected by the sale of a t-shirt.

Now, the comparison between television and theater is a bit different. They have the outward appearance of similarity. They both have characters, writers, directors, storytelling. They share, often, themes and structures. Even talent. It is not a question of sports and school. It's a question of one medium of storytelling and another. That's why it's tempting to see the rise of one as the fall of the other. It's tempting to see 11 million viewers versus 6 million viewers as an damning indication that television is more popular because it speaks to audiences more effectively than theatre does.

That conclusion is wildly off-base.

The major difference between television and theater (of the many) is simply technological. That technological difference transforms not only the way in which each tell stories, but the way in which those stories are absorbed, by whom, and how often.

How does one watch The Sopranos? Spend the money to get a TV, cable, and a subscription to HBO. How many times does one watch The Sopranos? If you're a fan... 86. There are 86 episodes of this television show. Even if you watch only half of them, you are viewing it 43 times. A single episode is also rebroadcast throughout the week of first-run. That is not counting re-runs. Or rebroadcast on A&E.

So... one of the revenue streams of the Sopranos is subscriptions to HBO. What else? DVD sales. The box set of Season 1 of the Sopranos costs about $45 on Amazon.com. If you paid $45 dollars, yourself, for each season that's $270 you just spent, personally, to own 86 hours of television. That's just a single person. Millions of these individually packaged Seasons are sold.

What else does this provide besides a revenue stream? Knowledge. What if you didn't watch the first season of The Sopranos? You can buy or rent the DVDs, or get the mailed to you via Netflix, catch up, get HBO and watch with everyone else. Audiences can be built. They can go away and be replaced. They can be educated to the story. There is a deliverable.

The Sopranos is rebroadcast on A&E. A&E sells advertising during the edited episodes. More revenue, more audiences.

I want to take note of something. I have yet to speak about the quality of The Sopranos. I'm talking logistics. How does this show reach 11 million people and cultivate a fan base? How does it speak to so many people? How come a kid in the middle of Kentucky and I, living in Brooklyn, can have precisely the same experience with this television program? Technology. Revenue streams.

Theatre, by its nature, cannot do this. Theatre is performed live. It is performed in certain locations at certain times. Videotape it and e-mail it to a friend and you are not, actually, experiencing it as Theatre. Theatre reaches fewer people. That is not an indication of its quality, it is an indication of its nature.

Is this a flaw? No. It is a fundamental difference. Wicked is a smash hit on Broadway. Last week's grosses were about $1.4 million or so. It played at the Gershwin. That's with a $100.00 ticket price. Wicked will run for years, and sell its cast album.

Knocked Up made about $30 million dollars at a $10 ticket price in its opening weekend. It played on 2,800 screens. It will play on those screens several times a day for a few months. Then, we can all buy it for $30 on DVD until the stop making DVDs. It wasn't even Number One at the Box Office last weekend.

Is Knocked Up, therefore, of higher quality than Wicked? It makes no difference. Even the worst movie will outgross Wicked simply because it is capable. That does not mean, of course, that Wicked is unprofitable or without value. Any given production of Endgame will have substantially fewer viewers than any single showing of American Idol. There's no remedy for that, unless we believe that simple exposure is akin to a value judgment.

What does this all mean? None of this is a question of quality or value. We can argue the merits within the purely subjective context of merit itself, certainly. I see lots of quality theatre and I hope that I create quality theatre. That's an entirely different issue, one that has its own ups and downs. It is a question of technology and logistics. Theatre, perhaps, can do more to market itself to new audiences (I've raised that flag often) and certainly we should never stop seeking to innovate or strive in our art. But to compare Tony Soprano to the Tony Awards is like comparing the NBA to the Opera.

It's fundamentally unfair and misleading to use the differences in audience as the foundation for an argument about the merits of what is seen on the stage.

Living Dead in Denmark

Vampire Cowboys are in the midst of a short run at the Clurman at Theatre Row of Living Dead in Denmark. $18 admission. You should go and see it.

Two more nights. Tonight and tomorrow.

Now... tomorrow, of course, I have my own show at 7pm.

You must choose who love more: Qui or Me.

Vote with your hearts.

(My show is cheaper. His has more fights.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Total Eclipse of the Heart"

Thanks Devore, for sharing this.

Take a break from deep thoughts, won't you?

Interview with the Author

Final performance on Friday at 7pm.

Yes, that means you will have to leave your job at 5:30pm, immediately grab a bite to eat and head out out to Williamsburg.

...but you WANT to do that. Otherwise you'll miss an incredible performance by a prominent artist.

How could you live with yourself?

Tickets here!

Support Feed The Herd

Hey everyone:

Feed The Herd is coming to 3LD with Doppleganger, which opens June 23rd. Ever been to a show at 3LD? It's friggin' cool, crew.

Anyhow, you can get tickets for this production here.

If you buy a ticket for any of the first two weeks of the performance before July 1st (get that) and use the code herdlet2... tickets are $18 as opposed to $25. That's a pretty good deal to me.

Apparently, also, they're throwing a party after the June 23rd show. Go to the show and stay for the party.

You can also directly support this company here.

Just to let you know: Right now Feed the Herd is about 30% to their goal in a 10K campaign. Buying a ticket is good for everyone (you and them), making a donation will just plain help them out.

Look at all those lovely links! Click 'em!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stolen Chair Theatre Company Fund Drive

Stolen Chair Theatre Company is currently seeking to raise money for the last half of their 2007 season. They're specifically seeking to broaden their small donor base, so your contribution of $10 - $24 bucks will go a long way. They're halfway to their $10,000.00 goal.

One of the fantastic things they've done to make generous support easier, is set up a monthly payment option. You can give this company $120 a year at $10 a month. Like NPR or PBS. Your dollar, though, will go a lot further. Maybe they'll share with other companies how that was set up, so that others can follow suit. It's a very, very good idea.

Read up on it here. Set up for a $10 a month payment. You won't notice it, but they will.

Anyone familiar with their work who would like to expound on its virtues? That's what the comments section is for!

Now this is easy!

Mark notes a modest fundraising endeavor that could easily be achieved by all of us before 5pm today. For a library! Who doesn't love libraries?

Go here, read about it, donate. Donate $25. Seriously, you can afford that.


Hey, now this is a very nice thing. I posted that at around 11:00 am or so. It is 11:22 am by my watch. The goal has been met already. Great job Mark and Isaac and all others who put this out there.

Let's face it: this could be a very real and important part of blogs for theater.

I'll go a step further. Here's my little pledge:

If you are a theater company in the midst of a campaign to raise funds, and you e-mail me with you goals, needs and the way to donate, I will direct people to your efforts and post about it.

NAATF / The Edge of the World

A good friend of mine, F. Omar Telan, is involved in this. Sounds like a fantastic evening, and I suggest you check it out.

Omar was involved for a very long time with Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind.

Join the Asian Arts Initiative in New York for the first-ever
National Asian American Theater Festival!
THE EDGE OF THE WORLD (Tickets here)
A night of 5-minute-or-shorter plays about Asian American artists & culture

LaMaMa, e.t.c.
74A East 4th St. New York, NY 10003

Featuring Regie Cabico, John Castro, Royd Hatta, Robert Karimi, Traci
Kiriyama, Dan Kim, Michelle Myer, Gary San Angel, Anula Shetty , Ryan
Suda, F. Omar Telan, and Kristina Wong

Friday, June 15, 10:00 PM
Sunday, June 17, 5:30 PM
Thursday, June 21, 10:00 PM
Saturday, June 23, 10:00 PM

$20 at the door, or on-line
$15 if you purchase in advance through the Asian Arts Initiative:
215-557-0455 (ask for Jo)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stereotypes and Development

Currently involved in the Pretentious Festival. Reading things about Howard Barker. Reading about the Tony Awards. Reading about that piece in Salon (have you read it?) that basically says theatre is unpopular because TV has passed it by. (And because theater has been hijacked by development.)

What I'm hearing sounds something like this:

People in the theatre are pretentious snobs who write by candlelight, even though the rest of us are using lightbulbs. If you go to see a Broadway show, you're going to see a cheap, Circus-like knock-off of a movie or you're going to see a play that sounds like they had to blow the dust off of it before they put it on stage.

I'm also hearing, out there:

Theatre is high art, a landscape for the mind, a sort of spiritual happening that is ceaselessly compromised by the desires of the revolting marketplace and its progeny.

What I'm thinking:


The idea that playwrights sit in their Ivory Towers and write distantly dull museum pieces is an idea that can only be held by someone who hasn't seen very much new theatre, and is equating a few lousy productions (or productions that weren't their taste) to the entire theatrical community. Saying "Playwrights aren't good because I don't like Richard Greenberg" is inoffensive, but it's almost precisely the same logic that says "I don't like guys in frats because I frat guy once hit on my girlfriend" or "Blondes are stupid. I knew a stupid blonde woman once."

Note in the Salon article that Birkenhead (who is this guy again) says that if you want to know what theatre is like, take a look at Three Days of Rain. He says Angels in America and Doubt are pretty good, but MAN... A Fair Country isn't his thing. Excuse me?

Essentially, it's picking out examples of bad tendencies and applying them to a whole. There are tons of people out there with very cool music on their iPods making punk rock theater that deserves to me seen. It's reductive to paint plays and playwrights with a "you guys are out of touch" brush.

That is NOT to say that many of us who are banging away on the country's stages aren't guilty, often, of similar thinking. Other mediums, because of their popularity and commercial aptitudes, are dismissed as somehow inherently corrupt. American Idol does not equal the The Sopranos does not equal Veronica Mars does not equal Fox News. Just as Mary Poppins does not equal Long Days Journey Into Night.

There is a seduction is sequestering ourselves and attacking others. Film, television and theater seem like natural rivals, in some ways. They certainly act that way. That's, though, the thinking of children. There's no need for three different mediums to compete. They can learn, acknowledge, grow, exchange. They can simply be themselves.

As a playwright, I don't have to compete with The Sopranos. I have contend with the stereotypes that my work is obscure, or high-brow or "not for people who watch TV." That, my friends, is a far tougher opponent than David Chase.

Let me say one last thing.

I'm no huge fan of development, but the argument that development is the reason that TV has be allowed to be creative and theater is stuck in 1918...that's patently absurd. In fact, I can say without reservation that the average television show and is approved of, tinkered with, rehashed and developed by far more paid executives and marketing gurus than any play that was recently seen at Playwright's Horizons. If television shows are, very recently, being given more creative freedom, it's not as if they are somehow doing so by way of deep experimentation.

The Sopranos is a perfect example: it is absolutely derivative of an already popular pop culture staple. It just happens to add layers to the Mafia stock characters that are unavailable to a two-to-three hour film. It's excellent, but it's not groundbreaking. Lost (one of my favorite shows) is a combination of existing and popular elements, and was pitched to the networks as a fiction version of Survivor. The Simpsons is hilarous (though not as good as it was years ago, by far) but it's just a very funny family comedy. It's wonderful, but it's not exactly the TV version of Marat/Sade.

Development is not unique to the stage, by any means. If there are things on stage we don't like to see, let's get some perspective: it's not because of readings.


Hey there! I didn't watch them! I was busy getting drunk! Seeing old friends! Being happy!

If you want to talk about the Tonys, I'm certain there are lots of places to do so.

If you, like me, didn't watch the Tonys...why didn't you? Do you have an aversion to them? Were you watching the Sopranos? What's your excuse?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Pretentious Festival Shill for Friday

Interview with the Author has two more performances. Tickets can be purchased online at the link below or the link in my sidebar.

Sunday 6/10 at 6:30pm
Friday 6/15 at 7:00pm

Nytheatre.com praises the piece here.
James Comtois and Mark Armstrong also posted their commendations and thoughts, for which I'm very grateful.

Come check it out!

UPDATE: Thanks also to Johnna and Cat*!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

James on Me

I deserve this praise!

Martin Denton on Neil LaBute

Take a look at the nytheatre i for Martin Denton's brief posting. The story is Neil LaBute's claim that, if casting is truly color blind, then white actors should have access to "roles of color."

I'm not sure if LaBute is aware of the very long tradition of Othello being played by various white stars. Claims of "reverse racism" in our society are toothless. They ignore long-standing systemic inequities in favor of a few choice desires on the part of the powerful.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Rinde Eckert's "Horizon"

I got opportunity to go check out Rinde Eckert's "Horizon" last night at the New York Theater Workshop, which I can recommend without reservation. I don't usually feel comfortable using this blog as a forum for reviews, so I'll eschew that format. The performers, songs, direction will all get professional reviews all over the place. In fact, I'm relatively certain Ben Brantley just said some very nice things over at the New York Times.

To start with, the whole evening was worth the allegorical story of the paper flower. You'll see.

What I found most compelling about the evening was that it portrays a Christian scholar as a formidable intellectual. In the current cultural climate, the political right has inspired a sort of rubbernecking instinct when it comes to public Christian 'representatives.' It goes without saying that the tradition of religious scholarship has taken a bit of a beating in both the press and in the political realm. Hackneyed phrases such as "I look to my faith" are so pat from politicians (on both sides of the aisle) that they've taken on the tone of placation. The idea, for example, that the parables and allegories in the Bible still have some heft, some ethical power, is a rather stunning one to see on the New York stage.

"Horizon," in this climate, would seem to be political. It isn't. It is concerned only, it appears, with humankind and its resistance to, or misunderstanding of, its own search for underlying meanings. Christianity here is beside the point, in a manner of speaking. More to the point is the desire for a religious human being to embrace reason, and to seek to inspire reason in others. It speaks to a large tradition and contigent of religious people who use their faith to find understanding, as opposed to using faith to dispel their responsiblity as seekers and thinkers.

Interview with Kirk Wood Bromley

Check it out. See what he has to say about Moliere. That's begging for a fun discussion.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Barker Wrestles the Olympics

His words about it and the posts thereafter are a fantastic read. Especially for those of us living in a country where public funding is already a battle we barely fight.

Discount Code for "Horizon" at NYTW

Hey crew... this is a Discount Code for Tickets to "Horizon" at the New York Theater Workshop.

Thanks to NYTW for giving us the heads up!

Promotion! It benefits the consumer! Occasionally! Like now!

Tickets for all performances June 1 - July 1 are just $35 each (reg. $50).

Use code HZ4TTRE when ordering.

To purchase tickets, call TeleCharge at (212) 947-8844 or visit


New York Theatre Workshop also offers both Student Tickets and CheapTix Sundays.

CheapTix Sundays: All tickets for all Sunday evening performances at 7pm are just $20 each! Tickets are available in advance but must be purchased at the NYTW box office on a cash-only basis.

Student Tickets: Full-time students with a valid student ID may purchase $20 tickets for all performances (subject to availability). Limit one ticket per ID. Tickets must be purchased in person and require an ID at the box office.

The NYTW box office is located at 79 East 4th Street (between Second Avenue and Bowery) and is open Tuesday - Saturday from 1pm - 6pm.

An Interview with the Author: Review

Check out our review from nytheatre.com!

Monday, June 04, 2007

John Walsh on Jeopardy!

One of my favorite people, John Walsh, was on Jeopardy tonight and won! He's on tomorrow night as well. Everyone tune in to cheer him on.

I met John as a part of Gorilla Repertory Theater back in 2000. One of the straight up nicest guys that I met in the city, a great writer and a lover of Shakespeare. When I played Flute in Washington Square Park, John was Bottom.

Go Johnny!

For a better look at this fine gentleman and his distinguished career...see below!

Blogging, Interviewing, Drinking

That's what I did on Sunday.

The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event...happened. You can read about what happened here.

An Interview with the Author opened yesterday as well. Seems to have gone well, judging by the general responses. Thanks to all who attended, and I look forward to seeing the rest of you there. Yes, the rest. All of you. The entire internet.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Random Shill

Yes, I am continuing to use this space for shilling my work. What do you expect? Journalistic integrity? If you'd like to read a discussion, you could try here.

1) Interview with the Author opens on Sunday June 3rd at 5:15pm. This is a part of the Pretentious Festival. It features yours truly interviewing yours truly about my Art with a capital "A." You will be completely floored by how important I am. Look here if you doubt me.

To buy tickets and/or check the schedule, go to the Brick Theater's webpage and scroll down to the lovely picture of me. The tickets are $10.

2) The Impending Theatrical Blogging Event is on Sunday, June 3rd at 9pm.

Yes, you could simply read all of our blogs and this central blog live as it happens... but then you'd be just doing what you clearly do anyway. Which is reading blogs from somewhere comfortable or, more likely, from work. Instead, come out and see the bleary-eyed bloggers in the flesh.

Think of it this way: If you are reading these very words, you are the core audience for this one-night only performance. Think of it as, um, a happening. Of non-happening. Think of it as watching people participate in a silent conversation, in fake space, while you watch. I mean seriously, how could you pass that up?

3) The Sophisticates. If you're a reader of blogs, check out the reading of John Devore's new play. I've read a draft of it and it made me want to pee. With joy. Read more ringing endorsements of it here.