About Me

My photo
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, July 31, 2008

Plays you have never read or seen

There's been a meme going around the internet about famous books you have never read. It's supposed to be catharsis for all of us that never got to the end of Moby Dick or just looked at Gravity's Rainbow and said "Yeah, right."

So...theater mavens... which famous or oft-discussed plays have you never seen? Never read? Someone more industrious than me will type up a list. But heck, I'm not industrious. Never have been. I'm just a guitar player.

I'll say that I did not see and did not read any of The Coast of Utopia. I have also never read A View from a Bridge. Or Speed-the-Plow. To name a few.

The shame.

And you?


If anyone's looking for a Brooklyn apartment, there's a room for rent in Kensington (Church Ave F Train Stop) for $740 I've got the news on. Drop me a line if you want some details for yourself or a friend.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Great post at Mirror Up To Nature

About morality and its place in arts criticism. Definitely give it a read.

Scott has linked to it as well.

I think Art certainly is right to note the whiff of sulfur when powerful critics allow their own umbrage to affect a review. Then again, shouldn't we admit that we're all human. Is there such a thing at leaving your soul at the door when you review a play? Should you ever WANT that sort of critic to show up? Who wears a thin mask of pure objectivity? Like art is an equation with a single solution?


My job fails to entertain me. It is the last week in July. Center of the summer. Quiet. Lazy.

I'm working on a grant. I should be done with it by now, but I am not.

Question for you: Is there a well-known play that you really, really don't like? That you think is either overrated, offensive or dull? For example: I don't like Ah, Wilderness! It blows.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Boomerang's As You Like It--Pick of the Week!

Trumbull, here.  Just wanted to share that my little gig got nytheatre.com's Pick Of The Week.   Shakespeare's As You Like It, presented by the Boomerang Theatre Company in Central Park.

Less than two hours.  
2 PM showtimes Saturday and Sunday, through August 10th.  That's four more chances to see, for those of you keeping score at home.

Bring a chair or blanket.  Make it a lovely day in park.  It's got a great cast.  

--Matthew Trumbull

Politico grabs important interview

What's Up Doc?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Can't get a ticket to the Dark Knight?

Go see Hellboy II. It's just beautiful to look at and is a ton of fun.

del Toro is making "The Hobbit." After seeing Hellboy II...I'm signed up. Perfect.

Boomerang's As You Like It

Great review of Boomerang's outdoor As You Like It, directed by Matt Johnston and featuring our good friend Matt Trumbull.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Fringe Approaches

Know of a Fringe Festival show that you are excited about? One that you would like to recommend? One that you would like to pitch?

My comments section is your playground.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The League of Independent Theater goes online

The League of Independent Theater's website is up, listing core membership, goals, linking to their articles of incorporations, and offering a membership application.

This is exciting stuff, evolving out of the Art NY white paper on AEA Showcase Reform and the movement to rebrand Off-Off Broadway the "Indie Theatre" scene.

Take a look at this Playgoer post from 2006 (whoa, has it been that long) about some of the roots of this project.

I also love that the Showcase Code is a small part of their overall focus, which is primarily about presenting 99 seat and below theater as an economic force in the city, worthy of advocacy and institutional support.

I certainly encourage everyone to check it out, check out the membership application, and think about ways you can support these efforts. This sort of project always works best when those being advocated for, being advocates themselves.

Dear Ron Paul Supporters...

This was not an attempt to assassinate your leader.

Please do not call in to every radio talk show on the planet earth about it.

That is all.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Important Topic!

How are you feeling about the X-Files movie?

I mean, seriously... there's an X-Files movie. Coming out. On Friday.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Associated Press versus Obama

Just after the very big news (despite its massive underreporting) that al-Maliki endorses Obama's plan for withdrawal, the AP publishes this non-story more prominently.

Obviously, the AP has been McCain's base (his words) for some time...but this is an odd play. This is stuff of international importance. To seek out an opposing quote before adequately reporting the topic at hand can only been seen as an editorial decision to undercut Obama.


Another example of a take on Obama (this time from McClatchy) that reaches desperately to show dissension in generally closing ranks. I've heard little but admiration from progressives for Obama's statements and smart outflanking of McCain during his Mideast trip. But if you were to read this, you'd think the left is split down the middle on him, up in arms.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight

Just got home from a midnight showing of The Dark Knight.

Yes, it is that good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Question: Economic Issues

How do you think the current economic climate is affecting/will affect your work as an artist or your work in the arts? How do you think it might affect theaters nationally?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Theater Article on MSN

I've written a brief (and assuredly incomplete) general interest piece for MSN about Summer Theater Festivals. Take a look.

Food Chatter

I need to get a few utterly unreasonable things off my chest:

I want to be put to death when I read some foodstuff referred called "kissed." As in "Sugar Kissed Butterscotch Cookies" or "Orange Kissed Fillet of Sole" or "Nutmeg Kissed Cream Tart."

I despise such dainty idiocy. Nutmeg kisses nothing. Is there nutmeg on the damn cream tart? How about calling it a nutmeg cream tart. Or just stop talking and give me the cream tart. The discussion is pointless.

I also find it infuriating when the word "fresh" is used with an upturned nose. "We only use fresh basil." This word too often betrays a sort of snobbery, i.e. "Perhaps those tomatoes are good enough for the peasants, but we only eat fresh tomatoes here." Asking if the pie is "fresh" is bullshit. It's pie. You like pie? Eat the pie.

That is not to say one cannot enjoy fresh fish. Just don't make a goddamn issue of your refined taste and freshness radar in public. Eating an orange should not be an re-enactment of The Princess and the Pea. A day old orange didn't kill your grandmother.

And finally, when you call wine "jammy" you are a tool. Everyone around you thinks so. Unless they, too, are tools. I have called wine "jammy" in weak moments. In those moments, I was a tool. Complete and utter.

That is all.

In the Great Expanse of Space there is nothing to see but More, More, More

Working on a new play called In the Great Expanse of Space there is nothing to see but More, More, More. It's right now, in five parts.

Here's a tiny bit of it:

"Osteoporosis. Brain hemorrhage. Nausea. Kleptomania. Trichotillomania. Psychosomatic. Sonar. Shrapnel just behind the eye. Kidney stones. Choking hazard. Still life. “It” girl. Bulimia. Crusty morning eyes. Acid Reflux. Wasting disease. Malaria. Athlete’s Foot. Freckles. Forgone Conclusions. Contusions. Lesions. Wetworks. Carpet cleaners. Carcinogens. Iron. Lead. Lycanthrope. Consumption. Tuberculosis. Platelets. Hemoglobin. Hobgoblin. Everlasting Gobstoppers. Heart Attack. Barbed wire. Knuckle sandwich. Off-kilter. Cypress. Eye jelly. Cortex. Corporate standards. Miscellanea. Inkwell. Bottoms up. Blood work. Stiff joints. Gelatin. Deafness. Barbiturates. Melatonin. Marrow."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Freeman Family Reunion

Went up to Old Saybrook this weekend to a family reunion at my second cousin Nancy Smith's home. Met a large Scottish contingency, another cousin whose husband teaches at Cambridge, all sorts of amazing types...including my musician cousin Chris Freeman, whose stuff can be heard on his Myspace page.

His latest CD is called "The Robins Eat Like Me Now." Which is what makes us, truly, family.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Unicorn vs. Narwhal

With Magical Battle Horns!

Phantasmaphile and Mr. Freeman presented me with gifts last night at Metrocafe, where they treated me to a "flight" sampling of French white wine.  Phantasmaphile presented me with the above...we actually had a unicorn vs. narwhal Gchat debate before she discovered this item in a store.  Mr. Freeman presented a gift, on behalf of himself and David D., that also went straight to my heart--a renewal of my Wildlife Conservation Society membership, allowing me +1 free admission to The Bronx, Queens, Central Park, and Prospect Park zoos, and the New York Aquarium.

Let it be known that this blog is run by thoughtful and treasurable fellows who made my birthday fantastic. My army of narwhals is at their command.  Whales of danger--Salute!

Matthew Trumbull

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Actor/Gadfly Matthew Trumbull is 32 Today.

I am glad that we live in modern times, ones in which he would not already be "dead of a draft" or something like that at his age.

Also, I would like to note that, as he is 32, you could fit the lives of 4 8-year olds in him.

In fact, their names are Wendy, Tyler, John and Jon.

-- David D.

Wait! Stop the war!

The missiles are fake! The missiles are fake!

Or one of them is fake.

The Escalation is Fake!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Dear David H. Koch

Dear Mr. David H. Koch:

Thank you for giving $100 million to The New York State Theater.

Blue Coyote Theater Group would gladly accept a mere $100,000.00.

We'll even make it easy. You can donate here.

Then, we'll send you a T-Shirt for Free!

Thank you in advance. We're huge fans!

Links updated

Just a quick note that I've updated my links to nytheatrecast podcasts (including an interview with Matthew Trumbull from earlier this year) and they're working now. I've also added (h/t Superfluities) a link to American Theater Web.

Monday, July 07, 2008

How Theater Failed to Fail Failure

Or something like that. Good reading to be found below.

American Theatre and Mike Daisey hash it out in public.

h/t Leonard and Adam.

Soho Rep's US Premiere of Blasted by Sarah Kane

You know this was coming...

Kris Vire in Chicago has asked if the Soho Rep's production of "Blasted" can be honestly called the US Premiere.

The NY Times has reported it as such. As has the Soho Rep's website.

I'm inclined to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Could this be its first "professional, equity, full-scale, open-ended" US production? Could this be a version of the play previously unperformed? Did Soho Rep not nail down a proper Google search?

We'll see. Won't we.

Anyone have any thoughts to contribute?

UPDATE: Kris Vire's done some more digging and found that there have been amendments all around. The New York Premiere of Blasted is what Soho Rep is now, accurately, promoting. As with all things, seems like this was just crossed wires and miscommunication. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Wait... what's..."YouTube?"

Martin Denton is helping New York's Independent Theatre scene catch up with the rest of the world again, this time by providing a hub for Indie Theatre Media.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Road

I am the last of your friends to have read "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. I finished it last night, just before I fell asleep, after a rainy night of fireworks.

Before I finished it, a few days before, I said to my father on the phone: "Have you read 'The Road'?" He said "Yes. Are you reading it?" And I said "Yes." And it seemed that we were both excited to discuss it when I was finished with it.

My father is 65 and has six children, the youngest of which is 14. I don't know if I can talk to him about this book without crying a whole lot.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Recommended: The Flat Earth

This show was recommended to me by a colleague and I pass that recommendation along to you, dear readers and friends.

Collective: Unconscious to Close Its Doors for Good?

In a press release, I just received this information:

"When the lease on its Tribeca home expires on July 31, 2008, Collective: Unconscious will close its doors for good. This decision comes on the heels of a massive plumbing problem that has rendered its lower level "lobby" and backstage storage area unusable and has forced much of its previously announced UNDERGROUNDZERO FESTIVAL to seek new venues."

Anyone out there have more info about this?

Daydream - Children's Shakespeare in Prospect Park

If you're a parent with a love of Shakespeare (or a non-parent who babysits, or works as a Nanny) or just a Shakespeare fan who likes being outside...might I recommend Daydream? This adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream is for children preschool and up, and it plays in Prospect Park through July 20th (Saturdays at 11 am and Sundays at 3pm.)

Directed by Rohana Elias-Reyes and featuring a fantastic cast (including two Gorilla Rep veterans), singing, a welcoming atmosphere and puppets, Daydream is pretty much perfect for parents whose eyes are on good summer activities and meeting other families with similar cultural interests. It's also, for non-parents, a pretty good way to go out and play in the Park on a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon.

Details are here!