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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.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Letter from Martin Denton

I received this e-mail from Martin Denton at NYTHEATRE.COM this afternoon. I'd encourage everyone to give a little, if they can, to this fantastic place for growth, outreach and advocacy within the New York theatre community.


On Election Night last week, on the Facebook pages of theatre colleagues, I saw a phrase echoed over and over again: "Yes we did. The great work begins."
That second sentence--a quote from Tony Kushner's Angels in America: Millennium Approaches--feels especially resonant to me as I look ahead to 2009.
I don't need to enumerate the challenges that the current economic situation is causing for the arts in America in general and for the New York theatre community in particular. Many theatre companies will be struggling to survive as audiences' discretionary income tightens and sources of funding for nonprofit organizations diminish. And cutbacks in arts coverage by mainstream media outlets will make it tougher for theatres to get the word out about the important work they are doing.
Nonetheless, I am honestly optimistic about next year.
Last May, our website nytheatre.com was honored by Manhattan Media's OTTY Awards for its significant contribution to the community.
In September, NYTE received the Stewardship Award from the New York innovative Theatre Awards, in recognition of our service, support, and leadership to off-off-Broadway.
These accolades affirm the value of our mission and the effectiveness of our new media programs (nytheatre.com, indietheater.org, nytheatrecast, mobile.nytheatre.com), NYTE Small Press (which will publish the tenth annual Plays and Playwrights anthology next February), and our outreach within the indie theatre world (for example, the 2nd Annual Indie Theater Convocation, which energized our community this past summer).
We are grateful for this recognition, and humbled by it as we look ahead to 2009.

It is going to be a year of remarkable challenges and opportunities.
To help fill the holes left by decreasing media coverage of all theatre (but especially indie theatre, the vital laboratory for new work that has always been our central focus), NYTE will continue to expand our corps of volunteer reviewers and contributors--the theatre artists who generously give of their time to provide much of the content for our websites and podcasts. We want to enhance their experience by reimbursing them for their travel during this theatre season, and by providing them with more ways to develop as theatre artists and to let audiences and readers know more about the work they're doing.

To help theatre companies reach new audiences, we will continue to expand our coverage of the indie theater scene. A variety of new features that we think will help readers more readily find the kinds of theatre they're most interested in will be popping up on nytheatre.com in upcoming months. And an expanded set of features on mobile.nytheatre.com is expected to be rolled out by mid-2009. As always, none of our coverage will cost theatre companies or audience members a penny--all of our content is free.
I'm also excited to announce two brand-new NYTE initiatives that are kicking off right now.
  1. To increase awareness of and respect for the contributions that indie theater makes to American drama, we're about to launch The Indie Theater Companion, a wiki-based resource that we hope will become a living online history of this important cultural movement.
  2. In 2009 we plan to move our popular Indie Theater Now podcast series to television. We will start working with Manhattan Neighborhood Network on development of a monthly cable access program next month. You will be hearing more about all of these initiatives soon!

Right now, though, I want to ask for your support.
If you read and use nytheatre.com, if you value the Plays and Playwrights anthologies that we publish, if you enjoy our nytheatrecast podcasts--then please make a contribution to keep these programs operational in 2009.
Give what you can:
  • Your $10 donation pays for round-trip subway or bus fare for two show reviews.
  • Your $25 donation pays for a month of web hosting for the Indie Theater Companion wiki.
Of course, larger amounts are appreciated as well!
You can make your donation using your credit card on our secure online website, http://shop.nyte.org/becomeadonor.aspx.
If you prefer to pay by check, please make the check out to:
The New York Theatre Experience, Inc.
P.O. Box 1606
Murray Hill Station
New York, NY 10156
Thanks for reading this and thank you in advance for your support--monetary and otherwise. The great work really is about to begin.

Best regards,

Martin Denton
Executive Director,
The New York Theatre Experience, Inc.
NYTE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, and your deduction is tax deductible in accordance with federal and state laws.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I sent money. I can't wait to see their podcasts on TV. That will be cool.