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, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Webcast Thing

Hey everyone -

I'm the Senior Writer / Assistant Producer on the webcast from New Year's Eve at Times Square this year. Yes, very weird. I'm posting a stream of the live feed here, mostly so my Mom can find it. But, of course, check it out. http://timessquarenyc.org/

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Blogroll addition

The essential writings of downtown darling Trav SD are now easily accessible in the blogroll.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thanks to the Guardian's "Noises Off"...

...for naming On Theatre and Politics one of the top 5 theatre blogs of 2009. Chris Wilkinson, we love you right back.

See what I did there? That's the royal "We." Because the Guardian is from...

...explaining it really kills the whole joke, huh?

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Zion! Here me! We are still here!"

Yes, I am sort of quoting Matrix Reloaded.

It is still 2009. Can you believe it?

I've got my head in the sand working on this (I will be posting a stream of it in this space for those who like to enjoy New Year's Eve with a bottle of something and a computer screen).

I have mulled a top 10 of the decade list or a top 10 of 2009 list and I am, frankly, flummoxed. I have no idea how one goes about making assessments like those. I mean, the last Star Wars movie came out this decade, and no one even brings that shit up because they decided they were annoyed by the whole enterprise. Screw that attitude - that's significant to my life. So what are you going to do? Assume your own taste is universal? That would be crazy talk.

Anyway... I will probably write a bit of a personal recap of 2009 (first Samuel French publication by yours truly this year!) and what have you. Until I get around to that, I will say that I hope everyone has been enjoying December with its various ways to celebrate. And I'll say I'm excited that my brother Danny got a new job. And that my Mom and Stepfather came to visit - twas a fine time.

And I hope my Dad likes the Blu-Ray Player.

Because my Dad, who is a tremendous guy in most ways, has a big flat screen 1080p TV and friggin' rabbit ears on it.

It's a crime. That's all I'm saying.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

nytheatre.com's Most Popular Podcasts in 2009

Nytheatre.com has announced the most downloaded nytheatrecasts of 2009. My interview with Adam Szymkowicz tops the list, and my interview with James Comtois comes in at number five.

Not a bad bit of interviewin'.
1. Playwrights In Conversation: Matt Freeman and Adam Szymkowicz (#282)
2. Metropolitan Playhouse Spring Season (#276) (features Alex Roe)
3. Balancing Acts--Surviving and Thriving in Theater (#278) (features Robin Rothstein, Melanie Armer, Craig Pospisil, and David Hilder)
4. Plays and Playwrights 2009: Author Roundtable (#287) (features Colette Freedman and Nick Mwaluko)
5. Playwrights In Conversation: Matt Freeman and James Comtois (#289)
6. FRIGID New York Festival Preview (#273) (features artists from six festival productions)
7. Pan Asian Rep's New Works 2009 (#277) (features Tisa Chang and Ron Nakahara)
8. Indie Theater NOW! 2009 Holiday Season Preview (#316) (features artists from four holiday productions)
9. Playwrights In Conversation: Crystal Skillman and Daniel Talbott (#299)
10. Waterwell's Newest Drop: #9 (#290) (features Tom Ridgely and Kevin Townley)

I would like to also remind you that I conducted two other interviews this past year, and both of the interview subjects were awesome! You should check them out.

Mac Rogers "Viral"

Scott Reynolds "The Odyssey"


Saw that Avatar movie. Guess what? It's rad. No, it's not brain surgery. Yes, it has moments of dialogue that fall into the "functional" category. Yes, the story is a lot like Dances With Wolves or whatever. But once I figured out that I was watching a family action-adventure fantasy movie; something almost old-fashioned in the way it tells the story, I got on board and had a great time.

One thing I've got to say about James Cameron: part of his success in a genre often associated with boys and toys is his insistence on strong female characters. Terminator 1 and 2. Aliens. The Abyss. Titanic. Strong female characters abound. Avatar is no different. It's heroine is extremely well-realized, and the mythology of Pandora is matriarchal. If I had a daughter and took her to this, I would feel pretty confident that she was seeing something she could relate to.

It's also just plain pretty. The 3D is great, but a lot of this movie would look good on a DVD player. Not only because things look "real" or what-have-you. The special effects are employed to make the world seem gorgeous. Bioluminescent. Lush.

It's not James Cameron's best movie. It's not the best movie I've seen this year. I don't really think it's as rewatchable as Star Trek, for example. But it's a new story, which is refreshing all by itself, and its made with amazing care and skill.

In short: recommended.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Diversity and such

I don't agree with Scott's provocative idea because I prefer choice over chance. If we stop trusting people to make real decisions, we give up on their ability to make good choices and grapple with complexity.

Also, I detect in the larger diversity discussion a lack of specificity. Gender diversity and racial diversity and class diversity are different issues and have to be addressed entirely differently. Just because a group shares "under-represented" status doesn't mean they are under-represented in exactly the same way or for exactly the same historical/economic/cultural reasons. Isaac seems focused on racial diversity; Scott on cultural or geographic diversity, for example.

I am a supporter of affirmative action. I believe that you cannot confront a cultural history of racism without a systemic approach.

But, I also am deeply ambivalent about how race and ethnicity, even for those with good intentions, can be oversimplified and quantified superficially. Example: my sister is adopted. She is Korean. She was adopted before I was born, when she was only a few months old. She has no memory of Korea, never knew her Korean mother, and does not speak Korean. She has been a member of my family longer than I have, even if we don't share the same DNA. Culturally... is she Korean? No. Does she self-identify as Korean-American? Not in the way some people do, certainly.

So where does she fit in these calls for diversity? Does she represent a racial group? Is her group Adopted Children? Or women? Or women who grew up in Pennsylvania? Her life is simply not reducible that way. She's my sister, my older sister, and she comes from the same background that I do. Are we supposed to be grouped differently? Separately? I would certainly find that troubling. I'd protest anyone who would group her according to their own assessments of how she looked - even if they felt it was to her benefit.

Affirmative action is not about numbers: it's about acknowledging that racism was/is a part of our system, and that only a systematic approach can correct that on a large scale. Let's just remember that all discussions of "diversity" are about individuals and not about counting colors.

In short, before we talk about promoting diversity, I think we should know what we mean by that extremely loaded word. Do we want to see more representation from non-MFA playwrights Off-Off Broadway? Do we want to reduce the impact that affluence has on artistic merit? Do we want to see more Asian-Americans employed in literary departments? If so, why?

Once we identify something specific, a lack we can show, we can actually propose counter-methods. Otherwise, it's just so much posturing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

On Phantasmaphile...

If you don't read Pam's blog, you should. Today she posted this painting, which is so awesome, that I had to post it here and link to it.

It's called "Because of Toast" by Joe Sorren.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to support me

If you read this blog, like what's in it, and find yourself generally supportive of me as a person and artist, there is something you can do to support me directly: purchase one of my plays. I don't want to become a shill over here, but the plays are neither expensive nor difficult to purchase, and they're pretty good too.

One of the great things about the current state of technology is that a writer like me, working as hard as I can to build a career and be an active member of the community, can connect directly with not only friends, family and peers, but a wider audience of like-minded individuals. I hope that you appreciate my thoughts (such as they are) and my contributions. I hope you don't mind that I ask you to directly support my career in this way, but I feel that now, more than ever, the creators of content and their audiences are linked.

Any purchase of my work isn't a few bucks that you send into the ether: I will feel and appreciate the value you place on supporting me and the plays I write.

The Death of King Arthur, a play of mine written in 2001, is published by Playscripts, Inc. It's discounted at $5.99 for a single book right now. Here's where to purchase it.

When is a Clock is published by Samuel French. It can be purchased directly from the publisher here, or order at Amazon.com. You can also find it at the Drama Book Shop in NYC (among other places).


Michael and David are the Nook

Check out this video with David Pogue that features my good friends Michael Colby Jones and David DelGrosso.

Really great stuff guys!

Good press for me and my ladyfriend

Pam's space Observatory just got a great write up in BoingBoing!

And I am working as a writer on this interesting project: The New Year's Eve live blog and webcast.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What a great post

...this post is.

Support small theater this year

As with the past few years in this space, I'd like to take a Holiday moment to remind you how important it is to support small theaters. The economics just aren't in favor of the long-term survival of any small and vital theater company without the direct financial support of its fans and patrons. Buying tickets only goes so far. Talking about theaters on blogs and websites and reading reviews only goes so far. If you believe in the type of theater that we discuss in this space, if you want to see more and better theater produced, the best thing you can do is give.

It doesn't matter how much you give. $10. $25. $50. $100. Giving has never been easier - press a button on your computer screen. Many of the theaters I love best aren't awash in corporate sponsorships and grants: they're the labors of love of hungry, outlandish, dedicated people. Every charitable donation is put immediately to use. You won't find your donation wasted, not by artists who are, by their nature, thrifty and inventive.

Giving is a habit. Get into that habit. This year, I'd like to make one more request: ask someone else you know to give, too. If you have a friend that came with you to a show you both liked, you might mention to that friend that you just donated $50 to the theater that produced it. Ask them to join you.

Here's a few suggestions from me. I'm sure (I hope!) other bloggers will create their own lists.

BLUE COYOTE THEATER GROUP - Where I have hung my theatrical hat for several years now. This is the creative force behind this year's production of Glee Club (so if you liked that, you should support them!) and they also produced Effie Jean in Tahiti this year, a musical by David Johnston. If you want to support me as an artist, there are two major ways to do it. Buy one of my plays, and donate to Blue Coyote Theater Group.

Give online here!

THE BRICK - C'mon. It's the Brick. A hub of activity in the Off-Off Broadway world. I had two productions at the Brick this year: Glee Club and Exposition so I personally know what fun there is to be had over there. They're in the midst of Fight Fest. They work their asses off, generate tons of intriguing, off-the-wall work.

Give online here!

- Among their productions in 2009: Infectious Opportunity and Blood Brothers. The home of fellow blogger James Comtois. Good people, working hard, making great theater. Show them you love what they do.

Give online here!

NYTE, Inc - Book publishers, reviewers, advocates. A major force in the Off-Off Broadway (or as they would prefer "Indie Theater") world. If you want to give to "Off-Off" in general, this is one way to do it.

Give online here!

FLUX THEATRE ENSEMBLE - Great group of people. Last year's productions include The Lesser Seductions of History and Pretty Theft. Plus, Gus is a friendly, astute blogger. Besides being quite an artist.

Give online here!


That's just a few to get you thinking. I hope you give a little (or a lot) if you're able this year.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

From the "Well! Knock me over with a feather!" department

This is not some big shock, right?

Not sure what the methodology of the "survey" is/was. But I don't think anyone who's held a theater program in his or her hand in the last few years hasn't noticed that prominence of certain MFA programs. Heck, I made a rather successful joke (if I do say so myself) about the whole thing in a play about a year ago.

One has to ask why this is institutionally? Is it the playwrights themselves serving up big bowls of excellence that are far tastier and more zesty than the work of their peers with different credentials? Could it be? Or could it be that those same departments shepherd their wards into good opportunities?

Quality can't be surveyed. One person's academic navel gazing is another person's compelling theatrical experiment. I do think it's worthwhile to throw water on our faces every once in a while, and look in the mirror. If your MFA becomes a more predicative criteria for your success than, say, how people actual respond to your work in real time: that's probably a bad trend. But that doesn't follow exactly that writers with MFAs are getting opportunities they haven't earned.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Congratulations to Matthew Trumbull!

My main man Matt Trumbull was just named one of the People of the Year for 2009 at nytheatre.com. Well deserved. The "something else in between" mentioned by David Johnston was, in fact, Glee Club. And Infectious Opportunity, too. Which was produced by some other people of the year...

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ben Nelson - Tool of the Right-Wing, Asshole, Prick

Can it be that THIS guy (a "Democrat" from a state with an entire population that is smaller than the population of New York City) just killed the a public option because the Democrats refused to use a health care bill to effectively ban abortion?

If that's what just happened (we'll find out shortly) then Ben Nelson is a friggin' shame factory.

ACORN is so evil

Except when it's found to have no pattern of misconduct by an independent observer. Also, it seems that this same observer found that the damning videos that we used to make ACORN a national whipping boy...were substantially doctored.

Huh. What do you know? Two kids with a video camera are not actual journalists.

Friday, December 04, 2009

I will soon be 34

My birthday is Monday. It is a birthday I share with Tom Waits, the dear departed professional wrestler Ravishing Rick Rude, Senator Susan Collins of Maine, and the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.

Praise me!

How much fun is this? Too much fun.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

A Streetcar Named Desire starring...Owen Lars!

Okay, so how could Ben Brantley write this breathless review of a Streetcar Named Desire, featuring Cate Blanchett, and not mention that Joel Edgerton played Owen Lars in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith?

I am offended sir. Offended.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

"Strange and Pointless"

I must frame this amazing review on Amazon.com from Deborah W. Seigman of Killeen TX. She literally threw WHEN IS A CLOCK away to protect her friends and family.

I'm sure Tom Stoppard is relieved to have been spared her fury.

Why not just say it?

The Women's Project sent out a press release billing itself as the NEA-Rejected Women's Project.


All the Albee that's fit to print

Who's Afraid of Edward Albee?, an article by Laura Parker, calls Edward Albee an old fogey. Leonard Jacobs and George Hunka discuss the matter here and here, respectively.

Then, as George points out, there's this. Which I sort of wanted to hug.

So what is there to say? It's not news that Albee personally feels this way, and as, is stated all over the place, there's a sort of personal preference at play here that simply can't be argued with or about.

Still, I think it's noteworthy to point out that plays are more and more often written with the assumption of a director. The director as a second, independent, creative force is now a part of DNA of many new plays. Playwrights should understand why we're making certain choices as we write, or we'll find that we're unconsciously styling plays to fit the needs of others. Instead of writing down a fully formed vision, we'll reduce our impact on our own productions by leaving room for our collaborators before they've even shown up.

Year-End Approaches

Tomorrow it will be December. Year-End Wrap ups commence. People publish all those best-of lists and what have you. Best Kitchen I Saw In Brooklyn. Ten Best Horticulturalists of 2009. Top Ten Ways I Stopped Myself From Drinking Too Much in 2009. That sort of thing.

I wonder if I'll compile a list like that.

I wonder if you'll help me.

I wonder what it should ... be?

Thanksgiving is over

Stop giving thanks and get on with it.

-the Management

Monday, November 23, 2009

The arbitrary choice?

You're watching a traditional play about something like politics. A politician is meeting with a journalist off-the record. The journalist agrees to call the prominent politician a "well positioned source" and commits to anonymity otherwise. Then, slowly it becomes clear that there's more than just fund-raising shenanigans involved in this story. This political champion appears to have done some truly terrible things.

Throughout the fun little scene, the actor playing the journalist keeps clicking her pen. It's looks like a nervous gesture at first, but the longer you watch, the more you realize it seems almost like a...signal? Or even something deeper. The actor is making a point of the pen's importance in the scene perhaps. You notice, with the clicks, what is written down and what, pointedly, is not.

What you don't know is why this is actually happening. Is it because the director believes that the pen of a journalist is symbolic of something or other? Or, did the director just say... "You know what would look cool? Click the pen. I dunno. Click it after each third word that you say."

Is it possible that an arbitrary decision by the creative team and a decision with some complex thought behind it...can look exactly the same? And does it make a difference, really, to the audience member? Does how a decision is arrived at inform what we see?

Can we sense the arbitrary? Or do we just assume that everything we see onstage was put there with a rigorous sense of purpose?

Exposition closes

Our three day run of Exposition went beautifully. (Here's a nice write up.) I'm proud of the production, and the great work by the cast. Also, this was my first collaboration with Michael Gardner, who worked quietly worked miracles.

Thanks to all who attended and to the Brick. More to come.

To Lieberman someone

I believe that Lieberman should be a verb. To Lieberman someone. "He totally Liebermaned me!"

Help me define this.

Would it be cite facts that have been long discredited to defend one's position?

Or to stand next to a friend, and then do everything in your power to cause your friend to fail?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Women's Project - Call for Lab Applicants

Hey there blog reading friends and pals and people who I do not know! Got this note and I wanted to pass it along. A great opportunity for you or maybe someone you know.

Women’s Project is pleased to
announce the call for applications to our 2010-2012 Lab for Producers, Directors and Playwrights. The Lab is New York City based and begins in September 2010. The application deadline is January 18, 2010.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Johnna Adams interview

Lovely interview with her over at Zack's blog.

Opening night

Exposition begins its brief appearance at the Brick (only three nights) this evening at 9pm. Be there or b squared.

"Here is where you should head this fall to warm your soul amid the diversions of that ever-great and ever-endangered American art form, musical comedy."

- New York Times, Charles Isherwood, about a different play.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Exposition Tickets are available

Tickets for Exposition are now on sale. Go here for details.

Three nights only!

Thursday Nov. 19th 9pm
Friday Nov. 20th 8pm
Saturday Nov. 21st 8pm

From Exposition

A bit of text from EXPOSITION.

I woke up and it occurred to me immediately that I was covered in blood. My blood. I thought “Did I lose my dick?” Then I thought if I was going to become a hermaphrodite like one of those frogs. Then I realized “No, no. That’s not what a hermaphrodite is.” Then I thought I must be in shock. Then I went into shock.

Friday, November 06, 2009


We're entering into crunch time for Exposition. There will be three performances, November 19th - 21st. When tickets are up for sale, I'll let you know first!

If you're interested in seeing this, make sure you get tickets in advance. Three performances and a cast of seven means seats will go fast.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Might I recommend...

That you DVR 30 Rock? That show is terrific. Tonight's episode featured some lovely Seagull jokes.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Look out!

The GOP won two gubernatorial races in states where the incumbent was weak or already deeply unpopular! Democrats are doomed, clearly.

Maine, though, just decided it prefers living in 1955.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Would your work be any different if selling tickets wasn't a factor?

Let's assume that whatever you did would have a full house. The audience is not guaranteed to enjoy or understand the production, but they're guaranteed to attend.

Would your choice of production be different? Would your choices as a writer or director be different? As an actor, would you have a different relationship with the audience?

Thursday, October 29, 2009


This young woman (who I spent a lot of personal time with) is one of the people that runs this space. You should check that space out, come to events, and generally fall in love with it. Since it is so very cool.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

On the other hand...Box Office Numbers

I know that much of the theater going on in NYC is under a 501(c)3 banner, and that mission-driven grants and fund-raising are a bigger part of our world than are ticket sales... but ticket sales do matter. Obviously, Off-Off or Indie Theater is hard to keep track of that way: there are too many companies to expect buy-in, the record keeping can be spotty, a lot depends on the venue. Still, wouldn't it be interesting to see a website much like Box Office Mojo for Indie Theatre?

Here's why it would useful.

First of all, there's a horse racing element to this type of thing that draws interest. Period. Half of the interest people have in politics is about numbers. Same is true of baseball. People like statistics, they like to see records broken, they like to know when something is successful and why.

Beyond this, it's educational. How many seats are actually sold to any given production? How many of those seats were given away? How many Equity cards were used to get in the door? How profitable are most shows? How much did they cost? How much did the producers make?

Part of this just helps the community discuss what is fair price. They can also get a better sense of which companies are actually getting butts in the seats. It also can be an indicator of price as a part of the decision making process for theatergoers. Or, better yet, an indicator of how people are making decisions at all. If most of the highest grossing Off-Off Broadway shows are in one venue, for example, that becomes something to think about. Does a venue have fans? Does a particular playwright sell tickets? A particular actor?

It might also be (and is likely to be) sobering. I'd count that as a good. Many companies complain that their costs outpace their actual take at the door. I'd like to see that. I'd love to wake people up to the actual cost of doing business in the more intimate venues in town, and see if that sparks some discussion in the wider community.

I think really the only way to make it work feasibly is to ask venues to report their numbers, and have those venues get agreements from individual shows that are being run to report those numbers as well. Then, a website could publish the top 10 of the weekend on a Monday. Perhaps you could say the name of the show, the reported cost of the production, number of tickets sold and at what price, number of performances, the gross box office up to the current date, etc. Instead of starting with all the venues in town (hard to pull off) you'd just pick a few well-trod stages like The Access, The Brick, Under St. Marks, The Kraine, The Metropolitan Playhouse, etc. Then theaters that want to report can self-select.

So...I offer this idea up. What do you think?

Food for "The Exposition"

Here's a quote from an interview between Mark Strand and Wallace Shawn that is inspiring me as I work on "The Exposition."

MS: "Well, I think what happens at certain points in my poems is that language takes over, and I follow it. It just sounds right. And I trust the implication of what I'm saying, even though I'm not absolutely sure what it is I'm saying. I'm just willing to let it be. Because if I were absolutely sure of whatever it was that I said in my poems, if I were sure, and could verify it and check it out and feel, yes, I've said what I intended, I don't think the poem would be smarter than I am. I think the poem would be, finally, a reducible item. It's this 'beyondness,' that depth that you reach in a poem, that keeps you returning to it. And you wonder- the poem seemed so natural at the beginning - how did you get where you ended up? What happened?"

Friday, October 23, 2009

There are lots and lots

...of cool pieces of writing about criticism right now.

Also, Theatre Ideas is back.

Gus at Flux is writing about core values.

And when's the last time you read a little of George Hunka's blog?

99seats has lots to say and you should poke around over there too. Here's a good place to start.

As for me, I'm in a creative and confusing time. My last production was the short run of Glee Club at the Antidepressant Festival, which was extremely popular with those who saw it. Right now, we're looking at bringing it back soon (you'll be the first to know!) with perhaps another couple of short plays or another one-act to make it a full evening. I've written a few shorts that I liked, called That Old Soft Shoe, Snaking Charming and The Dress You Should Wear. I'm working on second drafts of them, and figuring out if any of them work alongside Glee Club.

I finished my latest draft of Bluebeard (recommended to you by Gus here) several months ago, and I've been sending it out all over the place. We'll see where it lands.

Also, I've started rehearsals for The Exposition, which is being developed collaboratively with Michael Gardner and the great cast over at the Brick. The writing I've been doing for this is fun, jagged, associative, patchwork.

The fact is, my work is chaotic right now and I feel chaotic. Glee Club and The Exposition come from entirely different places. Bluebeard, too. As are the new plays, which are essentially political or social satires. I'm not working from a unified theory, not even within the individual pieces. I'm writing a lot and from lots of different impulses. It makes it impossible to talk about effectively for me, which is why I'm not writing much about it on the blog.

It also means that I'm in a phase where the trappings of production, the role of the critic and the idea of expressing my values as an artist are just not on my mind. I'm trying to work, and I find a lot of the rest, frankly, distracting. I'm sure I'll eventually throw my hat into some debate here or there.

But for now, I'm just writing.

That's the part I like best. Making stuff up.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I keep hearing about the threat of filibuster. When's the last time a political party actually DID filibuster. I want to see them do it. I want to see them say "We dislike the popular public option so much, we'll stand here and read from the phone book and keep a majority from voting it in."

That's political theater I can believe in.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Words with new (no) meanings

Apparently the word "unlucky" can be applied to Sienna Miller.

Because she works in a coal mine and stuff. She can't find any clean drinking water. Her cattle died of some nameless disease. She lost everything in a fire.


"Ms. Miller has also been a little unlucky"- New York Times

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Exposition begins

Rehearsals began on Sunday for a new project called "The Exposition." Certainly interesting so far. The cast consists of Moira Stone, Anna Kull, Sean Kenin, Alexis Sottile, Jennifer Gordon Thomas, Kina Bermudez and Maggie Cino. Directed by Michael Gardner.

Our goal was to essentially start with zero. No theme, nor preplanned direction. A series of intuitions about what we do and don't want to see. We spent the day with some improvisations, some drinks, some conversation. I'm trying to force myself not to be too outcomes based and not to look at each part of the project as a method to find a "successful" outcome. I'm a bit tired of being overly concerned with what "works." I think I want to uncover what I'm up to.

It was a roomful of smart people who have a tremendous talent and know how to build an improvisation. Give them a few elements, and they'll tease out a perfect metaphor and find a functioning narrative that they can agree upon. They also know when to shake it up, change things that are falling into a rut, move the narrative around, explore.

My interest here is how we can challenge our impulse to fall into the metaphor and narrative construct without degenerating or turning into cliche "experimental" theater.

We'll see. Either way, a fine day. Onwards and upwards.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Want to get into voiceovers?

I haven't done this in a while, but allow me to plug Shut Up and Talk! If you're an actor and you're looking to have a voice over demo reel made, or take classes, this is a great company. It's run by actors who know the business (who I know very well personally) and they understand the value of your time and money.

Give them a shot.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I apologize

My blogging lately has been weak. Light. Harmless. Linking to articles. Substantially useless. Soon, David Cote will come to beat me senseless.

I apologize.

Here is how I apologize:

1. I would like to apologize to all the people I've hurt with my lack of blogging. You know you deserve this sort of treatment, but when it actually happens you act all surprised.

2. My apologies to the ladies. To be specific: all the ladies.

3. If this were an actual apology I would be crying uncontrollably, and probably saying it into a mirror. The question is: am I?

4. Blogging, while it once gave me pleasure, has started to really hurt my back. I used to be able to blog all day. Or at least for several hours at a shot. Now I can only blog when I feel well-rested, or if there's no football game on. I apologize for becoming older.

5. To blog is to wear the fashion of guile. I am trying on a new hat: a guileless hat.

6. I apologize to you for what I am, and what I am not, and how those things intersect publicly.

7. I apologize to the Internet and the World Wide Web and whatever the difference is.

8. I apologize to Skidmore College, in whose computer lab I first saw an actual webpage (Yahoo!) and didn't really understand what the fuck it was. I still sort of don't. It's like TV that doesn't move and that I can type on. In that way, it's like a series of shorter unedited books? Basically this is bullshit, isn't it?

9. For the things I am about to do to an audience, I would like to apologize in advance. It was never my intention.

10. Blogging is like Twitter only with complete thoughts. I no longer have complete thoughts. Not even this one.

11. My humblest apologies to Leonard Jacobs, who I have disappointed. I know I have.

12. To the purveyors of the First Folio Shakespeare Acting Method, I do not apologize. In fact, stop it. Stop it. Stop it.

13. This blog apologizes on behalf of Matthew Freeman, who is a Spambot from Russia. You are now on the list. Giver to her Pleasure with the Macho You can B3come.

14. In the future, everyone will stop blogging for 15 minutes.

15. I would like to apologize to the staff. They really never signed up for all this. They, once again, have shown patience and kindness to me in a situation that was not of their making. For this, I pay them handsomely.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009

President Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

That would be like Al Gore winning it!

Oh wait!

I guess the GOP will soon come out against the Nobel Peace Prize, just like they are now anti-Olympics, anti-health care and pro-torture.

Good morning everyone.

Update: I had a few friends say "This is premature! What had he done besides win an election?"

My response:

I think it could argued it's premature, but I think living in the US bubble we have this weird sense that the world ends with domestic politics and whether or not you can get 60 votes or something.

Let's see...

He ended the Cold War/Reagan era "missile shield" that put us in a permanent state of antagonism with Russia. They are, it appears, no longer a country with which we're at war.

His administration instigated the first direct diplomatic talks with Iran in 30 years and got actual results.

One of his first acts in office was to declare that he will close Guantanamo Bay. I know it's harder than it looks to close (especially when the House Democrats vote against bringing the prisoners to US prisons) but he's absolutely admitting and trying to correct American failings there.

He used the word "torture" in front of the United Nations and not "enhanced interrogations" or whatever the fuck they're calling it now. I mean, NPR doesn't even use the word torture because its become so politically charged by the right. He's made us honest again over there.

He actually chaired the UN Security Council disarmament summit, which is a huge signal from the US after 8 years of Bush. He took leadership on non-proliferation.

He gave a speech to the Arab world that admitted American failings but also stood firm on women's rights and actually made references to the Koran that were not humiliating.

That's a few things anyway.

In short: he's changed America's posture to the world. Is he perfect? No. But I mean...c'mon. This idea that he's done nothing is totally bullshit.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Exposition

Even though we're in a mad dash to organize it, and get it cast, I figure it's safe to say that the weekend before Thanksgiving, something with my name on it will be appearing at the Brick Theater. I'll be collaborating for the first time with Michael Gardner on a project that is, shall we say, a bit undefined. By design. If that's something a project can be.

It's currently titled The Exposition. We'll see if that's what it's called by the end.

I'll keep readers abreast of the situation as we work our way through it, commit to a cast, and figure it all out. I'll also tell you how you can see it, should you choose to do so. There will be (it appears) only three performances. So start refreshing your browser now at Ovationtix.

More soon.

This reads like an Onion article

Obama = Polanski!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A question of psychology

Do you feel that the science of "hard-wired" human behavior and genetic pre-determination makes it challenging to write drama? If your worldview is not Freudian, and you don't believe a person is the sum of their experiences and choices, but is more an external mirror of evolutionary and genetic forces... how does that affect how you write them?

This isn't an endorsement of either view. It's just a question I've been considering. To write drama, there is some part of it that seems to blame choices. If one character would only choose differently, or act with free will, they would be free or happy or safe. Plays have a belief in free will built into their DNA it seems. Even in the Greeks, where the Gods are acting upon human beings, human beings do seem free to act as they choose, and are punished for it or not by other free thinking entities.

If you view human nature as a product of environment, genetics, chemistry; where does that take psychological drama?

Joshua Conkel

Has a nifty blog. Enjoy it. Now. NOW! He's not going to be young and up-and-coming forever.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Recommendations from Flux

Blue Beard
, by Matthew Freeman
: This haunting and spare look at the classic myth of the Red Door has that rare gift some plays have of making an entirely new world seem real; it is a beautiful and brutal nightmare of a play that the right company could knock out of the park.

Gus at Flux writes this and other dandy recommendations. Check them out. Thanks Gus!

Some fun stuff on the horizon

Three new short plays written over the past week (That Old Soft Shoe, Snake Charming and The Dress You Should Wear) all of which I'm pretty excited about. Had a great meeting about a possible collaboration in October/November. If/when that becomes official, I'll let you know.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pam's blog

Is still the coolest blog ever.


A new little ten minute to go along with the new one act, completed this weekend.

It's called Snake Charming for now. Probably will change the title.

Here's a bit of it:


Amazing isn’t it? How we make it possible for them to have a communist system by feeding their economy from our capitalist trough? The Chinese are a great pig, their nose down in the dirt and pine cones and corn that we call the invisible hand of self-interest. We have reached the end of all possible questions about which economic system functions: there is one answer. We have reached the end of all debate about what sort of political system is uncorrupt and proper: there is one answer. For any elected official or American citizen to acknowledge their legitimacy is to be treasonous against all that was once good and holy and pure about the United States and for that reason I say: Have you no decency Mr. President? Have you nothing, sir, that allows you to rise to the level of putrid chemical moist waste? A second term shall be denied you. A second term shall be your Waterloo, much like Waterloo was Napoleon’s Waterloo and Carthage was Rome’s Carthage.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Glenn Beck is humiliated by Twitter question

Katie Couric is (dare I say it) becoming my best friend.

To quote BECK: "Really? It’s amazing to me that, for the first time, I think in history somebody can ask a question and say, 'Don’t you think that maybe we have several pieces here?' We have several pieces; George Bush says my grandmother was a typical African-American that had, that had her views bred into her. You don’t think maybe we would ask questions about that comment? How is it that the first time I think in history, you should check on it, somebody says, 'Hey. There’s some red flags here maybe we should look at?' … How am I? How am I the target for asking questions?"

Thanks Leonard for the link.

That Old Soft Shoe

The title of my new one-act. Just finished it up. Happy about it too.

Essays by Wallace Shawn

Pam picked up a copy of Essays by Wallace Shawn for me last week, and I've been reading it with interest. I certainly suggest that if you haven't picked up a copy, you do so.

There's lots of wonderful writing in it about class and the war in Iraq and theater. Reading this book causes the now obligatory pangs of class confusion in me, much like when I read Paul Auster's Hand to Mouth. They're almost opposing approaches to class (Auster seems almost unaware of his own privilege as he chooses to struggle; Wallace Shawn confronts his privilege head on) but both come from a place of relative wealth and ease.

Is it also a privilege to be cavalier about class and art? Wallace Shawn seems to view his privilege the way a neuroscientist must view his own emotions - he is fascinated, aware of all the little intricacies, but is still entirely a slave to it. His view of art is almost too amused - he enjoys it, he finds it pleasurable, he accepts entirely that it's got a small audience, and that he needs to make his living elsewhere. Auster, on the other hand, viewed making a living this way as a badge of honor. They're both kicking or embracing their own upper class...jealousy? Of those that can legitimately claim to have fought or are still fighting just for minor comforts?

Am I wrong in assuming that someone who is actually middle class, or from the working class, would never shrug so loudly at making a living or the legitimacy of his or her own output? I don't believe that people in the working class are immune to Auster's invention of his own struggles. We all want to live a very good story of personal triumph. We don't want it to be too easy. I've known plenty of people who view working as a sort of admission of defeat. Even people who really do need the money.

Worth some consideration. And, you're welcome, Wallace Shawn, for the free advertisement. Here is a carving from his essay "Myself And How I Got Into The Theatre". I'm interested to hear how you respond to it.

"Is theatre an 'art form?' Is drama an 'art?' Poetry is an art. Painting is an art. But can a play seriously be compared to a poem or a painting? Can you seriously claim that a play can be compared to a string quartet? [...] doesn't the essence of theatre really lie not in it aesthetic possibilities but instead its special ability to reflect the real world, its special ability to serve as a mirror?"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You know what's really great?

Writing plays. I really enjoy it.

Just thought I'd mention that. I don't think I do enough.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


For the nadir!

Thanks and Congratulations

Thanks to the staff of the New York Innovative Theater Awards for inviting me to write the presenter's text this year. Definitely an experience that's hard to replicate: some presenters just sort of wrote their own (all very good); some treated the text like kryptonite ("they gave me something to read...") and others read it with aplomb and grace. All in all, I feel like it went well. All of that was just a bit of background noise compared to the incredibly impressive production that Nick, Shay and Jason were able to put together. 5 years old, huh? Wow.

Of course, congratulations to all the winners and nominees.

Here's the list:


RECIPIENT: Christopher Borg, Jeffrey Cranor, Kevin R. Free, Eevin Hartsough,
(Not) Just A Day Like Any Other, New York Neo-Futurists

Kether Donohue, Phyllis Johnson, Jenny Maguire, Chris McKinney, Flaco Navaja, Jennifer Dorr White,
Blue Before Morning, terraNOVA Collective

Bard Goodrich, Ken Matthews, Megan McQuillan, Michael Solomon, Michael Szeles, Chris Thorn,
Most Damaging Wound, The Production Company

Laura Butler, Drae Campbell, Dawn Eshelman, Connie Hall, Ikuko Ikari, Hana Kalinski, Eunjee Lee, Mark Lindberg, Alanna Medlock, Jy Murphy, Jorge Alberto Rubio, Magin Schantz, Maureen Sebastian,
Oph3lia, knife, inc. and HERE Arts Center

Geraldine Bartlett, Brian D. Coats, Katrina Foy, William Jackson Harper, Khris Lewin, Carolyn McCandlish, Joe Mullen, Frank Rodriguez, Christopher Rubin, Jeremy Schwartz, Joe Sullivan, Andrew Zimmerman,
Stomp and Shout (an' Work it All Out), Babel Theatre Project

Joe Basile, Jill Beckman, Christopher Borg, Jeffrey Cranor, Cara Francis, Kevin R. Free, Ryan Good, Alicia Harding, Eevin Hartsough, Jacquelyn Landgraf, Sarah Levy, Erica Livingston, Rob Neill, Lauren Parrish, Joey Rizzolo, Justin Tolley, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, New York Neo-Futurists

Esther Barlow, Jennifer Gordon Thomas, Jason Howard, David Lamberton, David Ian Lee, Michelle O'Connor, Ridley Parson, Nancy Sirianni, Tarantino Smith, Ben Sulzbach,
Universal Robots, Manhattan Theatre Source in association with Gideon Productions


Creating Illusion, soloNOVA Arts Festival

Martin Dockery,
The Surprise, soloNOVA Arts Festival

Leigh Evans,
Traces, soloNOVA Arts Festival

Abena Koomson,
Cozi Sa Wala: Magic Words, soloNOVA Arts Festival

Micia Mosely,
Where My Girls At?, Nursha in association with soloNOVA Arts Festival

Una Aya Osato,
Recess, FRIGID Festival


RECIPIENT: William Apps IV,
Amerissiah, The Amoralists Theatre Company

Nicoye Banks,
The High Priestess of Dark Alley, Billie Holiday Theatre

Roy Clary,
McReele, Conflict of Interest Theater Company

Clint Morris,
Like You Like It, The Gallery Players

Jeffrey Plunkett,
All the Rage, Manhattan Theatre Source/Dark Brew Productions

Chris Thorn,
Most Damaging Wound, The Production Company


RECIPIENT: Constance Parng,
Lee/gendary, HERE Arts Center

Ivanna Cullinan,
The Granduncle Quadrilogy: Tales from the Land of Ice, Piper McKenzie

Brynn Curry,
Like You Like It, The Gallery Players

Phyllis Johnson,

Blue Before Morning, terraNOVA Collective

Maura McNamara,
The Real Thing, T. Schreiber Studio

Aura Vence,
The High Priestess of Dark Alley, Billie Holiday Theatre


RECIPIENT: Julian Elfer,
Twelfth Night, or What You Will,
T. Schreiber Studio

Jaron Farnham,
Still the River Runs, Zootopia Theatre Company

Steve French,
Still the River Runs, Zootopia Theatre Company

Jason Howard,
Universal Robots, Manhattan Theatre Source in association with Gideon Productions

David Ian Lee,
The Reckoning of Kit & Little Boots, The Gallery Players in association with Engine37

August Schulenburg,
8 Little Antichrists, Flux Theatre Ensemble


RECIPIENT: Elyse Mirto,
Any Day Now, Writer's Forum at Manhattan Theatre Source

Katrina Foy,
Stomp and Shout (an' Work it All Out), Babel Theatre Project

Soomi Kim,
Lee/gendary, HERE Arts Center

Jan Maxwell,
Scenes from an Execution, Potomac Theatre Project

Nedra McClyde,
Miss Evers' Boys, Red Fern Theatre Company

Kate Middleton,
Avow, The Cardinal Group


RECIPIENT: Austin McCormick,
The Judgment of Paris, Company XIV

Keith Andrews,
Like You Like It, The Gallery Players

Airon Armstrong & Soomi Kim, Lee/gendary, HERE Arts Center

Edward Elefterion,
Shadow of Himself, Rabbit Hole Ensemble

Leigh Evans,
Traces, soloNOVA Arts Festival

Stefanie Smith,
The Selfish Giant, Literally Alive Children's Theatre


RECIPIENT: Suzi Takahashi,
Lee/gendary, HERE Arts Center

Geordie Broadwater,
Stomp and Shout (an' Work it All Out), Babel Theatre Project

Nat Cassidy,
Any Day Now, Writer's Forum at Manhattan Theatre Source

Gia Forakis,
Blue Before Morning, terraNOVA Collective

Vit Horejs,
The Very Sad Story of Ethel & Julius, Lovers and Spyes and about Their Untymelie End while Sitting in a Small Room at the Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., GOH Productions

Matthew J. Nichols,
Still the River Runs, Zootopia Theatre Company


RECIPIENT: Bruce Steinberg,
Blue Before Morning, terraNOVA Collective

Lucrecia Briceno,
Lee/gendary, HERE Arts Center

Ian W. Hill,
The Granduncle Quadrilogy: Tales from the Land of Ice, Piper McKenzie

Andrew Lu,
Still the River Runs, Zootopia Theatre Company

Jennifer Rathbone,
Angel Eaters, Flux Theatre Ensemble

Federico Restrepo,
The Very Sad Story of Ethel & Julius, Lovers and Spyes and about Their Untymelie End while Sitting in a Small Room at the Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., GOH Productions


RECIPIENT: Michelle Beshaw,
The Very Sad Story of Ethel & Julius, Lovers and Spyes and about Their Untymelie End while Sitting in a Small Room at the Correctional Facility in Ossining, N.Y., GOH Productions

Emily Morgan DeAngelis,
Angel Eaters, Flux Theatre Ensemble

Olivera Gajic,
The Judgment of Paris, Company XIV

Hunter Kaczorowski,
Like You Like It, The Gallery Players

Becky Lasky,
Stomp and Shout (an' Work it All Out), Babel Theatre Project

Karen Ann Ledger,
Twelfth Night, or What You Will, T. Schreiber Studio


RECIPIENT: Michael P. Kramer,
Ragtime, Astoria Performing Arts Center

George Allison,
Twelfth Night, or What You Will, T. Schreiber Studio

Jim Boutin,
Coming, Aphrodite!, LaMaMa ETC in association with Watson Arts

Tristan Jeffers,
Stomp and Shout (an' Work it All Out), Babel Theatre Project

Caleb Levengood,
Angel Eaters, Flux Theatre Ensemble

Blair Mielnik,
To Barcelona!, Ignited States Production Company


RECIPIENT: Asa Wember,
Angel Eaters, Flux Theatre Ensemble

Dan Bianchi,
Dracula, Radiotheatre

Katie Down,
Blue Before Morning, terraNOVA Collective

Austin McCormick,
The Judgment of Paris, Company XIV

Nick Moore,
23 Knives, Resonance Ensemble

Chris Rummel,
Twelfth Night, or What You Will, T. Schreiber Studio


RECIPIENT: Kimmy Gatewood, Andy Hertz, Rebekka Johnson, Sarah Lowe, Jeff Solomon,
The Apple Sisters, The Apple Sisters

Drew Cutler,
Still the River Runs, Zootopia Theatre Company

Mark Ettinger & Paul Foglino,
Coming, Aphrodite!, LaMaMa ETC in association with Watson Arts

Gerard Keenan,
Angel Eaters, Flux Theatre Ensemble

Dave Malloy,
Beowulf - A Thousand Years Of Baggage, Shotgun Players in association with Banana Bag & Bodice

Nick Moore,
23 Knives, Resonance Ensemble


RECIPIENT: Nat Cassidy,
The Reckoning of Kit & Little Boots, The Gallery Players in association with Engine37

Johnna Adams,
Angel Eaters, Flux Theatre Ensemble

Derek Ahonen,
Amerissiah, The Amoralists Theatre Company

James Carmichael,
Stomp and Shout (an' Work it All Out), Babel Theatre Project

Kate McGovern,
Blue Before Morning, terraNOVA Collective

Mac Rogers,
Universal Robots, Manhattan Theatre Source in association with Gideon Productions


RECIPIENT: Nico Vreeland,
Elephants on Parade 2009, EBE Ensemble

Martin Dockery,
The Surprise, soloNOVA Arts Festival
Ira Gamerman,
Elephants on Parade 2009, EBE Ensemble

Jeff Grow,
Creating Illusion, soloNOVA Arts Festival

Kristen Kosmas,
The Scandal!, The Management

Kitt Lavoie,
Perceptions, An Evening of One Acts, The Rising Sun Performance Company


RECIPIENT: Creating Illusion,
soloNOVA Arts Festival

Cirque du Quoi?!?,
Human Flight Productions, Lady Circus & Gramily Entertainment


Miss America,
LaMaMa ETC in association with Split Britches

Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, New York Neo-Futurists

soloNOVA Arts Festival


RECIPIENT: Like You Like It,
The Gallery Players

The 103rd Annual Performance of Ruddigore, or The Witch's Curse, Presented by Murgatroyd's Hospital for Mental Rehabilitation,
Ruddy Gore Maine
Theater 1010

The Apple Sisters,
The Apple Sisters

Coming, Aphrodite!,
LaMaMa ETC in association with Watson Arts

Astoria Performing Arts Center

The Who's Tommy,
The Gallery Players


RECIPIENT: Lee/gendary,
HERE Arts Center

Blue Before Morning,
terraNOVA Collective

The Reckoning of Kit & Little Boots,
The Gallery Players in association with Engine37

Still the River Runs,
Zootopia Theatre Company

Stomp and Shout (an' Work it All Out),
Babel Theatre Project

Suspicious Package: an interactive noir,
The Fifth Wall

Universal Robots,
Manhattan Theatre Source in association with Gideon Productions


RECIPIENT: Maria Irene Fornes


RECIPIENT: Material For The Arts


RECIPIENT: Jillian Zeman


RECIPIENT: The Brick Theater, Inc.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

NYIT Awards Tonight

Sorry I have been remiss is blogging the last week or so. Life catches up with a person.

Tonight is the 5th Annual New York Innovative Theater Awards show. The presenter's text was written by yours truly. Never written anything quite like it before, so...I hope it goes well. But I'm just background music to the awards, including a special citation for the Brick Theater.

The event is sold out, but you can enjoy live coverage of the event here. The live blogger will be Aaron Riccio, of ThatSoundsCool.

Best wishes to all the nominees and to the production team as well. See you there!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009


One of our cats.

That's right. She's pretty.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 today

I've got nothing to say that hasn't been said. I hope everyone is feeling okay - especially here in NYC.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

writing The Bull Crime

I'm in the midst of writing a new play called The Bull Crime. It's a fun piece of trickery, full of hogwash and weirdness and scenes about the removal of body hair. I hope to see it born shortly.

For all you structure-happy process fetishists, it's a two act play that's set almost entirely in a single conference room. I've been futzing with my plan of attack. When certain pieces of information appear, how to slowly ratchet up the dilemmas of the characters, who tells the truth, who lies. It's probably closest in spirit to The Most Wonderful Love or The Great Escape. Certainly more outlandish than Glee Club, but less moody or novelistic than When is a Clock.

I shared a bit of it on the blog not long ago here.

I find it sort of fun to share things in process with you guys. Hopefully, this stuff is fun for you to read as well.

Here's another little tidbit.


Profit margin zed nine alpha oversight committee fifty three means the equation of selflessness and altruism is as good as makes no odds. Graph 32, here shown as exhibit B, ruins all hope for a mortal life. Vampirism and overhead compartments are mandatory under the rules of Section 3(d) of the California Department of Regulated Insurance properties. As such, we maintain reserve requirements in excess of the amount of blood it would take to replace the Indian Ocean. Keep it up mister, and this slide will call forth a flurry of beetles. Note here the fish again, the Bull Crime, its almost softer than a feather and twice as thick. Must add underlying principles of laws for cripples to five to the power of twelve against before committing to the better nature of all horticulturalists. What is this slide? Hope. Don’t fail me now algorithm, because advertisement depends on a willing suspension of certain underground factions of the shadow anarchy. All charts say yes, up, higher, more, bigger, best, confirmation, affirmative, seek, Shakespeare and a bellyful of scratch tickets. In short, to sum up, in closing: extinct the fish.

3rd Annual One-Minute Play Festival

This year, the 3rd, there are two must-see evening, Saturday and Sunday, at HERE.

Read all about it on Broadway World, find it on the HERE calendar, or find details on Facebook.

Saturday is Program A with plays by Program A (Sat Sept 12th): plays by: Ashlin Halfnight, Emily Conbere, Bixby Elliot, John Devore, Michael John Garces, Jakob Holder, Jessica Litwak, Matt Olmos, Saviana Stanescu, Kyle Jarrow, Ken Urban, David Zellnik, Lanna Joffrey, Megan Mostyn-Brown, Liz Meriwether, Mat Smart, Mac Rogers, Andrea Thome, Matt Freeman, James Comtois, anton dudley, Christine Evans, Robert Kerr, Callie Kimball, Sam Forman, Rajiv Joseph, Padraic Lillis, Trav SD & more!

Sunday is Program B with plays by
Callie Kimball, Clay Mcleod Chapman, Dave Anzuelo, Bixby Elliot, Kris Diaz, Christine Evans, Jeff Lewonczyk, J Julian Christopher, Courtney Brook Lauria, Adam Szymkowicz, Migdalia Cruz, Chiori Miyagawa, Ian Cohen, anton dudley, Michael John Garces, Matt Olmos, Saviana Stanescu, Crystal Skillman, Liz Meriwether, Matt Freeman, Matt Schatz, Caridad Svich, August Schulenburg, Chris Harcum, Daniel Talbott, Trav SD & more!

I have plays in both evening: Saturday is Carbon Footprint, from last year's festival, back by popular demand. Sunday is the new one: Good Advice.

This. Will. Sell. Out. It has a billion writers. Not buying a ticket now is basically not getting in.

See you there!

"You lie!"

I get the impression that this is the GOPs version of the Howard Dean scream moment. Wilson will be hung around the Republican's neck as an example of what they've become.

Something biblical applies here, no? Reaping and sowing?

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Effie Jean in Tahiti

I went to see the new family-friendly musical Effie Jean in Tahiti this past week. It's written by David Johnston and Stephen Speights, and features a fantastic cast.

If you have children, you really have to see it. My friend's six year old has already seen it twice. It's got fun performances, hilarious dances, colorful costumes, and a plucky leading lady (played with aplomb my Laura Desmond) and her awesome brother (played by Matt Trumbull.)

But as an adult, childless and, in fact, without even so much as my own womb, I sat there laughing my butt off, delighted by the whole thing. David Johnston is easily one of the best writers working in New York today, and in a way that is entirely satisfying. He's clever without grandstanding, heartwarming without a hint of sucrose, is a master of the turn of phrase and, yes, an expert joker. He's definitely stretching by writing family friendly work (most of his work will make you cry laughing) but it feels as if he's been doing it for years.

It runs until September 20th. So get your tickets. Bring the kids.

The most useful fall preview I've seen yet

Arranged by author.

How great is that?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

September 1st

How the hell did that happen?

It's clear that, as the summer ends, I'm doing this and that and not blogging very hard and fast. I'm sure that will change at some point. In the meantime, prepare to be linked to stuff more often than not.

I'm excited to be writing the presenters' text for the 5th Annual NYIT Awards, by the way. It's certainly a challenge.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Nytheatrecast interview with J. Scott Reynolds

I recently recorded a new interview with J. Scott Reynolds, artistic director of Handcart Ensemble.

This is another Playwrights in Conversation nytheatrecast. My fourth. You can find a link to the item here, or directly download the MP3 here.

Scott has some very interesting things to say about how he views theatrical language, adaptations, and Samuel Beckett. His company is producing a new version of The Odyssey.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Will Ted Kennedy...

...be the Obi-Wan Kenobi to Barack Obama's Luke Skywalker?

I'll be involved

With this. Lots of people involved, of course. So getting tickets now is likely good.

I've been...

...out of town, celebrating my mother's retirement from more than a quarter century of teaching high school English. It was a very nice trip, got to see my brother and sister (who live in Lake Tahoe and St. Paul, MN, respectively) and their charming significant others. Hoorah for my amazing Mom.

Now, I have a slight headcold. I think I'll also remain vaguely hungover for a few days.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Effie Jean in Tahiti

Blue Coyote Theater Group has something new - in many ways - coming up shortly. It features music by Stephen Speights (who wrote the music for Glee Club and did tremendous work as an actor in it as well), is written by David Johnston, features a terrific cast, and is appropriate for children and their parents.

So get your tickets immediately.

Effie Jean In Tahiti

The Blue Coyote event you
should bring kids to!

For ages 7-77!

Book by David Johnston
Music and Lyrics by
Stephen Speights
Directed by Gary Shrader
Choreography by Jonathan Hollander

Featuring: Bruce Barton*, Laura Desmond*, Brian Fuqua*, Katy Garceau, Katie Hayes, Lynda Kennedy*, Tom Staggs*, Jane Titus*, Matthew Trumbull*, F. Dash Vata.

Princess Effie Jean has made a bargain with Proteus, the Old Man of the Sea, and now she’s stuck in Tahiti guarding his jewels. Boring! Even worse, she’s supposed to kill any strangers that land on the island, and the first one who shows up is her own brother. Can the wily brother-sister duo find a way to trick Proteus? With the help of vain Cassiopeia (Queen of the Night Sky), a school of flounder, and some good old-fashioned song and dance, YOU BET THEY CAN!