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, September 30, 2011

Superfluities Redux Turns 8

Read here. Plus, a thesis about the theater blogosphere. Whoa.

Oh shit

My blog template changed entirely, and entirely by accident. Oh well. I was considering changing the template. And at last, it happened, because I clicked something weird. I feel a bit odd about that. Perhaps there's a life lesson to be found here.

"Why bother?" Why ask?

Terry Teachout writes a real hamdinger of a sad luck piece one the Wall Street Journal here. After noting that Tony Kushner doesn't make a living as a playwright, he goes on to say:

"The question all but asks itself: Why is anybody still writing plays? Theater, after all, is no longer a central part of the American cultural conversation, the way it was when Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams walked the earth. Nowadays most educated people would just as soon stay home and watch "Breaking Bad" as shell out a hundred bucks to see a Broadway play—assuming that there are any plays on Broadway worth seeing, which long ago ceased to be a safe bet.

So if you can't make any money writing for the stage, why bother? Putting aside the obvious attraction of being able to make up your own characters, I can think of one excellent reason: You meet the nicest people."

Honestly, I do like that I've met nice people, but as a playwright, that is not why I write plays. I also don't write plays because I really like sitting in the room and hearing the reactions (a luxury, apparently, that TV writers don't get?) I don't do it for applause, or to satisfy myself or feel the love of others. Frankly, the theater I like is usually a bit terrifying and difficult: the sort that makes people leave feeling unsettled, and not like they love you.

I write plays because they are the long-standing, traditional form of art that I've chosen for my medium. Does there need to be further explanation than that? Just because photographs exist, does that mean painters need to explain why they still paint? I do not concede that drama is no longer a part of the cultural conversation. Tony Kushner may not make thousands of dollars from Angels in America...but it's still Angels in America. It's value is immeasurable; it's a permanent part of the American canon. That's work of a value that is expressly disproportional to the amount that he is paid for it. He gets paid less than a baseball player. Fine. So do schoolteachers. Does anyone ask why teachers bother? 

Should poets stop writing poetry just because none of them is Robert Frost? Because the culture has changed? Are poets, in fact, just writing poems because poems are fun to write? No. They are important, and valuable, and necessary. Even the ones you've never heard of. Even the ones you've never read.

Theater is like any art. I honestly am amazed when people ask why it's made.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Tonight we open our three night run of in the great expanse of space there is nothing to see but More, More, More. I hope to see you there!

Tickets here.

On an ENTIRELY different note, I popped by the set of The Professionals, a Youtube series that features my good friend David DelGrosso, to shoot a scene alongside my pal Matt Trumbull. The episode is fun, for sure. My favorite thing is the outtakes. About halfway through this, you can see me and Matt Trumbull and Dave attempt to get through a take rather endlessly and unsuccessfully. It's fun, I think.

So...enjoy this (if you're interested to see how I basically look and sound, blog readers - even if I was looking a bit red-faced and sweaty).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Tickets now on sale for in the great expanse of space there is nothing to see but More, More, More

Tickets are now available for the three-night workshop production of in the great expanse of space there is nothing to see but More, More, More. Pick 'em up here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekly Updates? Perhaps!

I think I might try to formalize a "What's Up With Me" update on the blog weekly. Not sure if it would help anyone but me, but whatever. It's my blog.

- I've written and directed in the great expanse of space there is nothing to see but More, More, More. It's a three night workshop, at the Brick Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Details on the Brick website. $10 tickets only. Come out and see it.

- My play The Metaphor will be included in an upcoming Smith & Kraus anthology Best Ten Minute Plays 2012.


Where To Buy My Plays

When Is A Clock
Glee Club
The Americans (Kindle) (Nook) (IndieTheaterNow)
The Death of King Arthur
The Great Escape (IndieTheaterNow)
The Most Wonderful Love (IndieTheaterNow)

Ah the French!

Having dinner and drinks with my buddy Dave last night, he reminded me that this is perhaps the finest of all YouTube videos, and one of the reasons the internet is a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Change the world!

In your own way.

Signature Theater announces it will stage new works by five resident playwrights

The Signature Theater Initiative will develop and stage new works by these writers, to help them establish themselves...

Annie Baker, Kenneth Lonergan, Katori Hall, Regina Taylor, and Will Eno.

Ahem. Let me rephrase. The Signature Theater will pay for and produce plays written by the successful and terrific playwrights known as...

Annie Baker, Kenneth Longergan, Katori Hall, Regina Taylor and Will Eno.

Congratulations to the winners of the NYIT Awards 2011

A lovely evening, highlighted by some really charming and impressive presenters.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Onion on poetry

The Onion in its fullest "blow your brains out this is so sad and funny" mode.

Access Theater

The Time Out NY description of the Access Theater makes me feel all legit and stuff.

NYIT Awards

Tonight is the 2011 NYIT Awards. I have never been nominated for one of these awards, because of, I believe, I have strange and scaly wings. It makes me repulsive and unpopular.

I did, though, write the presenter's text. So if Jay O. Sanders or David Henry Hwang says something stupid, it's really on me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

in the great expanse of space there is nothing to see but More, More, More

Where: The Brick
When: September 29th, 30th and October 1st
What: A staged workshop of this new play

Written and directed by Matthew Freeman
Music by Benjamin Warfield

Featuring Lindsey Carter, Maggie Cino, Stephanie Cox-Williams, Rebecca Davis, Alexis Sottile, Stephanie Willing, and Morgan Anne Zipf

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Pretty cool.

An interesting conversation evolving about theater blogs

Naval gazing? Sure. But isn't that fun? Read George Hunka's post here and also some thoughts about the evolving place of theater blogs in the comments section here.

This blog has been around for about six years. As I'm late to the Twitter world, I entirely missed how the conversation evolved into being centralized about #2amt and other more institutional conversations (heck, I'm not even on the www.2amtheatre.com blogroll!).

So...do you think blogs like this one (single playwrights or artists speaking for themselves) is a mere precursor to the wider conversation that's going on as a part of social networking? Are blogs being supplanted, or supplemented, or simply co-opted? Has the novelty worn off? Or do you just figure it blogs are just a part of the world now, and they're fun, and that's that?

This man is a true hero

How do you read this blog

I'm curious. How do you read this blog? Do you click through a link on Twitter? On Facebook? Do you use Google Reader? Do you actually go to the matthewfreeman.blogspot.com webpage?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buy this book!

When you're clicking around on Amazon.com today, thinking about buying that book about locally sourced organic mushrooms that you can grow on the moist face of a recently weeping child...buy a copy of When Is A Clock.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years

It's early evening on Sunday, September 11th, 2011. Ten years later. I've struggled to say something, but it hasn't felt right. I can't believe it's been ten years. I was in the city that day. I don't have much to contribute to the dialogue. That's about it.

I will only say that I have found it strange and perpetually challenging to share what was a profoundly local event with the nation and with national politics.

"9/11" and what happened in New York City on September 11th, 2001 are not, in fact, the same thing.

One is an idea, shorthand, a stand-in for a thousand fears and policies, for conjecture and  projection.

The other is a time, a date, that something terrible happened downtown. I remember the date, and how I felt, and who I talked to, and who I was with. That belongs only to me. I remember when New York City felt like. That belongs to us.

Friday, September 09, 2011

From Brandywine Distillery Fire

As I'm a playwright, and this is my blog, it's sometimes fun to just share some of my writing with you guys. Some text from "Brandywine Distillery Fire."


I realize this blog is called "On Theatre and Politics" and I've barely written substantively about politics in a very long time. Part of that is that it was just easier under Bush, as his presidency was a constant source of outrage. It's tougher under Obama. Partially, to be honest, because I've gotten more disappointed in my compatriots on the left than in Obama himself. I get bored and tired of listening to progressives essentially throw up their arms over and over again. What is so shocking? He ran as a moderate, and he's attempted to govern like one. If he's been less bold on some issues, and even been unable to make changes in places I wish he would, that's just how politics works. But in the end, I think he is an intelligent human being who is attempting to get the best results for the American people considering the political realities of the moment. 

I like that he resists (sometimes to a fault) the impulse to fight fire with fire. The GOP's tone is not something I'd like to see matched. I'd like to see it be treated as inexcusable.

That being said, I'd like to throw out this one thought. There are a few media mantras that often drive me up the wall. One of those is that an "election is a referendum on the incumbent." The idea here is that the American people do not actually care who the President is running against, they're voting, basically, almost entirely to send a message about whether or not they believe the current officeholder is doing well. They've vote against him, the idea is, if the economy is bad, and for him if it isn't, case closed.

Of course, the truth is Obama is no more or less the "incumbent" than are his Republican counterweights. No matter how the House Republicans cast themselves as in favor of less government, it's clear that by setting the agenda and appearing as a bunch of older white men on the evening news in bulk...that they are the government. The face of exactly what exasperates the American people. If any Republican candidate stands beside them, I can't imagine he or she won't be treated as an "incumbent" in the eyes of the American people, if by incumbent what we really mean is "who we believe is currently managing things."

Thursday, September 08, 2011


I love this goddamn website, even if it is sooooo last year.

Monologues Tailored For You

I was poking around online, found Bekah Brunstetter's blog (which is primarily fun and personal) and also found this.She'll write you a personalized monologue for a small fee.

Now, this seems like something a lot of actors would be interested in, and also something other playwrights should be considering. How many bookfuls of short plays have been sold to actors as "Those auditions pieces you haven't heard or tried yet!" Why not just go straight to the source?

Anyway, thought it was worth a link. What do you think? Sounds like a great idea? Or no?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Notes added to "The Americans"

For those interested, I've added personal notes about the text of The Americans to its page on the Indie Theater Now site. Enjoy.

New plays available - The Great Escape and The Most Wonderful Love

Two of my plays, The Great Escape and The Most Wonderful Love, are now available as a part of the Indie Theater Now digital library. These plays, first produced in 2004 and 2006 respectively are two that I've always been extremely proud of, and they were well-received during their original runs. The New York Times was especially effusive about The Most Wonderful Love. From the review:

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

James Comtois: "Full Stop"

It's really not my place to tell the story, so I recommend you hear the most recent true-life tale from playwright James Comtois himself. Most of you that follow the theatrical blogsphere have read his posts, read his plays, seen his plays, and gotten to know him and his company Nosedive. I'm glad he's okay, but yeah, everyone take care of yourselves.

Read about it here. Leave him good thoughts.

Directing one's own work

Tonight begins rehearsals for the workshop of in the great expanse of space there is nothing to see but More, More, More. I'm directing myself, which I'm excited about, but it's also a position I usually sidestep. I've consistently with directors and partners for years, mostly because it's incredibly helpful, and also because I'm wary of directing one's own work on principle. The lack of perspective is, by it's nature, a hindrance. Perhaps. Maybe familiarity is a good thing in this case.

Any advice from experienced directors or playwright-directors out there?

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Incubator Arts Project's blog goes live

The Incubator Arts Project (who played host to Brandywine Distillery Fire last year) have launched a blog. Looking forward to reading it diligently! Add to your readers/feeds etc!