Matthew Freeman

Matthew Freeman

Matthew Freeman is a current resident playwright at New Dramatists and a MacDowell Colony Fellow.

His plays have been seen on stages throughout New York City by way of the Access Theater; 4th Street Theater; The Brick Theater; HERE Arts Center; 80WSE Gallery; House of Yes; Dixon Place and at the Incubator Arts Project at St. Mark’s Church.

His plays include The Language,...
Matthew Freeman is a current resident playwright at New Dramatists and a MacDowell Colony Fellow.

His plays have been seen on stages throughout New York City by way of the Access Theater; 4th Street Theater; The Brick Theater; HERE Arts Center; 80WSE Gallery; House of Yes; Dixon Place and at the Incubator Arts Project at St. Mark’s Church.

His plays include The Language, Bluebeard, When is a Clock, Traveling to Montpelier, The Listeners (Nominee: Best Performance Art Production - New York Innovative Theatre Awards 2015), Why We Left Brooklyn, That Which Isn't, The Starving Dress, The Most Wonderful Love, Glee Club, The Great Escape, The Death of King Arthur, The Americans, That Old Soft Shoe, Confess Your Bubble and Brandywine Distillery Fire. His plays and monologues have been published by Samuel French, Applause, Smith & Kraus, the New York Theatre Experience and Playscripts, Inc.

As a director, Freeman has staged The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children by Matthew Trumbull at the NY International Fringe Festival 2012 (Encore Series; Award, Overall Excellence in Solo Performance) and the Minnesota Fringe Festival 2013. He has directed his own adaptation of the mystery plays, Genesis, with Handcart Ensemble and The Hollow, an evening of short plays.

Freeman is a graduate of Emerson College.

Plays

  • That Which Isn't
    Helen meets with James in a quiet field somewhere far from the city. Years later, she meets with Marcus in a crowded restaurant in Los Angeles. These two goodbyes explore the process of losing the people we love, and how we remember the people we don’t.
  • The Listeners
    When two drifters arrive at Sistine's door, she offers them mismatched coffee cups and something called breakfast. Outside the dogs are barking. Probably dogs. The drifters are now lodgers. They meet the family. There's a house and people live in it. Vegetables in the garden. Board games. History. Stories. Rituals, Songs. Do we sing songs? We've lived this way for a long time. Or decades. Anyway...
    When two drifters arrive at Sistine's door, she offers them mismatched coffee cups and something called breakfast. Outside the dogs are barking. Probably dogs. The drifters are now lodgers. They meet the family. There's a house and people live in it. Vegetables in the garden. Board games. History. Stories. Rituals, Songs. Do we sing songs? We've lived this way for a long time. Or decades. Anyway, a long time. We know how to survive.

    The Listeners is a surreal drama about ritual as a ward against the unknown.
  • The Dress You Should Wear
    Constance and Marigold in a fitting room. A short play for adults.
  • The White Swallow
    Cameron asks Nick to help him with a very specific fetish in this adult short play.
  • Character(s)
    Congressman Dick Peters and his aide, Carol, struggle to explain his Twitter infidelity in this ten-minute dark comedy.
  • A Long Trip By Sea
    Norman Nusse is the last surviving passenger on a ship adrift in the Apollonian Sea, the remnants of his civilized life on a distant war-torn shore. Luckily, he paid for the very best service, and is well attended by the First Mate and Captain. Will their tenuous civility survive the approach of a mysterious vessel?
  • Bluebeard
    A surreal drama based on the classic folk tale.

    Margaret is married off to the wealthy and mysterious Bluebeard. Bluebeard explains the rules of his house to his new wife and then abruptly leaves on business. Upon his exit, Bluebeard declares that Margaret shall have access to every room in the house except the room behind the red door. He places the the key to this door in her hand, with the...
    A surreal drama based on the classic folk tale.

    Margaret is married off to the wealthy and mysterious Bluebeard. Bluebeard explains the rules of his house to his new wife and then abruptly leaves on business. Upon his exit, Bluebeard declares that Margaret shall have access to every room in the house except the room behind the red door. He places the the key to this door in her hand, with the single instruction: “Never use it.” Margaret has only herself to talk to, as she combats the oppressive silence. Her suspicion and isolation inevitably lead her to transgress. She discovers the victims of her husband’s secret past. She is confronted by a symphony of stories, some beautiful, some brutal, all portending a grim fate. Bluebeard explores issues such as privacy and surveillance and the emotional violence embedded in modern relationships. Does Margaret’s knowledge free her from the past, or condemn her to repeat it?
  • The ENC
    The ENC is a new version of The Emperor's New Clothes. When a famed tailor creates a special garment for the Emperor, it throws the citizenry into chaos. His counselors must decide: do they participate in the Emperor's parade to celebrate his new raiment? Or do they risk admitting what their eyes can see?
  • The Americans
    A young man writes a poem, “The Americans,” so beautiful that the walls of his room rise into the sky and explode, covering New York in wood and plaster rain. For three young men vaguely nervous about what their lives are becoming, it is, at least, something different.
  • he died on a Sunday afternoon, in a motel, on the way to
    A silent play on one-act about a pair of middle-aged siblings navigating the death of their father.
  • Why We Left Brooklyn or The Dinner Party Play
    Everything is changing. Jason is finally ready to give up acting - and New York City - for a solid teaching job in Columbus, Ohio. His wife, Michelle, would join him, if not for the budding book deal. On the eve of Jason's departure, their closest friends have gathered among packed boxes and uncertain prospects to mark the occasion with a farewell dinner party. On a blisteringly comic battleground littered...
    Everything is changing. Jason is finally ready to give up acting - and New York City - for a solid teaching job in Columbus, Ohio. His wife, Michelle, would join him, if not for the budding book deal. On the eve of Jason's departure, their closest friends have gathered among packed boxes and uncertain prospects to mark the occasion with a farewell dinner party. On a blisteringly comic battleground littered with crushed hopes and artisanal flatbreads, ten strivers reckon their successes and wonder how much longer they can hold out.
  • When Is A Clock
    When Gordon's wife vanishes, the only clue to her whereabouts is a bookmark in dog-eared copy of Traveling to Montpelier. With little help to be found at work, from his son, or from the police, Gordon takes off to a rural bookstore to find some answers. At turns both scathingly funny and disturbingly compelling, When Is A Clock features Freeman's celebrated deconstruction of American culture - which...
    When Gordon's wife vanishes, the only clue to her whereabouts is a bookmark in dog-eared copy of Traveling to Montpelier. With little help to be found at work, from his son, or from the police, Gordon takes off to a rural bookstore to find some answers. At turns both scathingly funny and disturbingly compelling, When Is A Clock features Freeman's celebrated deconstruction of American culture - which has been called "nonviolent, though as savage as any slasher film" by the New York Times.
  • Glee Club
    Eight misfit members of Romeo, Vermont's cut-throat glee club are on the verge of meltdown after their soloist makes a disastrous decision to stop drinking right before a performance. Will they be ready in time for the big recital? Will they mend torn friendships and wounded hearts? Isn't music the most important thing? An explicit comedy about singing, friendship, and the riffs in between.
  • Trayf
    A giant lobster decides to convert to Judaism, and visits a lonely Rabbi on Hanukkah.
  • The Death of King Arthur
    Thomas Mallory's L'Morte D'Arthur is transformed into a five-act play in verse in this thrilling epic tale. The Holy Grail has been found and the Round Table has won its place in history, but Lancelot has returned from the Quest in shame, a secret sin on his head. King Arthur discovers the sin, and the ensuing struggle dramatically exposes the deep flaws and nobility of the Arthurian myth as it...
    Thomas Mallory's L'Morte D'Arthur is transformed into a five-act play in verse in this thrilling epic tale. The Holy Grail has been found and the Round Table has won its place in history, but Lancelot has returned from the Quest in shame, a secret sin on his head. King Arthur discovers the sin, and the ensuing struggle dramatically exposes the deep flaws and nobility of the Arthurian myth as it examines the transition from an idealistic monarchy to a modern and pragmatic democracy.