Matthew Greene’s #MORMONINCHIEF received its world premiere at the New York International Fringe Festival (aka FringeNYC) last summer. His ADAM & STEVE AND THE EMPTY SEA received its world premiere at Plan-B Theatre Company in 2013 – that production will be featured at FringeNYC this summer.
It’s remarkable how quickly a college grad can become disillusioned. This may be especially true for a theatre major, a playwright who spent four years having his head filled with romantic ideas. Once he leaves the comfort of the college campus, he realizes things aren’t as easy as he thought, that creating art may have seemed challenging in a senior seminar but that’s nothing compared to the gauntlet he’s about to run in the professional sector.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m talking about myself and my journey since I headed into the “cold cruel world” three years ago. I have to admit, it didn’t take me too long to become jaded, to become relatively convinced that the opportunity to collaborate with fellow artists and to reach an enthusiastic audience was just a fantasy. Thanks to two recent experiences, though, that dismal view of the world has changed.
The first of these experiences came last summer, when my original play #MMORMONINCHIEF premiered at the New York International Fringe Festival. It almost goes without saying that the theatre nerd in me “geeked out” every time I got to say the words, “I have a show in New York.” More than that, though, the festival afforded me the opportunity to meet, work with, and support the work of artists like me who have held fast to their fantasies of creating vibrant, exciting works of theatre. The passion that had started to fade was reignited and I started to remember the enthusiasm that had driven me to this kind of work in the first place.
A few months later was the world premier of ADAM & STEVE AND THE EMPTY SEA at Plan-B. If any company has a passion for theatre and a belief in its power, it’s this one. From early workshops through closing night, my journey working on this play was a joyful, challenging, and intensely rewarding one. I could hardly ask for a better working environment or a more supportive group of artists. And the audiences! I surprised myself by showing up for every performance of the play because there was something incredible about sitting in that theatre, sharing the experience with the kind of audiences I dreamed of writing for when I was an idealistic college kid. The passionate, engaged, invested individuals I met in the seats of the studio theatre did more to renew my faith in theatre than almost anything else ever has.
So, when I found out that Plan-B’s production of my play ADAM & STEVE AND THE EMPTY SEA had been selected to participate in this year’s New York International Fringe Festival I was thrilled. I’m so grateful for the chance to share this story with a new audience and to be reminded again what can happen when we gather together in the theater. I’ve been overwhelmed by the support the show has received so far and I’m so happy I get to live with it a little bit longer this summer.
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