Playwright’s Name: Matthew Widman
Tell us about your latest project:
Stop and Frisk is a social drama about a stop and frisk encounter in an urban park between two plainclothes police officers and two young men heading to work. It’s fiction but it’s a composite based on media accounts, posted footage, personal experience and the experiences of friends and acquaintances. This play is about the abuse of power that has made Stop and Frisk such a controversial policing policy. It’s one account of what happens when human nature meets public policy and it exemplifies the potential dangers of the intense human interactions that result.
What excites you about being a part of the Downtown Urban Arts Festival?
Besides being the nicest and most professional folks in the world and an unbelievable pleasure to work with, DUAF is a cutting edge theater and film festival that’s unafraid to tackle gritty political and social issues as well as to entertain. They’re not about making money and they’re not about celebrity, so that affords them the integrity to host plays and films that they believe in.
The urban space is where people come together and try to figure out how to interact. Urban issues and themes are human issues that speak universally to race, class, sexuality, identity, romance â€“ the things we’re all trying to figure out and negotiate. It’s a real privilege to be part of the DUAF.
What’s your upcoming project after the Festival?
I’m working on a couple of full length plays, a comedy, Kill the Dog, about parenting, self-absorption and community and another dark comic drama examining the current state of anger and alienation that seems to be pervading American politics and society.
Tuesday, March 29 at 7pm