Donald Freed International Playwright and Master Teacher
Home Donald Freed Seminars Contributors Theatre Documentary Film Seminar Videos Events Contact Us


Full Reviews and articles

 “Patient No. 1” reviewer: Michael Billington, The Guardian

“Devil’s Advocate” reviewer Harvey Peer, Stage and Cinema

COUNTERMYTHOLOGIST article by Steven Mikulan, LA Weekly

HAMLET (IN REHEARSAL):  “Donald Freed’s stage version of HAMLET (IN REHEARSAL) unearths a buried play within the play in which a guilt-imprisoned, state-imprisoned, cosmically-imprisoned Hamlet lunges for and ultimately grasps the quietus of freedom. It is an explosively original, marvelously creative feat of Nabokovian intellectual acrobatics. Wonderful!”  -  Leon Katz, Leon Katz’ Edition of the Notebooks of Gertrude Stein, Emeritus Professor, Yale University

HAMLET (IN REHEARSAL): “If Shakespeare had reawakened in the oppressed theater of the 21st century, read Beckett, watched CNN and had a stiff drink, this is the play he would have written.” - Adam Leipzig, producer and dramaturg

HAMLET (IN REHEARSAL): “Donald Freed has brought us a completely new concept of Hamlet and a brilliant one. Setting up a rehearsal play to take its place with Buckingham and Michael Frayn, he engineers a high level debate/conflict, funny and active enough to hold any audience tight. The central impression is of a director beset like Hamlet, and a Hamlet with a great deal of the director. They share a predicament, fight it out and the audience wins.” - Edward Pearce, Machiavelli’s Children, The Great Man, The Guardian

HAMLET (IN REHEARSAL): “No actor with a pulse could read this play without wanting to get up and do it. Freed takes us into dark corridors between the lines of Shakespeare’s play, creating a brilliant met-drama full of theatrical joy, startling epiphany and crackling-good language. Unique as can be.” - Ron Marasco, PhD, author of Notes to an Actor

HAMLET (IN REHEARSAL): “Donald Freed’s HAMLET (IN REHEARSAL) is a revelation that rings so true, you will wonder why you never thought of it. Freed has trumped his own genius. Amazing!” - Lorinne Vozoff, Artistic Director, Theatre Group Studio

HAMLET (IN REHEARSAL): “Donald Freed is a genius who writes for our times. He writes with power, conviction and urgency what it may already be too late for us to hear. The clock is ticking … read his plays, see his plays — get on with it.” - Dee Evans, Artistic Director, Mercury Theater, Colchester

“We are in the presence of an outstanding dramatic artist, one of huge intelligence, political daring and theatrical imagination.” - The Gate Theater, Dublin

“The … unapologetically political author, Donald Freed, has made a career of hunting out horror as well as humanity in an age that seems bent on self-destruction.” - Los Angeles Times

EVERY THIRD HOUSE, a novel: “Donald Freed has given us a lot to think about in a post-September 11th world … if one is interested in learning the 1960s as a way of understanding the climate of the new millennium and vice versa, then this is the first book to read.” - Judson L. Jeffries, author of Huey P. Newton, the Radical Theorist

EVERY THIRD HOUSE, a novel: “All of us who admire the passion and poetry of Donald Freed’s plays will embrace EVERY THIRD HOUSE as a brilliant meditation on love, conscience and — what the novel’s protagonist calls “the cheapest word in town” — terrorism. - A.J. Langguth, author of Our Vietnam: 1954-1975 and Patriots: The Men Who Started the American Revolution

EVERY THIRD HOUSE, a novel: “Donald Freed, the master of political storytelling, does it again. EVERY THIRD HOUSE captures the frightening days of the militant struggle for Black equality, giving voice to characters straight out of history as they interact under the all-seeing eye of the FBI.” - William Turner, author of Hoover’s FBI: The Men and the Myth and Rearview Mirror: Looking back at the FBI, the CIA and Other Tails

HOW SHALL WE BE SAVED? a play: “With HOW SHALL WE BE SAVED? Freed has created a heady psychological whodunit that questions both past and present in order to give us some insight into our fragile lives and collective future.” - The Hollywood Reporter

“HOW SHALL WE BE SAVED? [is] succinct and powerful… THE WHITE CROW [is] taut, tense, intense… dangerous and demanding.” - Royal Shakespeare Company


“…how tasteful, elegant and strangely poignant this version of the Bloomingdale-Morgan scandal proves to be. Playwright Freed has wisely elected not to further exploit this coupole for melodramatic purposes. ALFRED ANDS VICTORIA: A LIFE is a love story, and one of the few truly moving romances to be seen on a local stage in quite some time.

Freed’s fragmented approach to the Bloomingdale-Morgan sty allows him to more freely explore the complex Pygmalion-Galatea, Lear-Cordelia elements. Freed’s alternative approach is more provocative, equating sexual politics with America’s post-1960s move to a permanent war economy…

Freed’s play [is] so curiously moving.”

Richard Stayton, Los Angeles Herald Examiner

“Freed’s scorching drama is so hot it sizzles. Freed may be the best hard-ball playing political dramatist around. His plays don’t just suggest a political viewpoint, they are about the political mechanism itself. Freed’s view of American politics is deeply cynical and astute. His style is ruthless and relentless.

CHILD OF LUCK, a play: "The cold-hearted CHILD OF LUCK cuts to the quick. In the first campaign of the 21st century, John Kelly, the son of an assassinated politician who served as John Kennedy’s right-hand man, announces his candidacy for president.” Kathryn Bernheimer, Sunday Camera

IS HE STILL DEAD?, a play: “Every precious image of the world premiere of IS HE STILL DEAD? Should be savored and celebrated…

Donald Freed’s play captures both detail and essence as he explores a day in the life of the writer James Joyce and his wife Nora…

The script, a wise and witty one… [is] brilliantly conceived.

Theater at its best, IS HE STILL DEAD is a play which, without becoming overly sentimental, speaks of love through the ages. The characters live on.”

Fred Sokol, Union News

INQUEST, a play: “As a piece of theater, INQUEST was completely effective. Completely. From the time the two were accused, to the last letter to their children, to their execution in the electric chair. Without a doubt, INQUEST makes it on an emotional theatrical level. It’s probably the most shattering thing I’ve seen all year on Broadway.”

John Bartholomeew Tucker, WABC-TV

INQUEST, a play: “An effective piece of theater. … Whether they were guilty or not, I think the play may suggest further thought on the matter.”

Clive Barnes, The New York Times

INQUEST, a play: “Chilling and absorbing. … This kind of play is one of the things the theater is for.”

Edwin Newman, WNBC-TV

INQUEST, a play: “INQUEST plays on your memories of the case. … It wants to press the weight down on your shoulders. And it does. I can feel it on mine.”

Leonard Harris, WCBS-TV

AGONY IN NEW HAVEN, a History: “This timely new edition of the Bobby Seale-Ericka Huggins trial [AGONY IN NEW HAVEN] recalls tensions from four decades ago that left fresh scars on our racial history. Donald Freed tells the story not only vividly but with the proper moral outrage.” - A.J. Langguth, Our Vietnam, Union 1812