Acting and directing has always been the dream but Music keeps me sane” – Matthew ‘M.R’ Reed

Our reporter interviewed the actor, director & musician Matthew ‘M.R’ Reed: He talks about writing and acting in his new play “I Remember”, juggling the two roles and what his dream music or theatre production would be like.


The nee play written, produced and directed by Matthew ‘M.R’ Reed is an inspirational piece about a young Lady named Molly Jenkins who takes us back in time on her battles with her past while overcoming daily obstacles of trying to become successful.

You’ve written the play and you are also performing in it alongside several unknown and upcoming actors, did you always have yourself in mind when you were writing?

Yes, I knew I wanted to play Grand Pa when I was writing but I really had to shut off that part of my brain when I was creating the play as you can start to censor and shape it around yourself instead of being true the a character.

Thinking or worrying about how your character should be or not be. I’ve found being an actor does help a lot when writing.

Just like when I am writing music being a musician helps me interpret certain lyrics or lines in a particular way to elicit specific reactions or emotions from the listener.

Being an actor also help put you in perspective with the character because you are different people in your head, the character and the audience, you try to get into their heads and thoughts and try to imagine how they would react or feel.

Which do you prefer – writing music, acting or writing a play – and which do you find the most challenging?

Acting and directing has always been the dream so I studied Theatre in the University, but Music keeps me sane. It has always been part of my life.

I have always written and composed music and starting out after university I worked as a musical director in church for a few years.

I’ve only started writing a couple of years ago and I have been lucky enough to be a part of certain productions.

And when I founded my own production company it was utterly fulfilling. I’ve found writing incredibly cathartic.

Yes, Acting can be a very perilous career and a lot of time the control is taken out of the actor’s hands and resides in the script and interpretation of the director. Writing and creating my own work has kept me focused and sane during some lean times.

I have always used creatives resources as an outlet even if it’s just me sitting in a coffee shop having vivid imaginations in my head about my own fantasy world.

How do you juggle being director, writer and actor during rehearsal, do you have to take off the director and writer’s hat or are you still refining?

I like being in the rehearsal room as both. Before I walk in I have tell myself it’s play not a novel which means I have to give up control to a certain extent.

I have to hand it over to actors who will bring their own life experiences and personalities to the characters which will only make it richer. As director I need to maintain a creative vision which over rides what I’ve written down on paper.

Sometimes it’s hard to see great scores of words that seemed so important and cost so much to write edited out sometimes.

That’s the process and sometimes I need trust the people I’m working with to do their jobs.

What would your dream music or theatre production look like?

My dream scenario is always a big cast. I love watching relationships and a load of varied dynamics play out on stage.

Strong characters are always important to me make or female and I try to cast as gender, race, background and disability blind as possible.

For music production I would like any a full orchestra and conductor with an 8 pieces band and it will be totally live instruments no samples or sampling. Everything will be original compositions.

Born Matthew Reed aka ‘M.R’ in Chicago, IL on September 25, 1990.

He graduated from Orr Academy High School in 2009, and graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Theatre. He worked briefly as music director at St.Paul West Outreach Ministries.

He is also the founder, Director and Producer for M.Reed Studio Productions, a Theatre Production Company based in Chicago, IL.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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