Matthew-Lee is a writer, actor, and filmmaker from Chicago and New York, whose work largely focuses on erased histories as well as the impact of technological revolutions on capital, labor, race, spirituality, and democratic movements. He also writes comedy. It’s dark. He loves pudding.
Matthew-Lee is the co-founder of Arts Workers United, a 501c4 committed to making America’s 5.2 million Arts and Culture Workers who drive $919 billion an economic and legislative priority.
He is also co-founder of AWU’s Be An Arts Hero campaign, where he served as Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, creating and leading national campaigns as well as writing and lobbying for state and federal policy for creative workers, including the DAWN (Defend Arts Workers Now) Act. In addition to his national work, he proudly serves on the Arts Leadership Council for Arts Alliance Illinois.
For his national and state grassroots efforts, he has been interviewed/featured in multiple national media outlets, including NPR, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, WGN, Washington Post, New York Times, Harpers, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Reader, and Playbill, among others.
A proud graduate of the public school system from K-College, Matthew-Lee created a writing program for single mothers transitioning out of homelessness and prison and is a team leader for Habitat for Humanity, locally and globally.
He is also an advocate for ethical AI and ethical transhumanism.
TV/FILM: Matthew-Lee is currently writing for the new Adam McKay/Amy Adams series KINGS OF AMERICA on Netflix. He has also written for MASTERS OF SEX/Showtime, GYPSY/Netflix, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS/ Netflix, and for WWE, MTV, and Nickelodeon. He is currently writing a sci-fi feature with Rainn Wilson and has TV projects set up with SONY, Killer Films, Cavalry, and Merman; he is also the writer/director of HUMAN INTEREST, which just won “Best Digital Short Series” at SeriesFest, watchable here.
THEATRE: As a playwright, his play THE DOPPELGÄNGER (an international farce), starring Rainn Wilson and directed by Tina Landau, premiered to a sold-out run at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago, where he recently developed his political drama REVELATIONS as well a forthcoming new project directed by Anna D. Shapiro.
His plays have been developed/produced with The New Group, Steppenwolf, Vineyard, Ars Nova, MCC, Williamstown, NYTW, the New Harmony Project, the Orchard Project, and SPACE on Ryder Farm, among others. Other recent productions include the critically-acclaimed Off-Bway world-premiere of his solo play HANDBOOK FOR AN AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY at the GYM at Judson (Tony Speciale, dir.); EAGER TO LOSE, extended Off-Bway at Ars Nova/nominated for Off Broadway Alliance Award (Wes Grantom/Portia Krieger, dirs.); the NY premiere of SEX OF THE BABY (Michelle Bossy, dir.), and RADICAL for Steppenwolf. Other plays include KEVIN LAMB, KING GEORGE III, and A NEIGHBOR IN THE AREA.
He has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, Puffin Foundation, was a member of Ars Nova's Play Group, MVMNT Theatre’s Play Group, is a HUMANITAS New Voices recipient, and is a proud member of the Dramatist’s Guild, WGA, and SAG-AFTRA.
Matthew-Lee most recently appeared in HUMAN INTEREST. Other TV/ Film: Host of MTV’s Epic Fail pilot; Another Earth (Sundance/FOX Searchlight); Important Things with Demetri Martin(Comedy Central); Law&Order:SVU; Roger, the Chicken, and many characters for Rockstar Games Coors Light, Dairy Queen, Levi’s, and Nickelodeon. He has acted extensively Off-Bway and regionally, with his critically-acclaimed solo play Handbook for an American Revolutionary performing an extended run Off-Bway.