Richard Maxwell

Doris Duke Artist Award, 2012

New York, NY

Richard Maxwell is a playwright, director and the artistic director of New York City Players (founded 1999). He received the 2014 Spalding Gray Award and a 2012 OBIE for his direction of Early Plays by Eugene O’Neill. Also in 2012, Maxwell was an invited artist in the Whitney Biennial and a Doris Duke Performing Artist. He has been selected for a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, and a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant. His plays have been commissioned by Festival d’Automne, Paris; Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels; Project Arts Centre, Dublin; the Barbican Centre, London; Theater Bonn; the Wexner Center, Columbus; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; PS 122, The Kitchen, and Soho Rep in New York. Maxwell is a resident writer at New Dramatists. His video works have been exhibited at Greene Naftali Gallery, White Columns, and Anthology Film Archives. His book, Theater for Beginners, was published in 2015 by TCG.

  • Photo Credit: Michael Schmelling
  • Photo credit: NYC Players
    The Evening
  • Richard Maxwell- Ads (2010):
    Ads (2010)
  • Photo Credit: Paula Court
    Ads (2010)
  • Photo Credit: Michael Schmelling
    Ode to the Man Who Kneels (2007)
  • The End of Reality (2006)
  • Drummer Wanted (2001)
  • House (1998)

Suppose you just met someone who didn't know your work, what project from the past 10 years would you direct them to as an entry point to you and your work, and why?

I would direct folks to an ongoing video project called Ads, which tries to be theatre. With Ads, I invite people to write down what they believe and we record them, head-to-toe, speaking their words to the camera. The recording is then projected live for an audience using an old theater trick called “Pepper’s Ghost” which gives off a rudimentary 3-D feeling. I like this production mainly because it expresses the complicated and contradictory feelings I have about theatre and performing more than anything I’ve done.