Plays, 1996-2000 (Maxwell)
This volume collects for the first time the work of one of America’s most important, vital and original young voices. Turning the American family drama firmly on its head, "Maxwell strips more layers of explanation from the Freudian family romance, shining light on the humiliation and fury usually reasoned out of sight by psychologizing playwrights. Few characters in contemporary drama are as exposed as Maxwell’s. "—Marc Robinson, Village Voice
"Imagine if you took a giant hatpin and stuck it into Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky. Once all the hot air had leaked out of that melodrama about a working-class underdog who wins fame, fortune and love in the boxing ring, you might find something very much like Richard Maxwell’s Boxing 2000. By taking a conventional formula and draining it of all its humid sentimentality and synthetic adrenaline, Mr. Maxwell discovers something new and unexpected. Boxing 2000 is a real knockout: a play that not only challenges theatrical clichés, but your ideas about theatre itself. "—Wall Street Journal
""It’s a sensation that’s felt all too rarely these days. Watching Mr. Maxwell’s work makes you think of what it must have been like to stumble upon the baffling but seductive creations of a young Sam Shepard in the early 1960’s in the East Village. "—, New York Times
This first volume collects nine of Maxwell’s early works: Boxing 2000, Caveman, House (1999 OBIE Award winner), Showy Lady Slipper and others.
Richard Maxwell is a writer, director and songwriter. He began his acting career with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he helped found the Cook County Theater Department, which challenged the principles of traditional acting training. He is artistic director of New York City Players. His plays have been performed in the U. S. at Soho Rep, The Kitchen, P. S. 122, HERE, the Williamstown Theater Festival, Walker Arts Center and the Wexner Center for the Arts; and in Paris, Berlin, Dublin, Brussels, Amsterdam and Vienna.