Richard Maxwell materials available for sale this weekend! Feb 19, 2015

by Erin

Betsey reads Richard Maxwell's Theater For Beginnners to a clearly mesmerized OtB staff. Get your own copy and find out what the fuss is all about. Copies of this book and some of Maxwell's other work will be available for purchase in the lobby over the performance weekend. Bonus: see the show on Friday and have your book signed by Maxwell after the post-show Q&A. 

Can't make the performance? Don't worry - scripts, DVDs, t-shirts and more are available at the New York City Players' website.

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"Eating the Heart of Richard Maxwell" - interview with Maxwell at Hazlitt Feb 16, 2015

by Erin

Naomi Skwarna interviews Richard Maxwell at Hazlitt:

Did acting lack something for you?

I liked acting, but I felt limited creatively by what I could contribute. I’m a saboteur by nature. When I see something established, I have a really mischievous impulse to undermine it. Specifically, I remember working on a show at Steppenwolf Theater as an artistic intern. At the time, I was in a high school outreach show, Romeo and Juliet, playing a bunch of different small parts. One of the parts was a servant, where I’d come out and say what ho and you know, how doth the queen or something like that. They’d had a party the night before at the theatre that was totally unrelated to the show, and there are all these helium...

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AMBASSADOR PROJECT: Post-Show Music after THE EVENING Feb 16, 2015

by Monique

A project by OtB Ambassador James Holt.

Join us in the OtB lobby post-show Saturday, Feb 21 and enjoy live music by the performers from Richard Maxwell's The Evening.

BUY TICKETS to The Evening. 
Read more about the Ambassador Project.


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Richard Maxwell and the Paradox of Theatre Feb 13, 2015

by Erin

Educate yourself: go in-depth with Maxwell's aesthetic with this paper from Theron Schmidt at academia.edu:

The seemingly simple aesthetic form of performances by Richard Maxwell and the New York City Players, in which actors speak and move with minimal emotional affectation and in which the scripts are constructed largely out of apparently insignificant elements of everyday speech, seems to baffle academic and popular critics alike. We read into these choices a set of apparent contradictions and paradoxical strategies which seem to challenge our conception of how theatre works. So Philippa Wehle in Theatre Forum and Robin Pogrebin in the New York Times both grapple with the curious way in which they come to have emotional investment in thecharacters in Maxwell’s plays, with Wehle asking “what is the appeal of these curious stock figures who...

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"Three Characters in Search of Jell-O Shots" – The Evening at the Walker Art Center Feb 13, 2015

by Erin

Jay Gabler at thetangential.com gives his views on the opening of The Evening at the Walker Art Center. Please note that this show is a fluid work and the OtB version may differ from the Walker version:

Like 2001, you can experience this show in any of a number of different ways. You can just sit back and let it wash over you, and let your thoughts and emotions go where they will. Alternately, you can think about the show more concretely as a creation of a specific group of artists at a specific time—in which case it helps to read Maxwell’s long interview...

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"A One of a Kind Event" - Thomas May on the Seattle Bang on a Can Marathon Feb 12, 2015

by Erin

Thomas May talks contemporary music, the evolution of Bang on a Can, and the trend of modern music being performed in Seattle:

You know how the phrase “classical music concert” used to imply a mostly predictable format? That’s no longer a safe assumption, thanks to the innovative thinking of orchestras like the Seattle Symphony and music director, Ludovic Morlot — thinking that involves not just the content of a concert but the venue where it’s performed.

By the same token, there once was a time when the prospect of a “new music” (aka “modern music”) program signaled a ritualistic exercise in high-toned concentration. Back in 1987, a trio of like-minded young composers — Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon, and David Lang — put together a 12-hour marathon of adventurous music in a...

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Richard Maxwell in BOMB Magazine Feb 11, 2015

by Erin

Instead of a direct interview, BOMB Magazine's John Kelsey learned a monologue (written by Maxwell) and received direction from Maxwell. Their rehearsal process became the "interview" of Maxwell's aesthetic and directing style. A taste of the rehearsal process:

Rehearsal: Part 1

(John recites the monologue)

Richard Maxwell Okay. Nice job. It’s great that you memorized that, and that’ll come in handy later, but there’s some stuff I want to look at first. There are a lot of typos and crap in the text—it’s sloppy—and you corrected that when you read in a lot of places. I’m curious to hear what it sounds like in its pure form.

John Kelsey You mean if I articulate your typos?

RM Yes.

JK...

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Richard Maxwell in The New Yorker Feb 11, 2015

by Erin

The New Yorker Magazine profiled Richard Maxwell in 2014, before the premiere of "Isolde" at the Abrons Art Center:

Richard Maxwell is one of the more adventurous theatre artists that this country has produced in decades. Born in 1967, he was raised in West Fargo, North Dakota. He comes from a theatrical background. His father had a strong interest in the stage; his sister is the Broadway actress Jan Maxwell. Although Maxwell’s work is driven by narrative, it is very different than the musicals that his sister appears in to such acclaim. Maxwell’s work is about distillation. “I never tell people to avoid realism or naturalism or what feels natural,” he has said. “It’s just that I’m saying you’re not obliged to pretend that you feel something.” In...

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