Richard Maxwell (director)

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Richard Maxwell (born 1967) is an American experimental theater director and playwright in New York City. His company is the New York City Players.[1]


Richard Maxwell is originally from West Fargo, North Dakota. He studied acting at Illinois State University and began his professional career with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. While in Chicago, he became a co-founder and a director of the Cook County Theater Department.[2]

Through his company, the New York City Players, his work has been presented in over sixteen countries - including Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Argentina, and Australia. His plays have been translated into six languages. He is the recipient of several grants from the New York State Council on the Arts, Jerome Foundation, Creative Capital Foundation,[3] MAP fund, and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, among others. His plays have been selected for national and international recognition, including an Obie Award for House; and the Best in Festival Award at Theaterspektakel Zurich (Zürcher Theater Spektakel) for Good Samaritans,[4] which also won an Obie Award for Acting (Rosemary Allen.)[5]

A volume of his plays was published by Theater Communications Group in 2004. His music appears in many of his productions and has been recorded on three full-length CD’s. He has also created two videos, The Darkness of this Reading, and The Feud Other. His plays have been commissioned by The Barbican Centre, London; Biennale Bonn; Theater Bonn; The Lyric Hammersmith Theatre, London; The Wexner Center, Columbus; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Steirischer Herbst Festival, Graz; The Hebbel Theater, Berlin; Toneelgroep Amsterdam; Theaterformen, Hannover; La Maison des Arts, Creteil; Performance Space 122, The Kitchen and Soho Rep in New York. Maxwell is a contributing editor for BOMB.

In November 2007, Ode to the Man Who Kneels,[6] and in March 2009, People Without History premiered at the Performing Garage in New York.[7]

In March 2010 Maxwell directed his play Das Mädchen at Theater Bonn in Schauspielhalle. Further performances later in March 2010 were done at Kampnagel, Hamburg, Germany.

In May 2011, Maxwell created the play Neutral Hero in the context of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels.


  • Plays Volume 1, 2000, TCG, and includes Maxwell's works from 1996-2000.[8]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Playwright's Trademark Is Deadpan. Now He Wants to Tweak It.", The New York Times, JESSE McKINLEY, January 18, 2006
  3. ^ (
  4. ^ ZKB Prize Zürcher Theater Spektakel
  5. ^ Village Voice Obie Awards 2005
  6. ^ "The Land of the Big Sky and the Deep Inner Void", The New York Times, BEN BRANTLEY, November 6, 2007
  7. ^ "Swimming Across the Rough Sea of History", The New York Times, BEN BRANTLEY, March 24, 2009
  8. ^

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