Political Theatre

Deeply sad news this week of the too-early death of Jan Maxwell. I only worked with her once, back in 2002, when I took over from Nick Woodeson in House and Garden at the Manhattan Theatre Club.

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On stage Jan was an elegant, intelligent presence, handling language with poise and precision and impeccable comic timing. Backstage her vocabulary was, what’s the word I want? Vigorous, energetic, vivid, feisty … all of these and more. I specially enjoyed her acerbic wit. She was the most generous of scene partners and a joy to play with.

I say political because as a dedicated artist, Jan worked whenever she could for The Wrestling School, a theatre company which produces the plays of Howard Barker. It was good to see the New York Times acknowledge her work both in an obituary and a feature article.

My own politics are green-of-centre.

I am among those subversives who wants clean energy solutions. In memory of a truly sparkling talent I recommend http://www.Kiva.org — it’s a way to fund eco-friendly people and projects.

10 thoughts on “Political Theatre

  1. Henny Russell

    I’m SO sad about Jan’s passing. We did The Royal Family together, and I adored her. I, too, was pleased to see the feature article. I hope they are dimming the lights on Broadway for her — or already have. If you hear of a memorial, please let me know.

    Hope you and Trish are happy & well. We’re all fine here in Jackson Heights. 😊

    xoxo, Henny

    ________________________________

    Reply
  2. Dan Leonard

    “Max” was a dear friend since our days in college. A true original, and either directing or acting with her was sheer joy.

    Reply
  3. Jennifer Harmon

    Dear Colin,
    What a beautifully written salute to our exquisite Jan. Bless you and thank you.
    She was so deeply beloved by so many. My love, Jenny xoxo

    Reply

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