Isolde is an actress. Her husband, Patrick, is a contractor. They hire an award-winning architect, Massimo, to build Isolde a lake house. There is something wrong with Isolde’s memory. She tries to describe to Massimo the house she wants, then Massimo presents his idea. Isolde and Massimo have an affair. Patrick tells his friend, Uncle Jerry, that he’s letting her do it. Patrick and Massimo clash over the plans for the house. The construction isn’t progressing. Patrick challenges Massimo to draw the plans; Massimo refuses. In a dumb-show, the actors playing Patrick, Isolde, Massimo, and Uncle Jerry mime the story of Tristan and Isolde, after which Isolde tries to deliver her lines and fails. She disappears. On the opposite side of the lake, Uncle Jerry gives Massimo an envelope of money and tells him that Patrick and Isolde no longer require his services. Uncle Jerry tells Massimo he considered getting rid of him but decided not to; Uncle Jerry talks about loneliness.

Written and directed by Richard Maxwell

Isolde: Tory Vazquez
Patrick: Jim Fletcher
Massimo: Gary Wilmes
Uncle Jerry: Brian Mendes

Set and Lights: Sascha van Riel
Costumes: Romy Springsguth
Additional Costumes: Kaye Voyce
Producing Manager: Katherine Brook
Technical Director: Tavish Miller
Lighting Coordinator: Zach Tinkelman
Sound sample from Daniel Ott, performed by Sylwia Zytynska, Lanet Otero, Malte Preuss

Production History

Theater Basel, 2013
La Filature, Mulhouse 2013
Abrons Arts Center, New York 2014
The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus 2015
Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt 2015
Festival TransAmériques, Montreal 2015
Theatre for a New Audience, Brooklyn 2015
Culturgest, Lisbon 2016
Theatre Junction, Calgary 2016


Das Theater Fängt mit Anti-Theater an, Nordwestchweiz, 2013
Richard Maxwell Discusses "Isolde," CULTUREBOT, 2014
What's New: Isolde Again, Interview Magazine, 2014
The Precarious Foundation of a Dream House, The New York Times, 2014
Isolde: Theater review by Helen Shaw, Time Out New York, 2014
Infidelity and Architecture Underpin the Meditative Isolde, The Village Voice, 2014
Isolde at Abrons Arts Center, Exeunt Magazine, 2014
The Theatre: An Interview with Richard Maxwell, The New Yorker, 2014
Eating the Heart of Richard Maxwell, Hazlitt, 2014
Richard Maxwell’s New York City Players return to Wexner Center with mythic Isolde, The Columbus Dispatch, 2015
Eine klassische Dreiecksgeschichte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 2015
Architecture of Love, Voir, 2015
Model Home, Le Devoir, 2015
Isolde: Haunted House, La Presse, 2015
Isolde: Deroutes, Jeu Revue de Theatre, 2015
Anyway, Magazine Spirale, 2015
Isolde, The New Yorker, 2015
Isolde, Time Out New York, 2015
Isolde, Revisited at Theatre for a New Audience, CurtainUp, 2015
It's Your Job to Figure it Out, tdfSTAGES, 2015
Isolde, Talkin' Broadway, 2015


A production of Theater Basel in September 2013. Also developed in residency with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and later presented by New York City Players at Abrons Arts Center in New York in 2014. Received its Off­-Broadway premiere at Theatre for a New Audience (Jeffrey Horowitz, Founding Artistic Director; Henry Christensen III, Chairman; Dorothy Ryan, Managing Director), Polonsky Shakespeare Center, Brooklyn, New York, Fall 2015.

Additional support by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Alliance of Resident Theatres’ New York/Creative Space Grant. Made possible by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts.