An eight year-old boy talks about his life. He talks about Shannon, the girl he likes, and about football, and about trying to be good, but throwing rocks at people instead. Then he is 18, and tells more about his life, and of Shannon. Then 35, then 50, then 70. Finally, he is replaced by a robot. The robot talks about memories from his childhood—asking his mother for water, seeing his mother lock his coach out of the house while the coach gets gasoline from the garage. The house is set on fire. The robot has sex with Shannon, and tells her how much he loves her.

Written and Directed by Richard Maxwell

Joe: Richard Zhuravenko
Joe: Matthew Stadelmann
Joe: Brian Mendes
Joe: Mick Diflo
Joe: Gene Wynne
Joe: A robot

Musicians: Bob Feldman, Scott Sherratt, Corby Stutzman

Set: Gary Wilmes
Lights: Jane Cox
Costumes: Tory Vazquez
Producer: Barbara Hogue
Robot: Joseph Silovsky
General Manager: Christina Masciotti
Original Music: Richard Maxwell, arranged by Bob Feldman and Scott Sherratt

Production History

Performance Space 122, New York 2002
Ruhrfestspiele, Recklinghausen 2004
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus 2004
Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis 2005
The Barbican, London 2005


From the Cradle to the Grave, Singing Clumsily, The New York Times, 2002


A co-production of the Barbican, the Walker Art Center and the Wexner Center for the Arts with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Trust.

Additional support provided by Creative Capital Foundation, A.R.T./NY, the Greenwall Foundation, Peg Santvoord Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, Arts International, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.