Neutral Hero
In a town at the intersection of two highways, an anonymous boy grows up. Many people describe the town and its stores and its history. In the home, the father leaves. The boy gets older and tries different jobs. He meets a girl he likes. He leaves town. The hero is attacked by a man in a mask and his companion. He wants to know where his father is. He falls in love and falls out of love. He finds his dead grandmother and she tells him his father is alive but an unhappy man because he never accepted his life. She tells the hero to remain desirable and to let people do what they want to him, to punish him. The hero and his father try to reconcile, but the hero finds it hard to speak. The father comes back to the mother. To explain what happened in his absence, he describes being in the woods and watching a dance at a summer camp, going into the girls’ cabin, and then being hung from a tree by a bunch of men. The mother talks about her son’s dissatisfaction. She thanks everyone for listening.

Written and Directed by Richard Maxwell

James Moore
Andie Springe
Keith Connolly
Bob Feldman
Janet Coleman
Alex Delinois
Philip Moore
Paige Martin
Lakpa Bhutia
Andrew Weisell
Jean Ann Garrish
Rosie Goldensohn

Set and Lights: Sascha van Riel
Costumes: Kaye Voyce
Company Manager: Nicholas Elliott
Technical Director: Dirk Stevens
Technical Consultant: Bokzurt Karasu
Dramaturge: Tom King

Production History

Project Arts Center, Dublin 2010
Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Brussels 2011
Vienna Festival, 2011
Kampnagel, Hamburg 2011
Hebbel Am Ufer (HAU), Berlin 2011
Festival TransAmériques, Montreal 2011
La Bâtie, Geneva 2011
Centre Pompidou, Paris 2011
Théâtre de l'Agora, Evry 2011
Rotterdamse Schouwburg, 2011
Nouveau Théâtre d'Angers, Angers 2011
Théâtre Garonne, Toulouse 2011
The Kitchen, New York 2012
Mostra SESC de Artes, Sao Paulo 2012
Dublin Theatre Festival, 2013


A la face de l'Amérique, Mouvement, 2011
Héro minimalistes chez Maxwell…, Le Monde, 2011
Richard Maxwell on "Neutral Hero," CultureBot, 2012
Small-Town Americans, Street by Street to Eternity, The New York Times, 2012
Richard Maxwell's Neutral Hero, The New Yorker, 2012
Probing Playwright Richard Maxwell Questions What It Means To Be A Hero, The Gothamist, 2012
Ben Brantley's Top 10 of 2012, The New York Times, 2012
My Year in Theater, The New Yorker, 2012


Production: Kunstenfestivaldesarts
Executive production: New York City Players
A co-production of Wiener Festwochen, Festival d’Automne à Paris, Les Spectacles vivants - Centre Pompidou, Kampnagel, Hebbel am Ufer (HAU), Théâtre de l’Agora, Scène Nationale d’Evry et de l’Essonne, Festival TransAmériques, De Internationale Keuze van de Rotterdamse Schouwburg, La Bâtie-Festival de Genève, and Théâtre Garonne.

Additional support from the Greenwall Foundation and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.