The audience watches an American pickup truck pull into the gallery, music playing. A robot emerges from the truck and welcomes the audience. It speaks about a post-apocalyptic landscape after war as well as the permanence of geology. Elaine comes out of the truck and delivers a monologue about a woman dying and family love. She collapses as the truck doors open with Charlie, Carina, and Jessica falling out and to the ground. They all rise and perform pantomimed vignettes about family, death and the history of America as the robot looks on and follows their movement. Jessica sums up 600 years of American history and describes civilization’s pitfalls and demise. Two travelers, Carina and Charlie, share tea, food, and comfort in intermittent scenes of post-apocalyptic life. A dying girl (Carina) and her mother (Elaine) and father (Charlie) argue about her situation and care while she is in her hospital bed (Jessica). Charlie delivers a monologue to the audience about faith. Carina and Charlie get back into the truck and close the doors. Jessica, Elaine, and the robot hike through a desert. They come to a river too deep to cross. Jessica swims Elaine across and abandons the robot. They exchange a goodbye with the robot and get into the truck. The truck starts its engine and plays music. The door to the alley opens and the truck drives away. The robot is left alone in the space as it prints its internal memory onto paper.
Courtesy of the artist and Greene Naftali Gallery, New York. Photo by Sascha van Riel.

Written and directed by Richard Maxwell

Cast: Elaine Davis, Jessica Gallucci, Carina Goebelbecker, Charles Reina

Production Design: Sascha van Riel
Costumes: Kaye Voyce
Producer: Regina Vorria
Technical Development: Zack Davis and Scott Ponik

Production History

Greene Naftali, New York 2018


The American Way: At Greene Naftali, Richard Maxwell's 'Paradiso' Examines Community and Faith., Artnews, 2018
Richard Maxwell’s Essential Theatre, The New Yorker, 2018
Review: Richard Maxwell Considers Life After Life in 'Paradiso’, The New York Times, 2018
Performance: How Do You Know? Catherine Damman on Richard Maxwell's "Paradiso', Artforum, 2018


Made possible with the support of Greene Naftali, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York Theater Program, and 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, a state agency, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. An earlier workshop production of Paradiso was co-commissioned and presented at Museo de Arte Moderno in Buenos Aires (MAMBA) in 2015.