An American pickup truck enters, loud music playing. A robot emerges from the truck and welcomes the audience. It speaks about a post-apocalyptic landscape as well as the permanence of geology. Elaine comes out of the truck and talks to the audience about her mother’s last days. She collapses. The truck doors open and Charlie, Carina, and Jessica fall out. The actors all pantomime vignettes about family, memory and death. Jessica describes civilization’s demise. Two travelers, Carina and Charlie, share tea, food, and comfort in intermittent scenes. A girl (Carina) is recovering from surgery while her family visits her in the hospital. Her mother (Elaine) and father (Charlie) argue about the situation and her care. The father breaks down, sobbing. The mother has a premonition. Charlie describes his faith to the audience. Jessica, Elaine, and the robot travel through a desert. They come to a river too deep to cross. Jessica takes Elaine across, abandoning the robot. The truck starts up and exits with the humans inside. The robot is left alone in the space, eventually printing out 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
Nanterre-Amandiers, Paris 2018
FAB Festival, Bordeaux 2018
Théâtre Garonne, Toulouse 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.