"Rich likes to keep things simple," says Wilmes, whose work with Maxwell dates back to their Chicago-based Cook County Theater Department days. "Beyond the narrative, which is his main concern, he enjoys the playful dynamic between actors with experience and those with very little. The combination encourages us to rid ourselves of our actor baggage. We're forced to listen more closely to what the other is saying."
"I've been a Maxwell groupie for years," says BAM's executive producer Joe Melillo, who has made a rare institutional commitment to both develop and premiere this Henry IV, which has the honor of inaugurating the 2003 Next Wave Festival. "He's an original art maker who's not derivative of anyone."
"I'm still going to be me even though I'm directing Shakespeare," Maxwell assures. "As a director of my own plays I find that I'm subverting what I've written all the time. I guess I'm still caught between reverence and irreverence."(Village Voice: Theater : Bitch-Slapped by Shakespeare)