The primary Stages Off-Broadway Oral history Project

Celebrating the visionaries who created New York's vibrant Off- and Off-Off-Broadway theater.

Roberta Maxwell

Roberta Maxwell

Born on Wednesday, June 17, 1942

Interviewed on: Friday, June 19, 2015
Location: Primary Stages Offices
Interviewed by: Sally Plass
Interview #46
"What’s going to happen to New York without this kind of theater; where artists will have stories to tell but no space to tell them in?"
Roberta Maxwell Highlights
Video Length: 5 Minutes, 13 Seconds
Roberta Maxwell Interview Part One
Video Length: 1 Hour, 44 Minutes
Roberta Maxwell Interview Part Two
Video Length: 1 Hour, 1 Minute

Roberta Maxwell is an actress who has had a long and historic international career. Her Off Broadway credits include: A WHISTLE IN THE DARK (1969 OBIE Award), SLAG (1971 Drama Desk Award),  ASHES (1977 OBIE Award), LYDIE BREEZE (1982), OUR TOWN (1989), SUMMER AND SMOKE (1996), THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN (1998),  JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK (2000), THE CARPETBAGGER’S CHILDREN (2002), RICHARD  III (2004 & 2007),  THE MADRAS HOUSE (2007), WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN (2009), TOP SECRET: THE BATTLE FOR THE PENTAGON PAPERS (2010), THE CHERRY ORCHARD (2011),  THREE SISTERS (2011), IVANOV (2012), THE MISER (2012), THE FILM SOCIETY (2013),  HELLMAN V. MCCARTHY (2014),and THE GABRIELS: ELECTION YEAR IN THE LIFE OF ONE FAMILY (2016).

Born in Toronto, Canada in 1942, Maxwell got her start playing a blackbird in kindergarten. Growing up and moving from school to school she developed the ability to perform and entertain her class. When she was 13, she landed a television role opposite Robert Goulet and began her professional acting career. She would go on to train and perform with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, eventually making her way to New York. Maxwell’s selected Broadway credits include: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Othello, Equus, Our Town, and Summer and Smoke. Her selected films credits include: Popeye, Dead Man Walking, Brokeback Mountain, and Hungry Hearts

Mentioned in Interview

Clive Barnes, Brian Bedford, Norbert Leo Butz, Zoe Caldwell, Douglas Campbell, Michael Chekov, John Crowley, Michael Cumpsty, John Dexter, Peter Dinklage, Gene Feist, Peter Firth, Horton Foote, Robin Gammell, Robert Goulet, Spalding Gray, James Grissom, John Guare, John Hirsh, Anthony Hopkins, Glynis Johns, Michael Kahn, Brian Kulick, Michael Langham, Kristen Linklater, Peter Maloney, Martin McDonagh, Lynne Meadow, Brian Murray, Cynthia Nixon, Geraldine Page, Joseph Papp, Austin Pendleton, Christopher Plummer, Nikos Psacharopoulos, Frank Rich, Lee Richardson, Marian Seldes, Maggie Smith, Kim Stanley, Iris Warren, Robert Whitehead, Tennessee Williams, Michael Wilson, George C. Wolfe, Jerry Zaks, American Place Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Gramercy Theatre, Matrix Theatre Company, NYSF/The Public, Roundabout Theatre Company, Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Union Square Theatre, ARTURO UI, ASHES,THE BROKEN JUG, THE CARPETBAGGER’S CHILDREN, THE CHERRY ORCHARD, THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMAAN, THE FILM SOCIETY, HAMLET, HELLMAN V. MCCARTHY, HENRY V, HOME, HOUSE OF ATREUS, IVANOV, JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK, LYDIE BREEZE, MACBETH, THE MADRAS HOUSE, MARY STUART, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, OUR TOWN, RICHARD III, ROMEO AND JULIET, ST. JOAN, SLAG, SUMMER AND SMOKE, THREE SISTERS, TWELFTH NIGHT, WHISTLE IN THE DARK, WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN