The City of Conversation Star Jan Maxwell Recalls the Play That Made Her Feel Alive for the First Time

Last updated May 20th, 2014 by Josh Ferri
The City of Conversation Star Jan Maxwell Recalls the Play …

Theatre audiences are inspired daily by the works of Broadway’s brightest, but did you ever wonder what iconic performances inspired your favorite Broadway star to get there? BroadwayBox got all spiffed up and headed to the JW Marriot to chat with the 2014 Drama Desk nominees to find out from them: What was the film, TV show or theatre piece that inspired you to become an actor?

Jan Maxwell (Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, The Castle)

(Side bar, Maxwell is currently giving a sensational performance as a political mover and shaker who reigned Washington, D.C. from Kennedy to Obama in Lincoln Center Theater's The City of Conversation; it's a must-see.)

"It must have been Eva Le Gallienne in The Royal Family [Maxwell received a Tony nomination for starring in the 2009 revival of the same play]. It was a PBS broadcast—I saw it on my little black and white television at home—and I fell in love with her. I'd just never seen acting like that before, but then again I grew up in West Fargo, North Dakota so I didn't have many opportunities. There was also a production of A Streetcar Named Desire when I was 16 at The Guthrie, and I didn't know there were plays like that. When I saw it, every pore in my body opened; I felt alive for the first time in my life watching A Streetcar Named Desire."

See a glimpse of Maxwell's fantastic performance in Lincoln Center Theater's The City of Conversation below, and see her live at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre through July 6.