About «Richard and Anne »
Maxwell Anderson was a dominant force in the American theater for more than two decades, and when he died on February 28, 1959, he left behind twenty unfinished or unpublished plays. One of the unpublished works was Richard and Anne, a two-act verse play about Richard III and Anne Neville, his wife. Published for the first time here, Richard and Anne is actually two plays within a play, as the characters from Shakespeares Richard III are affected by contemporary characters (e.g., the stage manager, the director and the producer), and all the characters—contemporary and Shakespearean—are influenced to some extent by the historical characters of Richard and Anne. Throughout, the accepted "truth" in Shakespeares play is challenged by the historical truth of Richard and Annes real story. The ending of Richard and Anne, as in so many of Andersons plays, is pessimistic, but not hopeless. Richard III will be performed again, most will accept the Bards version of truth, but there will always be a few who will challenge it. In time they might even prevail, and for Maxwell Anderson, the lover of lost causes, were he with us today, this might be enough.