In Performance Video: CITY OF CONVERSATION's Jan Maxwell
This week's New York Times In Performance video features Tony Award-nominated actress Jan Maxwell in a scene from Anthony Giardina's play "The City of Conversation," now playing at Lincoln Center Theater's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater through July 26.
The drama, set in 1987, centers on the life of Hester Ferris, "a Washington socialite with a firm belief in traditional liberal values and a flair for hosting dinner parties at her Georgetown home." In this scene, she harshly criticizes her conservative daughter-in-law for her support of the Reagan administration's political agenda.
Henry James once described Washington D.C. as "the city of conversation." The City of Conversation tells the story of political hostess Hester Ferris (played by Jan Maxwell), a behind the scenes mover and shaker in the nation's capital, and of the political gains and personal losses that her choices inflict on her family over a period of 30 years, from the waning days of the Carter administration to the beginning of the Obama presidency.
Anthony Giardina is a playwright and novelist. His plays, including Living at Home, An American Family, Scenes from La Vie de Boheme, The Beach, Black Forest and Custody of the Eye, have been produced atPlaywrights Horizons and Manhattan Theatre Club in New York and regionally at Arena Stage, Seattle Repertory, Yale Repertory, Long Wharf Theatre and the Cleveland Playhouse. He is the author of five novels, including his most recentNorumbega Park and The Country of Marriage, a collection of stories.