ANN is a no-holds-barred portrait of Ann Richards, the legendary governor of Texas. This inspiring and hilarious new play brings us face to face with a complex, colorful and captivating character bigger than the state from which she hailed. Written and performed by Emmy® Award winner Holland Taylor (“Two and a Half Men"), ANN takes a revealing look at the impassioned woman who enriched the lives of her followers, friends and family.
After playing throughout Texas to sold-out audiences, ANN went on to win critical acclaim in Chicago, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and on Broadway at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater. Now this extraordinary play directed by Benjamin Endsley Klein will live on in Broadway history as an unforgettable performance that The New York Times called, “frank, funny and warm. As Ann Richards, Holland Taylor is a FIERY DYNAMO.”
A Letter from Holland Taylor
There is no way to convey my love and appreciation for the hundred or so friends, associates, and members of Ann Richards’ family who helped me understand her in a way that would have been utterly impossible without them.
I was compelled to write this play…the notion to do a play, and the idea for how to write it—its shape and style—came all in a rush, and left me wide-eyed with surprise. And in I plunged. During the darkest hours of trying to shape a mountain of material, in a daydream I would see Ann in the fifth row, beaming happily and elbowing our mutual old friend, Liz Smith. Four years of work later, I have made a journey I could never have imagined. But I went in whole hog, and stayed in—working hard and doing the best I could—which gave me a hint of how I’ll bet Ann Richards felt every single day.
I hope Ann would like this. People loved to please her…one of her children said to please her was to get hit with a million suns. So, of course, now I want to please her, too.
Texans have welcomed me in my endeavor, which I find incredibly generous (Yankee that I am), and I will always be grateful for their affection and fun and open hearts.
As this is a piece of writing based on research, I should say something about the text itself. I had intended by now to annotate it, to say who told the story something was based on, what chunk was cobbled from this, what sliver was taken from that, and what important parts were stitched up out of whole cloth (but based on sure and certain knowledge of her). But, of course, the tide sweeps me along, and I haven’t done that yet. (I never did master footnotes in school.)
Most of the play is based on stories told to me in significant detail, including some dialogue, by the players themselves.
The office scenes in the play have been created based on many, many anecdotes—though the ending, for obvious reasons, is pure imagination —about someone I do think of now as a friend I love and know pretty well.