On Robin Williams’ Death


Robin Williams had a life force that he shared with everyone.

It is clear, from his outpouring of words and actions as an actor and comedian, that his inner life was fast and furious. Sometimes the body just can’t contain the pure frenzy of your inner life and you can’t calm down. Depression isn’t always paralysis and inactivity. Sometimes there is so much going on on the inside that you get paralyzed because you can’t process the thoughts, impulses, and urges with what turns out to be the woefully inadequate resources of your body.

No one could know what Mr. Robbins felt inside, but many loved him from the outside. Sometimes that love is not enough to cover – or balance out – the pain that you feel on the inside. The constant 24/7 effort to balance your inner life with the demands and opportunities of your outer world can be exhausting. It is clear that he tried as hard as he could in every way possible, for many years. But the body is not a machine, and he might have become worn out by the effort, yet unable to slow down or rest, causing an insurmountable crisis. I don’t know, and no one will ever know.

We can only enjoy a talent like his for as long as we can, and support people like him as much as we can. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Anne Hamilton, M.F.A.


Anne Hamilton

Anne Hamilton is an NYC-based freelance dramaturg and the Founder of Hamilton Dramaturgy, an international consultancy. She created Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow!, where she hosts and produces an oral history podcast series of important theatre women working in America. Anne has dramaturged for Andrei Serban, Michael Mayer, Lynn Nottage, NYMF, Niegel Smith, Classic Stage Company, and the Great Plains Theatre Festival, among others. She is also an award-winning playwright. Her chapter, “Freelance Dramaturgs in the 21st Century: Journalists, Advocates, and Collaborators” appears in The Routledge Companion to Dramaturgy. She was a Bogliasco Foundation Fellow, won the Dean’s Prize for Dramaturgy at Columbia University School of the Arts, and holds dual citizenship in Italy and the United States. Anne lost her best friend Curtis in a head-on car accident in 1979, two weeks after his high school graduation. Her emotional life became frozen and she has spent the last thirty-two years exploring all areas of self-expression, particularly through stage plays, poetry, theatre, art, and music. She is currently developing her own chamber-play-with-dance entitled ANOTHER WHITE SHIRT, about the way that grief moves through the body.

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