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The play first debuted in Texas, which seems fitting. But Taylor, a born-and-bread Pennsylvanian, was at first intimidated by the idea until she realized that playing Richards in her own environment was the kind of risk that her character would have taken.
To convey the idea that the play is about big themes, Taylor shared a story from the opening shows in Texas, when a 20-year-old nephew of a contributor to the play came to see it.
“He saw the play and everyone was very excitedly gathering back at the hotel afterward, and they said, ‘Well, we will get you a room,’ and he said, ‘I’m not staying, I have to drive. I’m going to get in my truck and drive. I’m going to think about my life,’” Taylor said. “A young boy, never heard of Ann Richards, inspired. Frankly, I always knew it would be like that.”
Taylor’s passion for the former governor is evident in the words she carefully chooses to describe her. In the end, she hopes that others will find the inspiration that she does from Richards and that the audience will walk away with new perspectives on their lives regardless of whether they are in politics.
“They will be uplifted, they will be comforted in that things will be all right, they will be emboldened to find the potential they don’t even know they have,” Taylor said. “And they will laugh their asses off.”