New York playwright Robin Rice Lichtig ’64 has over 40 plays to her name, including Lola and the Planet of Diversity, Frontier, Suki Livingston Opens Like a Parachute, Play Nice! and Embracing the Undertoad. Her works have been seen on stages from Alaska to Florida, Amsterdam to South Africa to Mongolia. She has been awarded the Goshen Peace Play Prize and has had residencies at the Cleveland Public Theater and Sarah Lawrence College.
Her play Play Nice! just closed in the Washington, D.C. area. Her autobiographical play, Suki Livingston Opens Like a Parachute, has been staged in a workshop in NYC, and is now in rewrites for a reading for an agent. Her website is http://dramamama1.homestead.com.
What brought you to Antioch College? What was your major? Thank heaven for Dan Norton and his wife, friends of my parents who are alums. I was in the midst of interviews with "standard" schools when they dropped by and brought up Antioch. It sounded perfect. In those days (1959), Antioch was very difficult to get into. The high school guidance counselor said I'd never be accepted, which of course made me dig in my heels. Ha! I started out as an art major, but it just seemed like too much fun considering the cost of tuition. Professor Mickey McCleery absolutely captivated me and I switched to political science.
What's your favorite memory of being at Antioch? Only one? Maybe it was sitting in Mickey McCleery's living room with all those upper class, brilliant students talking about government and political activism in a way that was strange and new to this girl from a small, western Massachusetts town. Doors and windows were opened. It brought tears to my eyes. Another memory which is embedded in me is wandering out of the all-night-study room at dawn, walking across the still campus to a little 24-hour diner in town, sitting there with ideas buzzing in my head, a cup of steaming coffee, and Roy Orbison on the jukebox.
Any stirring words of wisdom about the independence of Antioch College? If this didn't happen, the sound of my heart breaking joined with thousands of other Antiochian hearts breaking, would have created a fissure which would damage the future of liberal arts education in America. I'm seriously serious.
If you could bring one thing to the future of Antioch College, what would it be? I have to think about this. I contributed to Antioch in the past by leading the alumni work project for many years and for serving on the Alumni Board throughout the 1990s. I knew that Antioch and knew what was needed. I don't know what the new Antioch looks like or what it needs (other than money) yet. I guess my answer is: passion.
Why do you donate to Antioch College? As long as the core values are not only adhered to but given center stage, I will support the future of Antioch. Community must be given more than lip service. That means that the students, faculty, staff and alumni must all be integral. The Alumni Board must not be powerless. The alumni must not be seen only as financial donors but as an invaluable network of knowledge. The college must never be run solely by administrators with hearts fashioned from business degrees.
About her current projects: Mainly I'm focusing on a full-length semi-autobiographical play, SUKI LIVINGSTON OPENS LIKE A PARACHUTE. I have an incredible director and cast of five who are dedicated to the play. We had a workshop at Theatre for the New City in New York last spring, then rewrites, rewrites, several readings for an agent at Abrams (fingers crossed big time!). It's a non-linear, highly theatrical play which spins through time, touching down at Antioch and on some co-op job experiences along the way. I also just finished my first screenplay for Barefoot Guerilla Films—filming on the west coast. I am 1/3 of the way through a second short screenplay. PLAY NICE! closed last month in D.C., so I'm making final tweaks on that script. Several one acts are on the brink of production in NYC which will need attention. Another full-length, SEARCHING FOR A NEW SUN, had a staged reading in Berlin this summer and talks about a production in New York are imminent.
Oh, new obsession: a month ago I began designing fabrics on spoonflower.com. Somebody bought a design last weekend - my first sale. Yahoo!