Archetypes: Agnes Wilcox

 In Culture, Interviews

A conversation with Agnes Wilcox, longtime activist, actor, director and founder of Prison Performing Arts in St. Louis


What is your current mood or state of mind?

What makes you happy?
Being with actors; I enjoy exploring great literature with people who have interesting minds.

What is your idea of misery?
Being separated from the people I love.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

What’s one word that describes you?

What trait do you value most in others?
Humor, integrity and intelligence.

What’s your favorite occupation?
Directing plays.

Who would you most like to be?
Barbara Jordan—a politician with boldness, integrity and extraordinary courage.

What’s your favorite color?

What is your favorite food?
I’m an omnivore; there are too many favorites to name.

What food do you like the least?
Processed foods.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would that be?
Playwright Bertolt Brecht.

What vice do you most tolerate in others?

What talent do you wish you had?
Oh, that’s an easy one: I wish I could sing.

Who is your favorite artist?
Donald Evans, who created hand-painted stamps of imaginary countries.

Who is your favorite actor?
New York stage actress Kathleen Chalfant.

Who is your favorite writer?
This week: Mary Oliver.

What excites you?
Intellectual adventure.

What do you consider a turnoff ?

What do you love?
The “new.”

What do you hate?
Political opinions that are based on lies.

What are you most looking forward to?
Going to New York in a few weeks.

What is one thing you wish would happen?
That the US would get out of the Middle East.

What’s something interesting that you just learned?
I learned the moon was recently closer to the Earth than it has been in 18 years.

What’s something you want to learn?
Italian, Greek, German and Russian.

In another life, you’d be:
An architect. Beauty in three dimensions when matched with function equals nirvana.

What is your current obsession?
I don’t have one.

What is your favorite word?
Prescience; having the ability to know what will come.

What is your least favorite word?
Any word that denigrates women.

What’s on your “bucket list”?
Anything I haven’t done.

Your hidden talent:
I’m better at Sunday crossword puzzles than you might think.

Personal hero:
This week, it is the Union of Concerned Scientists because they tell the truth over and over again until someone finally hears them.

If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say? 
“Of course you can.”


1560_575.jpgAgnes Wilcox, founder of Prison Performing Arts in St. Louis.


Photo credit: By Wesley Law

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