Interview: Joan Lipkin

 In Culture, Interviews

A conversation with a St. Louis playwright, director, activist and educator at the Gaslight Theatre


What makes you happy?
Family and friends in good health, a good creative flow and when our elected officials are behaving responsibly.

What is your idea of misery?
Writing grants.

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Yogurt, sliced almonds, a fresh pear and lots of vitamins.

What’s one word that describes you?  

What trait do you value most in others?

Who would you most like to be?  
Myself, most of the time.

What’s your favorite color?  
Sky and ocean.

What is your favorite food?
Ice cream.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or
alive) who would that be?


What vice do you most tolerate in others?  
Lack of imagination.

What talent do you wish you had?  

Who are your favorite artists?  
Kim Mosley, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Eva Hesse.

Who are your favorite writers?
Quentin Crisp, Deb Margolin, Kathleen Finneran and Samuel Beckett.

What excites you?  
Possibilities and the time and resources to explore them.

What do you consider a turn off?  
Lack of compassion for those less fortunate.

What do you love?
Vulnerability, generosity and coconut cake.

What do you hate?  
The poisoning of our environment that in turn is poisoning us.

What are you most looking forward to?
The premiere of my latest theatre piece, The State of Marriage, on June 10 at the Regional Arts Commission.

What is one thing you wish would happen?
America will be presided over by a woman and that her name isn’t Sarah Palin.

What’s something interesting that you just learned?
That only nine out of the 100 statues in the National Statuary Hall in Washington D.C. are women.

What do you want to learn?

What is your personal motto?  
Life is too short for only one hair color.

In another life, what would you be?  
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour or Hildegard von Bingen, a twelfth-century mystic composer.

What is your current obsession?  
Whatever I’m working on.

What is your favorite word?  
Yes. I probably say it too often.

What is your least favorite word?

Who is your personal hero?  
Stuart Falk, a former marathoner who has Multiple Sclerosis. He has the ability to reframe adversity into art.

What’s something you want to do before you die?
Write an opera, publish a book about my theatre techniques for specialized populations and travel, travel, travel. Love, love, love.

What’s a hidden talent you have?  
Bathing with a bird on my shoulder.

If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say?  




Photo credit: Photo by Wesley Law

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