Robin Lithgow spent her life immersed in the performing arts, including a childhood in the theater and decades spent as an educator and arts administrator. But it wasn’t until she read a little-known work by Erasmus that she fully realized the importance that performance had on Shakespeare and his generation–which mirrored the experiences she had had as an English and drama teacher in inner-city schools in Los Angeles. In this special episode, Robin joins Jacke to talk about her life in the theater, her epiphanies regarding Shakespeare’s education, and the centrality of the performing arts in a child’s development.
ROBIN LITHGOW was the first Theatre Adviser, and eventually the Director, of the Arts Education Branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the United States. Before becoming an arts administrator, she was a teacher for twenty-one years, teaching every grade level from kindergarten through senior high school and ending her classroom tenure as an English and drama teacher. And before that, she was the daughter of Arthur Lithgow, a theater impresario who developed Shakespeare festivals all over Ohio, which meant that Robin and her younger brother John Lithgow, the acclaimed actor, grew up traveling from place to place, watching rehearsals and performances, as their father mounted productions of every play in the Shakespearean canon.
Jacke and Gar take a break from the history of literature to discuss the development of Jacke’s new play, The Trial of Shrimp Boy, which has attracted interest from Bryan Cranston’s agent(!). Also: Gar builds fences and is not a good neighbor.