Big Happy Days


Anya Richkind



The world has been over for thousands of years. Only Gloria and Maybel are left. Until one day, among the steaming mush and the old filing cabinets from advertising agencies gone by, Maybel finds a rarity. A man.




Anya is compelled by the lonely, the mundane, and the extreme. Anya has been honored as a winner of Brooklyn College’s 2020-2021 Creative Writing Award and Himan Brown Award for Creative Writing, a finalist in the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, the Bushwick Starr Reading Series, the Leah Ryan’s Fund for Emerging Women Writers, and the Cutting Ball Theater’s Variety Pack Series, and as a semi-finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the Seven Devils’ Playwrights Conference. Anya’s work has been produced by Brooklyn College, Guild Hall, Corkscrew Theater Festival, The Barrow Group Theatre, Yale College, The New School for Drama, The American Conservatory Theater’s Young Conservatory, Marin Country Day School and The Tank. Anya graduated with a BA from Yale University and an MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College. Come say hi! www.anyarichkind.com



1. When did you start writing plays? If you had a moment where you realized you wanted to write, what was it?


My earliest memory of writing is dictation. I remember the urgency. I remember telling my mom to write this story in my French Notebook. I remember her doing so, listening to me quite seriously. I remember focusing and talking clearly. I remember calling it my French Notebook because that felt more important, full of both gravitas and the fantastic lyricism required of an Author. I did not and do not speak any French.


I started writing plays later on. I loved acting growing up and I didn’t really know you could be someone who wrote the plays and didn’t act in them. In 7th grade we could help come up with the idea for our school play and I thought of this musical that takes place at a bio-diesel truck stop in Texas, and then an English family shows up, and also there’s a gang of biker girls. It was a promising beginning.


I think I wrote my first “play” in high school. It was because my class schedule got fudged and I wasn’t able to take the acting class, so out of some mix of spite and latent desire I decided to write a play. It was about this guy who chased tornadoes.


So all in all, there wasn’t a moment when I realized I wanted to write. I grew up writing in journals obsessively. I loved acting. Somewhere along the line, I realized I could do both. It just wasn’t called journaling or acting. It was called playwriting.


2. How did you come to write your OOB play? Was there a particular inspiration behind its creation? How has it developed?


I wrote this play back in 2019 (which feels funny, because it was before the pandemic). I was thinking about how relationships feel when they’ve gone on for a while — the depth of commitment and also how hermetically sealed that world can be. So I imagined a couple that’s been together for five thousand years. And I figured if they’d been around that long it was probably the apocalypse. And what’s more hermetic than being the only two people left at the end of the world, on your 5,000th anniversary?


So then I wondered what would disrupt that: a new person showing up. What do you do then?


3. What are 5 words that describe who you are as a playwright?


Whimsical, heartfelt, ecstatic, sincere, absurd


4. What/who are some of the major influences on your writing?


Repetition, symmetry, memory, voicemails, my mom, my dad, Jess, desire, the subway, the sun, my brother, California, Brooklyn, death, people I’ve never met, folk music, Hoarders by Kate Durbin, searches, wishes, daydreams


5. What’s one fact someone would never guess about you?


In 6th grade I was obsessed with the word “egg” and would add it onto the end of as many names as possible (i.e. my name would be “Anyegg”).


6. What are some of your favorite plays?


Bright Half Life by Tanya Barfield; Melancholy Play by Sarah Ruhl; Oratorio for Living Things by Heather Christian; Indecent by Paula Vogel; The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams


7. Any new projects you’re working on or shameless plugs?


BRING A WEASEL AND A PINT OF YOUR OWN BLOOD, Brooklyn College’s annual showcase featuring the graduating MFA playwrights is coming back for one night only on Saturday, June 4! It’ll be an evening of short plays. In my play, ENDLESS MOON, FREE CHICKPEA, there’s a woman who receives messages, often of love, through her toaster. The only problem is she keeps blowing out the power, which is unacceptable (and intriguing) to her local electrician.