Our Stories | Hannah, Class of 2017

"I feel really lucky."

"Here We Are Existing" featuring Hannah Priscilla Craig '17 (top)

Two weeks ago, the Antioch Community gathered in front of Main Building at nightfall.  On the horseshoe, they saw a bed where a figure was sound asleep under a thick duvet, a luminous portal from which water was dripping, and three young women dressed in white swinging from the tree in front of Main Building’s steps. They had walked into Hannah Priscilla Craig’s Senior Project.

After being unschooled all her life, Hannah was not sure about college: “I definitely wanted to keep learning, but I wasn’t sure it had to be through college. I was interested in alternative education models. Then I read about Antioch in Colleges that Change Lives, and my mom sent me a link to the current website where I learned about the Horace Mann Fellowship: I couldn’t believe that was real! But it was!”

Hannah is a Performance Arts major at Antioch, but she worked with two Visual Arts students to make a collaborative performance called Here We Are: Existing. “Talking about senses, expectation, and elements, we came to focus on the very basic human necessities for human survival: food, water, and air. We each took one of those elements and collaborated on how those pieces would fit together. We ended up making an immersive performance installation.”

For Hannah’s Air piece, for which she swung on a 20-foot tree swing in front of Main Building, she used Antioch Switchboard to ask for Alumni to submit their own words, which she then put in conversation with one another in the script for her performance. The audience then moved on to the Food tableau, where student Heather Linger ’17 woke up from a bed which turned out to be made of pancakes. The audience, first intrigued, then amused, gathered around the bed and shared pieces of the pancakes in an unexpected community communion, to the sound of a reading of Gaston Bachelard’s Poetics of Space.

The third tableau, by Sam Stewart ’17, was a translucent wall surrounding a doorway from which water was falling. The crowd gathered around and then, one by one, walked or ran through the curtain of water. “This is how we should welcome all new Antioch Students from now on!” said someone in the delighted audience.

Hannah wants to start her own theater company, an interdisciplinary performance collaborative; but first, she will be spending a year in Andalucía teaching English starting this Fall. She is already a seasoned traveler thanks to her co-ops, which took her to Ecuador, New York City, and Argentina where she worked with a feminist performance collective for six months last year.

She credits her Antioch experience for helping her flourish as an artist and learn how to collaborate within a community: “I’m grateful to be part of a place where, as frustrating as it can be sometimes, I feel like I have a voice. The way that Antioch forces you to stand up and fight for what you think is important taught me a lot. I feel really lucky.”

Much of Hannah's luck is due to alumni and friends whose continued support made her Antioch Adventure possible. Support more students like Hannah by making a gift today.

*photographs by Dennie Eagleson ’71