When a driver in a Corvette stole his mother-in-law’s parking space outside a restaurant, Richard Rosser, of the Class of 1984, knew he had to do something in response. So he created his own nation — Piggy Nation— where there would be no more drivers parking in two spaces, no more dogs pooping on neighbors’ lawns, and no more texting while driving.
From that simple notion — Down with Piggy Behavior — Richard has created a children’s book, a musical, and a cartoon strip that runs on Sundays in The Oklahoman in his hometown of Oklahoma City. The book, Piggy Nation: A Day at Work with Dad, is set in a fantastical Pacific Palisades (Richard lives in the actual Pacific Palisades, Calif.), where all the inhabitants are animals. The book follows a day in the life of Hank, a porcine police officer who takes his son Sammy to work with him. Hank points out the other animals’ bad habits to teach Sammy about good manners.
“Piggy Nation,” the musical, preaches “You don’t have to be pig to be a piggy,” and is intended to be both comical and educational — a way for parents to engage their kids about what it means to be polite. The full-length musical had twelve songs with blues, zydeco, rock, rap and gospel influences (have a listen here) performed by a cast of 20 this past February. Watch a clip from the musical.
Richard is a successful Hollywood producer and director. He got his film start in Reid Hall, where he created a claymation chess game that won a Student Academy Award in his senior year. He went on to film school at NYU and has worked on everything from children’s programs for Nickelodeon (“Pete and Pete” and “Lizzie McGuire”) and the Disney Channel to “Melrose Place,” “24” and “The Defenders.” (Have a look at his IMBD profile here.)
If you know a W&L alumni who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.