Storytellers determine the values by which we live, and consequently, those values determine what stories get told, again and again. They are a grounding constant for a society in turmoil, and over time, adapt to new circumstances like everything else. But what happens when change is treated not as an opportunity for growth, but as a threat? Enter Bridget Cleary, a young woman struggling to carve her own path in a world that wants her to remain docile. The men in her life are threatened by her conviction and her aunt, Mary Kennedy, can only warn her the cost of retaining her identity. Family and folklore go head to head in Emma Kessler’s “The Changeling.”
by Emma Kessler
About the Playwright: Emma Kessler
Emma Kessler (she/her) is an actress and playwright from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her topics of interest include history, psychology, and folklore. She currently studies psychology and theatre arts at the University of Minnesota. This is her first play in her four part series at Picnic Basket Theatre!
About the Director: Mel Fellows
Mel Fellows (he/they/she) is a director, designer, actor, and writer based in the Twin Cities. A recent graduate of UMTAD, Mel is interested in staging the intersection of intimacy and gender presentation.
Emily (she/her) is a theatre and music double major at St. Olaf College, and has notably worked with the Emerging Professionals Ensemble and Moundsview Community Theatre, as well as being an active member of the theatre scene on Campus.
Cole (he/him) is a Minneapolis-based artist currently in his final year at the University of Minnesota studying theatre and literature. He is particular interested in stories of the horrific and haunted. Cole can also be heard on the Goosebumps Gang podcast (@thegoosebumpsgang).
Tia (she/they) is an actor, writer, and educator based in the Twin Cities. Tia's interests include history and linguistics.
Ryan (he/him) is an actor and fight choreographer from Alexandria, Minnesota. He is currently a senior at the U of M studying to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts.
FATHER RYAN & INSPECTOR
Gus (he/they) is a recent graduate of the UMN/Guthrie BFA program who just relocated to NYC. Along with theater, he also has an interest in youth work and prison abolition, sometimes with all three aligning!
Alex (he/him) is a Minneapolis based performer and comedian who loves the dark and gritty side of storytelling. Whether that's in a sketch comedy show or an emotional radio play, he loves to exemplify the uncomfortable bits of the human experience.
WILLIE, DOC & CONSTABLE
Jack (he/him) is thrilled to be part of his first ever audio play and to be working with Picnic Basket Theatre! Jack is currently a student in the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program.
Katie, a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, is an actor and creator from Dallas, Texas. Katie is passionate about the representation of queer and trans people of color in theatre, as well as early childhood education.
Resident Production Team
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER
Julianne (she/her) is the production manager with Picnic Basket Theatre. She has worked in theatre primarily as a pit violinist and music director for musicals and operas. She is especially interested in stories about BIPOC experiences and mental health. Outside of PBT, she is a board-certified music therapist passionate about pediatrics and mental health.
Rachel (she/her) is the Associate Artistic Director and Sound Supervisor with Picnic Basket Theatre. Her work in theatre traditionally exists within the realm of sound design, audio engineering, and music composition. She is especially interested in projects that serve a community as well as stories about the queer experience, mental health, and complex family relationships.