Seattle's Child

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podcast play / changer: radio play 11/19/20

The cast of "Changer: The Radio Play." (Photo: Courtesy of Sound Theatre Company)

Native American origin story, reimagined as podcast play, features 7-year-old, mom

Sound Theatre Company cast debuts radio play version of 'Changer and the Star People.'

podcast play

Asriel Willis

What: “Changer: The Radio Play”
Where: Available streaming on YouTube and Soundcloud and through Sound Theatre Company on Friday, Nov. 20. 
Cost: Free

Cast: Fern Naomi Renville, Roger Fernandes, Johnny Patchamatla, Asriel Willis, Nicole Willis, Casey Wynecoop and Geneva Seaboy.

After the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the world premiere of the play “Changer and the Star People” at Taproot Theatre in March, Seattle’s Sound Theatre Company pivoted.

Starting on Nov. 20, the Coast Salish and Dakota origin story will be available as a podcast play, “Changer: The Radio Play,” in what the theater group calls “a modern nod to the olden days of radio plays,” just in time for National Native American Heritage Month. 

The play was adapted by Fern Naomi Renville and Roger Fernandes and features an all Native American cast, including 7-year-old Asriel Willis, alongside mom Nicole Willis. 

The podcast play performance tells the story of a duk-we-bahlx who prepares the world for the ones to come. The original script has been revised for a radio format, and also to include the recent movements for Black and Indigenous lives, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Asriel, 7, plays Johnny Burns, “a kid that likes to tell stories.” They add, “My character likes birds.” (Asriel isn’t necessarily a fan of birds, but does like penguins.)  

“It was really nice to do something together,” adds Asriel’s mom, Nicole, who plays Sandi Jackson.

So, how do you make a radio play in 2020? “We built a tiny little studio in my room,” says Asriel, who now uses that same setup (with computer) for remote schooling. 

For more information and to get the podcast play, please go to Sound Theatre Company’s site.

More Seattle’s Child stories:

This Thanksgiving, educate your family about Native history and culture

Read! Then play! 27 wonderful children’s books and outings to go with them

About the Author

Jillian O'Connor

Jillian O’Connor is managing editor of the Seattle's Child print magazine. She lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and a dog named after the Loch Ness Monster.