Featured BALLAST artist: Piper Quinn

Piper Quinn HeadshotTalk about your background as an artist. What sort of artistic experience are you bringing to this production? Have you been involved with 20% Theatre in the past and, if so, in what ways?

I’ve been in love with acting since before I could speak in full sentences, but I really got my start in clowning and dance. I think body language often communicates just as much as dialogue, if not more so, and I can’t wait to bring this beautiful script to its feet. This is my first venture with 20% Theatre, and I’m loving every minute of it! Being part of a company that I support creatively and socially is a great experience.

What aspects of your [queer] identity do you hope to express through your role(s) in BALLAST?

My queer identity, like so many, is very fluid. It’s not always clear to me where I fall on the spectrums of gender and sexuality, and it often changes from day to day. Being non-binary, to me, is a very free and open identity, but it’s not always easy to hold that identity with confidence, and I really resonate with Savannah’s line “Queer, but not queer enough.” Even within the queer community, we must always be mindful to support and validate others’ identities, and be cautious of doubting or even erasing who someone is.

Why do you feel it is important to share this story/the story(ies) of your performance with the community?

Now, more than ever, people are struggling with how to be a “good ally.” It can be hard to know when to speak up and when to shut up. I hope that people can leave this show with a little more clarity, a few more answers, and a lot of questions to reflect on and discuss. There are many characters in this play who are doing their best, but who end up causing more damage than progress due to their limited points of view. I think this script can help many “almost there” allies to take one or two or three more steps to support and defend the transgender community.

When you’re not rehearsing for BALLAST, how do you spend your time? What are some of your hobbies or passions in life?

Besides acting, my main passion in life is working with children. I’m a youth worker at a school in North Minneapolis, teaching theatre and creativity classes for a wonderful group of first and second graders, as well as a part-time nanny. Education is such an important process, and I hope to continue planting seeds of kindness and tolerance. I also love exploring the great outdoors, drawing, and spending time with my amaaaazing friends and family.