When a local Austin theater puts on a play about changelings, you know I have to be there. Fellow sf- fantasy author Jessica Reisman came along and we had a great time.

In Changelings, playwright Reina Hardy put a slightly different spin on the tale of fairies stealing babies, and it was absorbing and fascinating, and by turns poignant and comical. Both Jessica and I agreed that we would have done some things differently (occupational hazard), but for the most part the play works.

The Powers family has always had their babies stolen by fairies. As the play opens, Megan Powers is set to get married to her fiance Tim, and Tim doesn’t know about the family curse. Megan’s brother Luther wants to stop the wedding, and he’s more than a little bit unhinged.

The actors who played the Wicked Child, the Whiteling, and Magus Kemp (Gricelda Silva, Amelia Turner, and Travis Bedard, respectively) stole the show. Turner was especially poignant as the Whiteling.

I was a little bit disappointed in the Faerie Queen, Pandora. Her great wickedness was talked of but we didn’t really see it, and she was too easily overcome. And the play suffers a bit from “powerful women who are the only ones who are weak, selfish and evil” syndrome, which can be tiresome.

It was fun. I’m glad I went, glad to see fantasy and myth on stage, glad to see someone take a chance on what is a weird little play. I’ve got a few stories about changelings and fairies in the modern world, and there’s a reason this myth has staying power — it hits at our deepest fears when babies are stolen or switched, hence our horrified fascination with modern tales of stolen babies.

For my take on a changeling tale, you can listen to my story Into the Dark, first published in Realms of Fantasy.


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