Meghan Kreidler: Twin Cities Acting and Keeping an Open Mind
Local actor, teacher, rock-n-roller, and Ivey Award winner, Meghan Kreidler (BFA '13, Acting) shares her experience and tips for current and prospective acting students. Since graduating she's worked in the Twin Cities with Mu Performing Arts, Mixed Blood Theatre, Children's Theatre Company, Ten Thousand Things, Guthrie Theater, Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Theatre Latte Da, and Workhaus Collective. She is also a monologue and teaching artist with Penumbra Theatre's Race Workshop.
What was your favorite component of the BFA Acting program and why?
I feel like the program provided a well-rounded experience that I can really appreciate now. Throughout the course of the four years I got a chance to live with the experience of my mind, body, and spirit. While those three things didn’t always come into harmony during the time of training, I can look back now and recognize how multi-dimensional and immersive and deep the training really was.
What was the most useful thing you learned in the program?
We’re given so many useful tools throughout the program, but it was always communicated to us that we might not find every tool useful for us as individuals. I think the sense of self that was imbued in the training ensured that we could emerge from school in our own power as individuals. As I’ve moved through my professional career I’ve been able to incorporate so many things from my training consciously, and I believe subconsciously as well. I will also say the text work (especially with Shakespeare) is extremely helpful and has been so in my work with Shakespeare and non-Shakespeare works. That knowledge also took a while to click - I remember having frustrations and confusion with heightened text (or at least not trusting that I was understanding it at the time) but I promise it’s the type of work that if approached with an open mind and heart will set roots in you and continue to grow throughout your life.
What is the most useful thing you’ve learned since?
Still learning not to take myself or this career too seriously. Keeping an open mind about who I am as an artist and a person and that this work actually does not define me, it’s rather how you approach the work and the people you get to build relationships with on and off-stage.
Who is the coolest person you’ve worked with?
I recently worked with Ann Michels for the first time in a Cabaret series that we did at The Ordway. We spent less than a week together total for the entire project, but the experience as a whole was so transformative because it was an all-female cast and the cabaret was centered on us sharing our personal stories as women in the entertainment industry. Ann has such a generosity and a gift that translates from her person and is then amplified on stage. She’s a beautiful singer, a beautiful performer, so compassionate, and I really feel like it is because at the core she is a beautiful person.
What was the most fun project you’ve worked on?
I’ve been able to work on a lot of fun projects, but I think the wildest project that I’ve taken on for the past four years is my band, Kiss the Tiger. It’s the first time that I’ve worked with the same group of collaborators for an extended period of time, the first time I’ve had to think about the business aspects of a project besides just the creation of the art. There are so many things at play when you’re an independent musician or band, and the fun of it really is the fruit of our labor. Having complete creative control over something is incredibly liberating, but also creates a lot of extra stress that I had never encountered.
What was the most interesting role you’ve been fortunate enough to play?
Just recently I played Emi in Leah Nanako Winkler’s play “Hot Asian Doctor Husband”. It was interesting because it’s one of the few times I’ve ever played someone who really viewed the world through a similar lens as me. Her circumstances were much different than anything I have experienced, but as a mixed-race person you don’t encounter a lot of stories about your experience. Especially what it would mean to lose the half of you that is your non-white self. This is what Emi was grappling with in the play, the death of her Japanese mother. Once that part of her is gone, how does she prevent herself from being white-washed, or white-washing herself (she dumps her white boyfriend at the very top of the play). The themes of the play were extremely complex and the journey that this character went through as she dealt with her grief and this loss were really fun and challenging to play.
Can you talk about some of your favorite theatre companies, producers, venues?
Theater Mu will always hold a dear place in my heart, as well as Mixed Blood Theatre - two places that really fostered me right when I came out of school. While performing on a stage like the thrust at the Guthrie is amazing, I think I’ll always have a preference for smaller, more intimate theatres.
Where you may have seen Meghan:
Theater Latté Da: Bernarda Alba (upcoming), Man of La Mancha, Aida
Theater Mu: Hot Asian Doctor Husband, Two Mile Hollow, Purple Cloud, F.O.B., Flower Drum Song, A Little Night Music, Into the Woods
Guthrie Theater: As You Like It, A Christmas Carol
Mixed Blood Theatre: Vietgone, Passing Strange
Ten Thousand Things: The Hatmaker’s Wife (upcoming), Henry IV Part I
Children’s Theatre Company: The Lorax, Peter Pan, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Busytown, How The Grinch Stole Christmas
The Old Globe: The Lorax
History Theatre: The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin, Lonely Soldiers
Workhaus Collective: Lasso Of Truth.
Awards: 2017 Ivey Award Emerging Artist, 2017 Ivey Award Vietgone Ensemble, 2017 City Pages Artist of the Year
When Kreidler isn’t performing in theater you can see her front local rock ‘n’ roll band Kiss the Tiger. www.kissthetiger.com