We are like the twins in old fables, each of whom has been given half a key.
— Margaret Atwood

HALF KEY THEATRE COMPANY provides a space in which unheard voices are given witness. With a focus on the narratives of women throughout history, the company strives to do justice to stories that have been forgotten. Above all the company values that which makes theater powerful--raw human connection, in moments of both pain and delight. 

Michaela Shuchman (Performer) is a Philadelphia-raised actor, theater maker, and teaching artist. She recently graduated from Swarthmore College with highest honors in theater and education. Michaela has been seen around Philadelphia theaters at the Walnut (Peter and the Starcatcher), 11th Hour, Theatre Horizon, Inis Nua, Cape May Stage, and the Wilma. Her performance in the one-woman play Scarlet Letters in the 2016 Edinburgh & Philly Fringe Festivals was chosen as one of DC Metro's Favorite Fall 2016 performances. www.michaelashuchman.com

Michelle Johnson (Performer) is a recent graduate from Swarthmore College, with degrees in Theatre and Neuroscience. Her regional work includes roles such as Titania/Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bianca in Taming of the Shrew, and Lucy in the original work Beds without Men. She has also performed in Measure for Measure and The Winter’s Tale with the Elm Shakespeare Co., New Haven, CT. Michelle currently works as a research specialist at a neuroscience lab at UPenn and hopes to combine the sciences and the arts to develop drama therapy methods for clinical populations.

K. Elizabeth Stevens (Director) is an Associate Professor of Acting and Directing at Swarthmore College where she has directed Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Witold Gombrowicz’s Ivona Princess of Burgundia, Jonathan Franzen’s new translation of Wedekind’s Spring Awakening, Through the Leaves by Franz Xaver Kroetz and an original opera for children by Professors Thomas Whitman and Nathalie Anderson entitled The Royal Singer. Before teaching at Swarthmore, she taught at Bryn Mawr College, where she directed Three Sisters, Big Love and Antigone. Elizabeth served as the Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager at the Dallas Theater Center, where she taught, ran workshops, served as dramaturg and directed an acclaimed production of Margaret Edson’s W;t. Other productions include It's High Time I Said Something (Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret), My Dinner with Dito (The Bearded Ladies), Desire (Headlong Dance Theater), Impressions of Pelleas (Curtis Opera Theater), The Medium (Curtis Opera Theater), Gilgamesh: a world-premiere opera (La Mama, NYC), Baby with the Bathwater (Triad Stage, Greensboro), Dick in London, (Target Margin Theater, NYC), Whirligig, (Target Margin Theater), Loot (Actor's Express, Atlanta), Bee-luther-hatchee, (Actor’s Express), Doctor of Last Resort, (Clubbed Thumb, NYC), Prometheus Bound, (Ontological Hysteric Theater, NYC), Speak and Mascot (Workshop for Potential Movement). She has an MFA from Yale School of Drama.

Desta Pulley (Stage Manager) is a recent Swarthmore graduate, and has worked on costumes for Swarthmore College Theater and Dance programs and Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA. She is currently working on costumes at the Arden Theatre and concert production at Swarthmore College.

Evelyn Swift Shuker (Lighting Design) is a designer, director, and performance artist in Philadelphia. She has created shows such as Blessed Amongst Women in the 2017 SolowFest, as well as Who Told You You Were Naked?, This Damned Body is Carved Out of Meat, and Juniper Street with [redacted] Theater Company. Recent design work includes Hear Me War at the Philadelphia Women’s Theater Festival (scenic design) and They Extract! With Alma’s Engine. She is a member of Panorama Artist Collective and is currently creating an all-trans, all-music adaptation of Sarah Kane’s 4:48 Psychosis.

Elizabeth Atkinson (Sound Design) is most recently from Pittsburgh where she was Resident Sound Designer and Audio Supervisor at the City Theatre Company for twelve years.  Her freelance career includes regional theatre credits at the Walnut Street Theatre, TheatreWorks, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Emelin Theatre, Pittsburgh Playhouse Repertory Company, Quantum Theatre, and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named her sound designer of the year in 2003, 2006, and 2007.  She was also adjunct faculty at Point Park University and Carnegie Mellon University. Liz had the honor of exhibiting at the 2007 and 2011 Prague Quadrennial.

Laila Swanson (Costume Design) has been the Assistant Professor in Costume Design and Set Design at Swarthmore College since 2009, and she is also the faculty designer for Production Ensemble, advisor for Senior Company and Co-Chair of Productions. She previously taught classes in Costume and Set Design at Arcadia University, and has been designing sets and costumes for a number of productions in Scandinavia as well as in the US. Off-campus collaborations include the costume designs for Henry IV – Your Prince and Mine for Shakespeare in Clark Park, directed by Alex Torra, Big Love for Temple University Theater, A Bright New Boise for Simpatico Theatre Project, both directed by Jill Harrison, and Funnyhouse of a Negro at Brown University, directed by Kym Moore.  Her work as scenic artist includes the movies of M Night Shyamalan and other films made in Philadelphia 1998-2001. She received an MFA in Set Design with a minor in Costume Design from Temple University in 1994.