Founders

Rachna Prasad - Producer / Director

Rachna wants to know why you chose that career, how he proposed, and why she wears that locket everyday. The small talk on the playground simply whetted her appetite to know more about the people in her community. She soon began hosting a monthly Story Night at home. After binging on storytelling podcasts and exhausting her friends and family, a trip to a live event in Chicago convinced her that colorful and diverse Naperville was the perfect place for a show! After co-founding First Person Live, she is excited to dig more deeply into local stories and storytellers with The People Tree.

 

At home, Rachna strives to stay one step ahead of the three kids she shares with her husband Jesse all while trying to make the perfect cup of chai. She's almost nailed it. The chai that is. The kids are another story.

Kat Gilbert - Creative Director

Kat is originally from the U.K and has lived in multiple countries, creating artwork for a number of international companies for promotional events and displays. Her personal projects have been shown at the Wellington Film Festival in New Zealand, the Modern Fuel Gallery in Canada, and the Roadmender UK, amongst other unique venues.

 

An interest in the social art movement, and need to connect to other creatives after relocating to the USA, led her to want to cultivate a new start-up in Naperville. She began to seek more information about her community by submitting her photography artwork 'Humans of Dupage' to the local Prairie Light magazine, published in 2016. Listening to people's stories, and photographing them became an important experience to her image making. After attending a storytelling show in Chicago with Rachna and Claire, she immediately thought that this would be a wonderful event to introduce locally, and originally co-founded First Person Live. After a successful first year of sold out shows, realizing that this was something that the community supported, the team re-branded and renamed themselves as The People Tree.

After many years working as a Freelance Artist Kat has developed a strong understanding of what is needed to develop a creative business. At this event you're unlikely to see her on stage telling a story, as her biggest joy comes from photographing the moment for others, creating visual stories, and working on her designs. She takes great pride in working tirelessly behind the scenes of The People Tree to ensure each production is a positive experience for the team and the community.

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Claire Dee - Producer / Director

Claire has always been passionate about stories. As a child she enjoyed sitting at the kitchen table or by the fire listening to her family talk about WWI, WWII, playing in bomb craters, carrying musical instruments across fields to perform gigs, leaving home at 14 to move to London, not to mention successfully outrunning a charging bull! At the weekends or during vacation time she’d visit ancient homes and Gardens in England and learn about the long dead occupants and their ghosts….!

 

More recently she has enjoyed listening to live storytelling shows such as The Moth and regularly attended a Naperville home based storytelling group. In 2016, she further developed her passion for live storytelling by co-founding the successful First Person Live.

 

With the creation of Naperville’s newest storytelling show, The People Tree, Claire is looking to identify and organically develop home grown talent, through the monthly workshops. 

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