The spring season is upon Concord Academy and with that comes Directors’ Workshop. Directors’ Workshop, CA’s highest level theater course, allows students dedicated to the theater program to direct a production of their choosing which is then performed towards the end of the semester with full casts, costumes, and sets. Kyra Lauren ’22, a beloved CA senior, is one of the two directors this year part of the course. They are the co-head of two student groups, Active Minds and Cabaret, and was an assistant director in the winter mainstage Gross Indecency.
Kyra wanted to have this opportunity since freshman year, “I took a special trip back to campus to watch the shows,” after they were so highly recommended by Shelley Bolman in Theater 1. Kyra recalls specifically the second show which they professed to be their “second favorite play.” They were impressed by how professional the production was even though it was directed completely by a student. “They really let you actually direct a full production,” they mused. This experience inspired them to join Theater Company their sophomore year and truly apply themself to theater. Last year, Kyra participated in Directors’ Workshop as an actor in Maisie Brigham’s ’23 Proof.
The play they have chosen to put on this year is The Lifespan of a Fact by Jeremy Kareken, David Murrell, and Gordon Farrall and based on the book by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal. The show explores many relevant topics such as mental health, journalistic integrity, and the fluidity of “truth.” It is Kyra’s favorite play; they claim to have been influenced by a viewing of the show in 2019 at their local regional theater where they worked as an usher. They were impressed by the show, specifically its quick pace and wittiness that held their attention. They believed it spoke to all generations in its relevance, and in ways pushed the limits of theater. Their decision was also influenced by their own familiarity with the play, which their Theater Company was going to perform before COVID-19 struck. This play truly spoke to Kyra: they are a writer and the way that The Lifespan of a Fact centers around writing and recording people’s personal truths was quite impactful to them.
Kyra plans to go into theater in college. They have been a part of nearly every aspect of theater at CA, from tech crew to performer, and hope that now with directing experience, they will be able to understand every perspective in respect to a production. As a senior this year, Kyra has noticed that they have a lot more influence in the theater program. They have found that introducing underclassmen to the program, encouraging them to audition, and becoming a go-to for many with questions has allowed them to feel more immersed in the theater program than ever.