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Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in theatre? Kirra: Hi! My name is Kirra Lang, and I’ve been performing for 17 years(!!). I started at the age of 7 playing an orphan in my school’s production of Annie. I believe my grade one teacher was the instigator for this; she saw me performing at a school assembly and recommended to my parents that I audition for the school musical the next year, and I did! I had the time of my life, and decided then and there that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This is what I wanted to grow up to be.

Did you undergo any formal or informal training? How did it shape your skills?

Kirra: Yes I did! I got accepted into the Classical Voice and Opera Studies program at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University back in 2017. Those three years getting my Bachelor of Music were filled with so much self exploration, personal growth, complete loss of self confidence, and then a beautiful rebirth shortly after. The classical technique that I gained whilst studying there has become completely invaluable and has become my foundation, not just as a singer, but as a performer in general. “Informal” training includes speech and drama courses, studying dance through curriculum and extra-curricular activities, private vocal lessons, musical theatre classes, and screen acting courses through the Warehouse Workshop. I’ve probably forgotten a bunch, but you get the gist!

How do you prepare for a new role? Are there specific methods you follow?

Kirra: Unfortunately my dramaturgy isn’t really up to scratch, so I can’t draw on any particular ‘method’, but I do have my own techniques to help me prepare for a role. The biggest is - and this happens accidentally - becoming absolutely and helplessly obsessed with my character and the show. My partner can definitely attest that my free time is swallowed up completely with research: watching all available bootlegs, soundtracks, essays, and analyses. I assign some free space in a journal to really flesh out my character and her place in the story; her backstory, bleeding into her motivations, etc. I also analyse the script and map out each individual scene with objectives. If it’s a period piece, I also love to research about the era. After all of this, I start playing with physicality, and usually asking someone to give me feedback, and go from there!

Wow that's outstanding dedication! Can you share a particularly memorable, special, or challenging project from your theatre career so far?

Kirra: Honestly, I consider every show I’ve done to be special, but my absolute favourites include:

-- Christine from Lynch & Paterson’s Phantom of the Opera - the magnitude of the role and the fact it was completely sung through made it super challenging but insanely fun!

-- Cinderella from Redcliffe Musical Theatre’s Into the Woods - my first Sondheim show with the most lovely people, so an extremely special moment for me.

-- And the show I’m working on at the moment - Queensland Musical Theatre’s My Fair Lady, as playing Eliza has actually become a dream come true!

Congratulations! Tell us about My Fair Lady and anything else you are working on at the moment.

Kirra: What a great segue! I’m working on two shows currently, the first being A Night at the Musicals, a showcase full of musical theatre favourites playing at the Ron Hurley theatre on the 26th & 27th of April. I’m very honoured to have been given the opportunity to perform with such established performers, I feel very very lucky! The second is My Fair Lady, playing at Twelfth Night Theatre from the 14th to the 23rd of June. A special moment as it’s Queensland Musical Theatre’s 40th Anniversary, and the reprise of the inaugural musical is incredibly meaningful for my partner and his family, who happen to be the founders of the company. I hope I do them proud!!

Are there specific types of roles or theatre genres you find most rewarding or challenging?

Kirra: This is such a fun question! Maybe I’m a masochist but I really enjoy dark characters. Troubled, sad, angry, lost.. all of that good stuff. It makes characters so much more interesting, and I’ve always found it very satisfying and borderline therapeutic portraying negative emotions on stage. I also love a good pre-2000’s piece, preferably singing-heavy with a good script! *Chefs kiss*

How do you approach collaboration with directors, fellow actors, and the production team? Can you share a positive collaboration experience that stood out to you?

Kirra: I think the active collaboration between the cast and the creative team turns a good production into a spectacular one. I strongly believe that if there’s a mutual respect between the two, creativity thrives and that’s where magic happens! In terms of collaborating with fellow actors, I tend to meet up outside of rehearsals to go deeper with our characters to discuss and play, and that extra bit of work pays off every time! A positive experience that immediately stands out to me is the collaboration that happened in Lynch & Paterson’s Oklahoma!, where the synergy between director Tony Campbell, MD Lucas Lynch, choreographer Julianne Burke, and the cast was incredibly strong. It makes a difference when your creative team have a unified vision; the entire cast becomes that much stronger because of it.

I couldn't agree more. Do you have some highlights or achievements in your stage career that you are particularly proud of?

Kirra: I remember being extremely proud of myself when I got Edith in Lynch & Paterson’s Pirates of Penzance. It was the first time in the theatre scene that I got to go for something using my operatic technique. The company had a really good rep and I had been rejected for Les Mis the year before, so I remember being absolutely ecstatic when I was cast - my own personal milestone! It started a beautiful journey with so many new friends, it’s definitely a highlight for me. Another special highlight is running on stage for the bows in Phantom; having all of my friends and family in the audience cheering will always make me emotional. It’s really why I perform, I want to make my community proud! I think back on that particular moment all the time. Speaking of which, my final highlight was getting to perform with my partner in Phantom and Oklahoma!. I’ve never been able to do that before, and it made my heart so so happy to experience my favourite thing with my favourite person!

Are there specific goals or roles you aspire to achieve in the future?

Kirra: I think I’ve actually performed a lot of the dream roles I’d planned out for myself, which I’m very grateful for! My biggest ones were Maria in Sound of Music, Christine in Phantom and Cinderella in Into the Woods. Two roles that would mean a lot to me to play would be Joanna in Sweeney Todd and Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Joanna because Sweeney Todd has the most beautifully haunting music and Sondheim is my favourite musical theatre composer, and Belle as it’s always been my favourite Disney movie and my Dad’s favourite show as well. There are also lots of dance-heavy musicals that I would LOVE to be a part of, like Cats and A Chorus Line, because it just looks so FUN! I’ll keep working on my dance skills so hopefully I can be cast one day haha.

Me too, my friend! Can you give any advice for individuals aspiring to gain a role in a stage show?

Kirra: Always find the joy in what you’re doing. The times when I’ve been the most proud of my performances have been when I’ve had the most fun, whether that is from researching and building the character, interacting and collaborating with friends, or the actual performance itself. The joy and passion will spill out of you, and the audience will pick up on it straight away. Another piece of advice is to have the confidence to “fail”. It’s a pitfall that deters a lot of people from giving it their all, and it also hinders growth. I have failed so, so many times at what I do, and I’m so grateful for each of those failures as it’s ultimately made me into a better performer. I now know what works/what doesn’t work/what I need to work on. It’s really beneficial to have a trusted circle of friends that can give you honest feedback, and “fail” as many times as you can! The more “fails” you have, the closer you are to the magic... the success!


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