In Part Two of a series of interviews with the cast of Metropolitan Youth Arts Theatre’s The Last Five Years, meet Kyra Smith.
Sam: Introduce yourself and tell our readers where they may have seen you perform or direct on our local stages.
Kyra: I have performed in 13, Fame, and Legally Blonde at Metropolitan Performing Arts Theatre. I have also participated in Metropolitan School of the Arts recital shows for the past 12 years.
Who do you play in the show and how do you relate to her?
I play Cathy in the show. She is a very relatable character. Like her, I have had my own relationship troubles and know and understand the pain she is going through from personal experience.
What is it about your character that audiences will like and what may they not like?
Cathy has many wild and fun points in the show which make her easy to love and sympathize with and I think most people will like that about her. She does have moments of complaining in the show that audience members may not like.
What do we learn about your character during your songs?
You learn how much things can change in the span of five years. You don’t just wake up one day and everything is different. The Last Five Years shows you this. it shows how over time people who once had something unstoppable can grow apart and fall out of love.
What have been some of the challenges learning and preparing for your role and how did your director help you to solve these challenges?
Cathy is an older role so being 17 it is hard to grip some of the concepts the same way an adult would. Chad, my director, has helped me relate the show more closely to my personal experiences so you still feel the realness of the situations.
Which song that you don’t sing is your favorite?
Jamies song “If I Didnt Believe In You.” It gets me every single time.
How would you describe the score of The Last Five Years?
Brilliant! The orchestration is entrancing at times and makes you want to get off of your feet at times. Cathy’s more sad songs often bring me to tears just because of the way they build and how the words really ring true.
What have you learned about yourself as an actor/singer during this experience?
I have learned to practice and to come in and really know my stuff. We don’t have rehearsal often because we all have such busy schedules so you have to know your stuff and know it well. It’s a very professional feeling.
Why should theatregoers come to see this production, and what makes it so unique and special?
Everyone working on this production is a teenager. I think thats pretty special. It’s not everyday that you can find a music director like James Woods whoo can play a very complex Jason Robert Brown score so well. This group of people is like no other that I have worked with. you won’t want to miss this show.
The Last Five Years plays from January 16-18, 2015 at Metropolitan Youth Arts Theatre performing at Atlas Performing Arts Center – 1333 H Street, NE, in Washington, DC. For tickets, purchase them online.
Meet the Cast of Metropolitan Youth Arts Theatre’s ‘The Last Five Years’: Part 1: Ben Cherington by Sam Cornbrooks