ALPHARETTA, Ga. — On July 5, her 12th birthday, Kaylie Larson introduced her first play to the stage at the Dancing Goat Theatre. Performing Arts North’s Young Writers Series invites playwrights ages 10 to 15 to write and direct a script.
The series opened with “The Visitor,” written and directed by Larson, assisted by her mother Pip Larson.
“It’s been stressful, but it’s been fun. The cast is perfect,” Kaylie said.
The plot, inspired by Nanny McPhee and Mary Poppins, follows two divided families and a magical visitor who teaches them the importance of friendship and love.
Kaylie said the magic is one of her main priorities for the show.
“I want the magic scenes and the set to be, ‘wow,’” she said. “I don’t want them to say ‘oh, she did this,’ where they could figure it out. I really want it to be, ‘how did she do that?’”
Her mother said that having a child director brings a different perspective to the show.
“Kaylie does some neat things that might be a little risky,” said Larson. “Let’s take a risk so the audience is like, ‘wow.’ She tried some things that not everybody is willing to do.”
The rising seventh-grader, who turned 12 the opening day of the show, has been a part of almost every aspect of stage production.
Kaylie joined Dancing Goat in 2012, performing in “A Thousand Cranes,” and has performed in six other shows there. “James and the Giant Peach” and “Pinocchio 3.5” are among her favorites. She also acted in several plays at Daves Creek Elementary School, and has worked with stage managing and sound technology.
Kaylie said directing has made her a better actress.
“I love it because I’ve been in both shoes,” she said. “Sometimes I don’t do my best in auditions. I have to try my best on every single one. Also, I’ll never talk backstage again.”
An artist, Kaylie designed the set and program materials for “The Visitor.” She also drew the logo for the Herd, the children’s acting club at Dancing Goat.
Someday, Kaylie hopes become a professional artist or work in animal rescue.
For more information, visit www.performingartsnorth.org.
If you go:
What: “The Visitor”
Where: Dancing Goat Theatre at 10700 State Bridge Road in Alpharetta
When: July 18, 7 p.m. (family fun night); July 19, 11a.m. and 2 p.m.