Profile: Kayla Lawson Says The People She Has Met In Theater “Makes Everything Worthwhile”

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Kayla Lawson is one of those students who always seems to be smiling and always seems to be busy and always seems to be smiling while she’s busy. And what she’s doing right now is participating in the Pioneer Theatre Guild’s presentation of “FAME, The Musical.”

And that certainly has the Pioneer senior busy and smiling.

“In the show, I’m in the dance ensemble,” she says with an exclamation mark and a smiley face. “I do some really awesome choreography in quite a few numbers with some really awesome people who are in the ensemble with me.”

Kayla says rehearsals have been going “great.”

“Our directing team is so amazing and each of them are both so talented and so much fun to work with,” she says. “The other students in the cast are amazing and they make every rehearsal so much fun. Everyone is there to work hard and we’re all so determined to put on a beautiful show. That collective attitude makes each rehearsal that much better.”

A show is only as good as its cast so this show should be quite amazing. Kayla says the cast for this upcoming show is worthy of all the “fame” they receive. The word she uses to describe the cast is “incredible.”

“Each and every person is so talented and hardworking,” she says. “The talent we have in this school is so amazing and humbling to think about. Between acting, singing and dancing, we have so many amazing people in this cast that will go so far in the performing arts.”

Kayla and her “incredible” cast mates and crew are currently putting in the hard word for PTG’s presentation of “FAME The Musical,” which runs from April 27 through May 5. And to reach “incredible,” requires hard work and this group is clearly not afraid of doing whatever it takes to put on a great show.

“I don’t have a named role, so one of the biggest challenges for us in the ensemble is figuring out your own character’s background,” Kayla says. “Why are you at PA (the performing arts school in Fame)? Why does your character dance? What drives your character? It’s both, in my opinion, the biggest challenge and the most fun part about being in an ensemble. You get to write your own personal story.”

Kayla’s own personal story is one with plenty of chapters dedicated to singing, dancing and acting. She’s “staging” quite the early life for herself.

“The best part about theater is the people,” she says. “I have met so many wonderful people in my short time at PTG and I’ve become closer with even more. There are some days when you go to rehearsal and it just hasn’t been a good day. Some days, you just aren’t in the right head space for giving a rehearsal your all. As soon as I walk into rehearsal and see all of the people, though, I suddenly feel ready. They care about you, ask you what’s wrong, give hugs (when wanted), and try their best to either make you feel better in any way they can. They make everything worthwhile and being with them is something I can never replicate.”

Kayla is relatively new to PTG, starting last year as a junior. She has been in two other shows: “High School Musical” and “In The Heights.” She also has been in the Dance Ensemble for all three shows she’s been involved in with PTG.

“Being in ‘In The Heights’ was one of the most magical experiences I’ve ever had,” she says. “The bond I felt with every person in that cast is unreal and I never wanted that show to end. Our last bows has to be my favorite moment on stage. I was just so happy to be with those people doing a show that meant so much to every single person on that stage. We put so much work into that show, directing team included, and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

Kayla, the daughter of Ciceley and Kevin Lawson, has been active on and off the stage at Pioneer – and exceeding in everything she does. Kayla has a 3.889 grade-point average and has been involved in Student Council (Philanthropy Branch), Sha Bop Shoppe (A Cappella Group), Link Crew and Choir (A Cappella).

And she already has her next four years mapped out.

“After high school, I plan to go to Western Michigan University for Vocal Music Education,” she says. “I am so excited to spread the joy I feel about choral music for the rest of my life.”

By Terry Jacoby