This week, justArts spoke with Kaelan Lynch ’17, who is directing the play “Circle Mirror Transformation,” to be put on by Free Play Cooperative this upcoming weekend.

justArts: How did you come across the opportunity to direct this show?

Kaelan Lynch: Originally, I really wanted to direct a show, but I didn’t know what [kind of] show, so I spent a lot of time looking at shows, and I found this on a list of “Most Performed Shows.” So I started trying to get the process underway, [and] I spoke to a few different people on how to move forward with the process. Free Play ended up getting the rights to “Circle Mirror” — [the show] that we wanted to do —- and we were going to collaborate [with] Players, [but] Players weren’t sure if they wanted to do that, so I just kind of jumped ship and moved over to Free Play.

JA: Without giving away any spoilers, what is the show about?

KL: Basically, it takes place in a made-up town in Vermont called Shirley. It’s from the playwright Annie Baker, and she created this town, which she fills with multiple of her plays and lots of different characters. It’s just kind of about [the characters’] interactions before and after class — the story is kind of told through these different games that the teacher asks the participants in the class [to play]. Annie Baker kind of asks the audience to just trust her and just go with it. The play and the cast, for the characters and for the audience, is a little weird at first, especially if you’re not a theater person, because a lot of it is inside jokes with theater people. But over the course of the play, it really starts to grab hold of the audience and show a lot of heart and a lot of change in the characters.

JA: What’s been the most rewarding part of directing the show?

KL: That’s hard. I mean, I’d really love to be a director — I’d love to write and direct film, so this was a way to kind of get my feet wet in directing and working with actors and stuff like that. I think probably the working with the actors and warming up and and stuff is a lot of fun, and just trying to get people in the space and collaborate. I think it’s been really cool, and [it’s been] helping to shape how I view art.

JA: What’s been the most challenging part of the process?

KL: The most challenging [part] is probably the preparation that goes into it. When [I wanted] to direct a show, I feel like the last thing that I thought about is really all the preparation, and every day that you show up not prepared is a day where maybe things don’t get done as well as they could have, or you don’t come off as taking it as seriously as you should be. I think it’s just the preparation that goes into it and having a plan for each day and over the course of the whole show, and that’s been challenging for me, because I’ve never done anything like this before.

JA: Is there anything else you want to add?

KL: Come see the show!

—Lizzie Grossman