Kira Stone and George Nelson, Playwriting
Hello! My name is Kira Stone. For my ORCA project, I wrote an original musical, and because of the grant, I have been able to begin the production of this musical. I have dealt with having Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in my life, and it tends to come and go in waves. I have family members and friends who have experienced different kinds of anxiety disorders, depression, and bipolar disorders. Because I feel as though I know about the topic of mental disorders, I wrote a musical focused on two people who fall in love, despite their combative minds. I am a sophomore in the Musical Theatre (MDT) program at BYU, with an incredible love for singing, acting whilst singing, songwriting, and writing musicals. Because of this grant, I was able to start to significantly advance my progress with my first musical.
I began work on this project in the Fall when I approached George Nelson, the head of the Playwriting Department, about writing my first musical. I showed him some work I had done on it, and discussed my ideas with him. After proving myself to him to be a songwriter and creative thinker, he matched me up with a recent graduate from the Playwriting program, Chelsea Hickman. It was around this time that I applied for the ORCA grant. I received an email about it, and told George I had applied. I didn’t think much of it after I applied. As I worked with Chelsea throughout the year, I learned so much from her, and our joint ideas fueled so much creative passion from us both. We worked for about 7 months together, meeting many times per week to trade ideas and scene suggestions. Being able to work with a collaborator, and a good one at that, taught me so much in this process.
With this project this year, Chelsea, George, and I were able to create a full-length musical, which is currently in-between edits and re-writes. Musicals usually take multiple years until they are able to be produced on the stage, and so for the time being, I am continuing to edit and use softwares on my computer to write and keep all my work streamlined and moving forward. I have also been able to brainstorm a few other ideas for more projects I will be able to work on in the future that I am so ecstatic for.
Because of the grant that I received, I was able to begin to edit and start to compose my music on my computer, creating comprehensive sheet music and professional scripts. I downloaded the softwares Finale and Final Draft, both 100% professional and industryquality softwares that I am able to edit my work on at any time. This has made the process of writing and producing my songs and scripts so much easier, and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to use them through receiving my grant.
In conclusion, I am so thankful for the ORCA organization and for the donors that helps college students like me pursue their passions and future career paths. I have had such a beautiful and positive experience writing this musical and working with the ORCA grant organization, and am very thankful for the people behind it all. I will continue to work on this show and my others that I have as well, and everyone at ORCA will get free tickets when it is put on at BYU within the next couple of years. ! ! ! !