Find more information here.
Initially, theater was not a part of Kivan’s career path. He performed in a play and participated in speech in high school, but went to college to pursue Criminal Justice. There, he saw a small production called Rabbit Hole. It was such an honest and intimate experience, that afterwards, he decided he wanted a life in theater.
Kivan then transferred to Iowa State as an acting student, and started working at a children’s theater as a stage manager. It was there that he realized how much he enjoyed working with kids and that he wanted to direct. Kivan has been involved with 11 productions, directing 8 of them at Story Theater Company.
A big lesson Kivan has learned as a director is to do less preparation, and more research. When a director comes in a production with everything preconceived, it is harder for the actors and the story to grow together organically. Now, before a production, Kivan does more research about the historical context and significance of the play, leaving plenty of room for interpretations and ideas.
Kivan’s favorite production he’s done since being at Story Theater Company is Medea. This smaller play, adapted from a full length ancient Greek play, really proved to Kivan that you should never underestimate kids, as they aren’t afraid to push the limits of the imagination. It was a challenging piece, and the cast and crew showed real passion and flexibility throughout the entire process.
When asked what visitors should expect on the studio tour, Kivan says they should expect more. He dislikes the way community theaters are often taken for granted, and how little the public expects from them. The actors and staff at Story Theater are not unique in how hard they work to produce great work for the community. Rather, there are fantastic productions happening in small theaters everywhere across America, it is our job to appreciate and support them. They will impress you.
Learn more about Kivan, Story Theater Company, their work, and the Ames Area Studio Tour by visiting our website, here.