DIRECTOR'S TAKE: Laura Tahja Johnson on "Prancer"

 Artistic and Executive Director Laura Tahja Johnson

Artistic and Executive Director Laura Tahja Johnson

The last time I directed a play was in 2005 (while I was pregnant with twin daughters—who were born seven weeks early on Christmas Eve). In over a decade of selecting shows for Lyric Arts’ annual theater season, this is the first time I have felt this strongly about a script and my need to direct it. For anyone who knows me, however, it shouldn’t be surprising that a show like Prancer is what drew me back to directing.

In many ways, this is the perfect Christmas show. In fact, it meets all off all of my Lyric Arts’ holiday show requirements—joy, tears, family, nostalgia, and magic—and it encapsulates everything I love about the holiday season.

At the center of this story is the relationship between Jessica and her father. We long for their relationship to heal right along with Prancer’s injury. Ultimately, Jessica’s boundless love and optimism reopens her father’s heart to the world around him, while also opening the hearts and changing the lives of many others in the process.

No matter your religion or personal beliefs, each one of us is called to be a light in the darkness for one another—especially at this time of the year. My greatest hope is that Prancer ignites that light for you, and that you leave Lyric Arts carrying it in your heart, ready to share it with those you love and those who need it most.

That, in my mind, is the true meaning and spirit of this extraordinary time of year.

I would like to thank my exceptional production team of designers and technicians, along with my incredible cast, for making my re-entry into directing such an easy, joyful, and collaborative process.

Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Blessed Solstice, and Merry Christmas.

Watch our Director’s Take video to find out what more Laura has to say about the show!