Before hitting the stage as Saroj Ral in the musical production of Monsoon Wedding, Krystal Kiran got her first performance credits in Penticton.
Born and raised, the Pen High graduate returned for a few years to run the Penticton School of Dance, where she started dancing when she was three years old.
“That’s kind of what started me performing,” she said.
Kiran then delved into Soundstage Productions in Penticton taking on classic musicals, where her love for musical theatre took off.
“I got bitten by the bug,” Kiran said.
Heading to theatre school in Toronto after graduating, it didn’t take her long to get on Broadway landing a part in Bombay Dreams after a semester which ended up launching her musical theatre career.
“It all kind of happened pretty quickly, but it’s had its ups and downs since then. It all started in Penticton, it all started with the passion in the community there, the art teachers that instilled that with me growing up and wanting to take that forward,” Kiran said.
Now she has been in tech rehearsals for nearly 12 hours a day in preperation for the world premiere of the musical rendition of Monsoon Wedding, based on the 2001 film by award-winning filmmaker Mira Nair. The plot revolves around an arranged marriage between a modern, upper-middle-class Indian family’s only daughter and an Indian-American man she’s never met. The wedding takes place in Delhi, India which brings family members from around the world to the non-stop, four-day celebration which is sure to uncover a few family secrets, drama and laughs.
“It’s all about love. It looks at the different kinds of love. Especially in India because you have the caste system and the themes of love are intertwined within that,” Kiran said.
Kiran’s character moved to America at a young age and her son is the one headed to have an arranged marriage in India.
“It is such a fun, colourful, beautiful story,” Kiran said.
The transition from film to musical has been an interesting one, Kiran said, especially with the film’s director taking the chair in her first time directing a musical.
“It’s been interesting kind of getting that process and being essentially directed by a film director for stage. It’s a totally different process than I’m used to as a theatre performer,” Kiran said. “It’s really such a wonderful, awesome group of people.”
One of the three other Canadians in the show happens to be Kiran’s boyfriend.
“It’s pretty exciting we have our dog here with us, we’re going on hikes, we’re enjoying the Southern California lifestyle,” Kiran said.
The Berkeley Rep Theatre’s production of Monsoon Wedding goes before an audience for the first time next week for previews. It’s an exciting time for Kiran as the production is taking a bit of a trial run and next setting their sights on Broadway.
“This is the first time we’re putting the show on stage. We’ve been in a rehearsal studio up until now. Now there’s the costumes, the lights and we’re doing all the cues, it’s a bit of a teamwork process,” Kiran said. “The next few weeks are going to be pretty intense, but it keeps us on our toes.”
Aside from performing, Kiran is also the founder of House of Kiran, providing musical theatre and South Asian arts education to youth and adult classes in Canada, the U.S., Europe and the U.K. and most recently India.
For more information visit www. krystalkiran.com.