Major: Musical Theatre
Minor: Eating Raw Cookie Dough
Hometown: Baltimore, MD
Graduation Year: 2017
Favorite Girl Scout Cookie: Thin Mints
5 Things You Might Not Know About Claire
- I go swing dancing every week
- When I am not in class or rehearsing I am usually baking. I bake the best cupcakes
- I went to an arts high school before I came to Nazareth
- I had an anonymous Naz confession posted about me one time.
- This semester I played Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream which was cool because it is a part most often cast as a man.
How have your experiences at Naz challenged your expectations about what college would be like?
I thought that I would succeed at everything in college just like in high school but that was not the case. I learned that college is all about trial and error. I have dealt with many failures but in turn that has made me a much stronger performer and artist. I am thankful for all the bad performances I have had in the past four years because they have made the good performances all the more worth it.
What are the benefits of participating in the theater program at Nazareth College?
1) You get a lot of individualized attention. My class, for example, is only seven people. This means the professors know me super well and I get a lot of time in class to work on what I need to work on.
2) Our relationship to Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. We just announced our partnership with them this past year. Professionals from their company come to direct our shows and teach some of our classes. I have a class this semester with the artistic director himself. They also provide us with cool opportunities like work-shopping brand new musicals. For those of you who aren’t theatre buffs, work-shopping a musical is kind of like a rough draft. When a new show is written, a temporary cast workshops the show to help work out the kinks before the real cast takes over and begins rehearsing.
3) Other professional connections. Outside of Finger Lakes, we get many professional directors and teachers from all over the country. Lori Leshner, a professional choreographer from New York, just directed Grease last year. Naz really tries to provide us with lots of opportunities and professional connections so we feel ready to go out into the real world.
What kind of internships do theatre students participate in?
A whole variety! Over the summer, I was an Artistic Learning Intern at California Shakespeare Theatre, which is located right near San Francisco. I work within their education and community outreach programs. I have friends who are interning in professional scene shops, costume shops, and box offices. Three of my fellow classmates had their first professional contracts this summer with Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival. They performed in Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and From Here To Eternity.
What is the coolest class you’ve ever taken in your major?
Diction and Dialects! In this class we got to learn a new accent each week. We started with Standard British and then moved on to Southern, Brooklyn, Irish, German, Cockney, Russian, and French. Irish was my favorite and I get to use it in the show I’m in next semester
What does a typical day look like in your major?
Usually I start classes around 9:30/ 10 ish. I go to my acting classes and singing classes in the arts center, my dance classes in George Hall, and my core curriculum classes in Golisano Academic Center. Some days I will have an individualized voice lesson. Some days I will work in the costume shop. I am usually done by 5:30, which gives me just enough time to get dinner and then go to rehearsal at 7:00. Rehearsal typically goes till 10 and then I am released to either do homework or watch Netflix with my roommates (also theatre majors).
What is your advice for incoming freshman in your department?
Be open to everything. Take advantage of every opportunity that arises. You never know where it might lead.
Be true to yourself. It’s very easy to compare yourself with others in the performing arts world but everyone has their own strengths. Find what that strength is and own it.
What is your favorite thing about being a theater major at Naz?
The tight knit community. Professors included. Being a department of just sixty people, we all know each other really well. We might get on each others’ nerves sometimes but when it comes down to it, we all have each others’ backs. You will never have to eat alone in the dining hall when you are a theatre major.
How has your time at Naz sparked your passion?
I have gained a love for things I had never thought to explore before I came here. My freshman year, I was dead set on being a performer but through the years I was able to learn about other things like stage managing and directing. I directed my own show last year and fell in love. Now, I’m super passionate about directing and want to build my career around it.