Spotlight on Claire Shingleton-Smith

April 25, 2024

Claire Shingleton-Smith stars in our current production of Lobby Hero. We welcome her to the Dundas stage for the first time and hope you enjoy her performance and this brief interview with her.

Why Lobby Hero Interested Claire

The script drew me in from first read. I felt so connected to the character of Dawn and drawn to playing her. At first when I was approached about auditioning, I was intimidated by the size and complexity of the role, unsure if I could do it justice. Deciding to take the leap and audition was one of the best choices I have ever made. I can’t thank Greg enough for giving me the opportunity to bring Dawn to life on the DLT stage. Even though this is a play from 2002, I feel like a lot of the themes are still relevant today. Recent social movements of the last decade like #MeToo and BLM have only highlighted the injustices that are still ever-present within our societal structures and the need for stories such as these.

Dundas and Other Companies

This is my first time working with DLT! Prior to this I have been involved with Village Theatre Waterdown as both an actor and ASM, and prior to that, as an actor with Hammer Entertainment in various musical productions from 2016-2019. You may have also seen me perform in the Hamilton Fringe over the years.

Arts Education Cuts in Our City

My heart absolutely breaks to learn this information. As a graduate from McMaster’s Theatre & Film program in 2016, I can speak to the important role that higher education in arts plays in the development of well-rounded members of our community. It was through my theatre and film coursework at McMaster that I first learned about Canada’s dark colonial impact on indigenous history, and the existence of residential schools. Through my theatre and film coursework I was given the opportunity to connect with marginalized groups both on and off-campus, connect with other students in a collaborative and creative manner, be involved in projects with upper year students, mentor younger students, delve into opportunities to create and tell stories while also learning important historical contexts of popular works of art. Most importantly, the theatre and film program at McMaster gave me a community the way other programs didn’t. The hands-on nature of learning fostered closer relationships between students and teachers, and imparted students with more confidence and better self-advocacy. I worry that these cuts will deter young people with a passion for the arts from coming to Hamilton, and I worry about the future of our vibrant theatre community. People greatly undervalue and underestimate the power of strong arts programs.

Dream Roles

Hah! Too many to choose from… probably Elle Woods from Legally Blonde – “what, like it’s hard?”