Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spotlight On: Claire Clauson

This week's student spotlight features Claire Clauson! You may recognize her from her work as Aggie Wheeler in The Games Afoot, Mrs. Corry in Mary Poppins, Chris Gorman in Rumors and Maryjo Kincaid in A Piece of My Heart. Claire is no stranger to the MSU Stage. 
Let's get to know her!

Name: Claire Clauson
Hometown: South St. Paul, Minnesota
Year/Major: Senior/Musical Theatre
Current Role: AIDA

How did you get your start in theatre? My family is a big supporter of the arts, my dad had season tickets to the Ordway when I was young so he would always be singing Les Mis and Fiddler songs around the house. My mom used to bring me to shows at the Children's Theatre in Minneapolis and we would always recreate our favorite scenes of movies. I didn't audition for a show until I was in 9th grade, I had a lot free time and my parents wanted me to choose another extra curricular. Our high school was doing Grease, which attracted a lot of people and I ended up making it in! I still remember looking at the cast list and just crying tears of joy.

What's your favorite thing about theatre? I love theatre because it tells stories of people in all walks of life. Sometimes the stories can change people's lives and sometimes they just make them smile! I also just love text analysis and trying to apply the analysis to the work on stage. And just children's theatre in general. The smile on a kid's face who is having fun on stage is absolutely priceless!

Aggie Wheeler in The Game's Afoot

What's your favorite MSU Theatre memory? Probably touring with the kids of Kiddie Tour! You'll never forget a tour, for better or worse, and I definitely remember all our fun times for the better. Oh, and going to New York with them was pretty great, too.

Chris Gorman in Rumors
Plans after graduation? After I graduate, I'm headed to Memphis where I will be a performance intern with Playhouse on the Square from July 2017 to May 2018 (YAY, steady employment)! After that, I plan to seek professional performance experience for a few years and then return to grad school so I can be a professor. I love teaching and theatre, so why not do both, right?

Any advice for aspiring performers? Learn to love pushing your boundaries. I always try to leave my fear at the door when I enter a theatre and it brings a new life to performances. Also, just have fun. When going to an audition, choose a piece you love to perform and just have fun sharing it with the people in the room!

Mrs. Corry in Mary Poppins

Achievements: 2017 KCACTF Region V Open Jar - First Place, Irene Ryan Partner

After receiving first place at the 2017 KCACTF Region V Open Jar competition this year, Claire's going to Washington DC in April to perform on the Kennedy Center Stage. We're super proud of her. Break a leg, Claire! Thanks for chatting with us!

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