Theatre Majors Forge Careers - Hobart and William Smith Colleges
The HWS Update
Samantha Shaffner '17 performs in "She Kills Monsters."

Theatre Majors Forge Careers

After graduation, three theatre majors, Clare McCormick ’17, Gail Quintos ’17 and Samantha Shaffner ’17 will transform their passion for the arts into the first stages of their careers.

“These three women epitomize a liberal arts theatre education,” says Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth, who advised, taught and mentored the students. “They will take all of their experiences from HWS with them into the realm of professional theatre.”

Samantha Shaffner '17 performs in "She Kills Monsters."

Samantha Shaffner ’17 performs in “She Kills Monsters.”

Samantha Shaffner ’17 has accepted a position as the Education Apprentice at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., a mid-sized theater that provides audiences with intimate performances of contemporary shows.

Shaffner says she is excited to share her passion with others through the program. “I will be an integral part of the education department,” she says, “learning about many facets of theatre education including a professional conservatory, a student matinee program, a young artists program, and a scholarship program.”

On campus, Shaffner serves as co-president for Women’s Collective, and is a member of the Phoenix Players, Leadership League of Women and Mosaic NY. She played the lead in the fall production of “She Kills Monsters.” A history and theatre double major, Shaffner looks forward to making connections between her studies, extracurricular and professional work. “I know that Studio Theatre will give me the best opportunity to connect my academic experiences from HWS to my future career.”

Gail Quintos '17 visits a a rodeo in Houston, TX.

Gail Quintos ’17

Gail Quintos ’17, a theatre and media and society double major, will pursue her career in casting through a fellowship with Playwrights Horizons, a major off-Broadway theatre in New York City dedicated to the support and development of contemporary American playwrights, composers and lyricists, and to the production of their new work. Each season, Playwrights Horizons trains and mentors 10 to 12 students and early-career professionals in the areas of casting, directing and stage management.

Quintos says she knew she wanted to pursue a career in casting after an inspiring summer internship with Nickelodeon, and used her senior year to find the right position.

“Overall, I got a lot of confidence thanks to my consistent interactions with my professors outside of the classroom, and that came a long way when I began networking and interviewing,” says Quintos.

Clare McCormick '17

Clare McCormick ’17

Clare McCormick ’17 will take her dual degree in theatre and English to Maine, as she recently accepted a directing/dramaturgy internship with Portland Stage, Maine’s largest fully professional, non-profit theater. Her work will include reading and evaluating scripts and assisting with their annual play festivals.

“I am immensely looking forward to immersing myself in these scripts, and engaging in important dialogue about them with my supervisors and peers,” says McCormick, who says her inspiration for her work comes from imagining the possibilities in bringing a play from “page to stage.”

McCormick, who minored in LGBT studies, is passionate about working in non-profit theatre, supporting playwrights whose stories are less often told and helping to diversify the plays presented on American stages. She is the Colleges’ first dramaturg and first theatre major.

As all three students are set to graduate in May, Woodworth is thinking about how their careers have the potential to influence the future of their industries. “As interns and fellows, they will initially listen to the conversations at their respective theatres,” Woodworth says, “However, as their careers evolve, they will soon be the ones leading the conversation and, perhaps, changing the American theatre so that there is greater gender parity, fuller representation or artists of color, and celebration of queer identities.”

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