Originally from Acton, Massachusetts, I received my MFA in Acting from Indiana University, where I was also the undergraduate instructor of Voice and Speech. I earned my BFA in Acting from Syracuse University. I began actively pursuing theater at the age of 13 when I studied Shakespeare with the company Atlantis Playmakers in Billerica, MA. I became a company member as well as a part time counselor, where I assisted with teaching and director of workshops and productions for kids, and acted with the professional company in a variety of both contemporary and classical shows. After receiving my BFA, I moved to NYC where I became a teaching artist, working both privately and in public schools with companies like The Periwinkle Theater for Youth, Broadway Classroom (where I developed a scene study workshop with a focus on anti-bullying based on the text and story of Wicked), Inside Broadway, and The Story Pirates. I also co-created the company Teeny Thespians, an in home traveling troupe for young actors ages 6-8 where we created and performed original productions based on children’s books. At Indiana University, I acted as vocal coach for the student run company University Players’ season, and continue to serve as a voice and dialect coach for theater companies as well as offer individual training. I have taught voice for The Midsummer Theatre Program, offered audition technique workshops at IU and Cardinal Stage in Bloomington, Indiana.
As an actress, I have worked regionally at theaters like Syracuse Stage, The Hangar Theater, where I was also a member of the Lab Company, Indiana Festival Theatre, Cape Cod Repertory Theater, and Alhambra Theatre & Dining. I was awarded first place in the Drama competition of the National Society of Arts and Letters in 2013, and received second place in both 2012 and 2014. Favorite roles include Edward/Betty from Cloud 9, Veronique from The God of Carnage, Irene Molloy from The Matchmaker, Goneril from King Lear, Claire from Proof, Titania from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Annie from The Real Thing.
As a teaching artist, I have served as a faculty member for the Theater Conservatory at The Chicago High School for the Arts, where I have also directed, teaching voice and speech, and scene study, and have my own coaching practice for acting, voice, and dialect training. I have taught and performed with Barrel of Monkeys, taught for The Viola Project and Chicago Youth Shakespeare. Most recently, I served as an adjunct instructor teaching Creative Process at Roosevelt University, where I also directed a showcase for the freshman acting majors.
In Chicago, I have been seen on Chicago P.D., at Jackalope Theatre, About Face Theater, and understudied leading roles at Victory Gardens Theatre and Theatre at the Center.
I am very proud to be represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent.