By Karis Fuller
Arts & Entertainment Editor
In the middle of the fall 2018 semester, the theatre program is in full swing. For senior theatre major Claire Main, this means some of her last steps on the PTC stage.
The Washington native, who is approaching the end of her time at Post, reflected on how PTC has shaped her career. Although she had not heard of LIU Post, her mother’s research led to the school instantly becoming Main’s top college choice.
“Senior year of high school we came to New York, and we toured five different colleges, and Post was immediately my top choice,” Main said. “I got to sit in on a freshman acting class and just the way the professor, Dave Hugo, talked to his students and how his students talked back about their work . . . I [thought] I can really see myself here.”
Main could not wait to “dive in” to her acting career at Post, as even in the “taster session” she realized how little she knew. “When I came here I really didn’t know much about the training they offered,” she said. The strength of the department was the only thing keeping her at the school. “If it wasn’t for this program, I probably would’ve left the school,” she said. The faculty and students in her program have kept her at Post.
Main had great success in the department. She has been cast in shows each semester since the fall of her sophomore year (the first year she was eligible to be cast). She just finished a role in “Ubu Roi.”
The first show Main was cast in was “The Killer,” by Eugene Ionesco. “I was an ensemble member and got to play three different characters; an old man and two different old women,” Main said. “So that was incredible because I got to watch the seniors take on these really big roles, but I also got be a part of the world that supports them.”
In fall 2017, Main was cast as Dromio in Shakespeare’s “A Comedy of Errors.” “I have never done Shakespeare before,” she said. “[The director] was a really great teacher who got her Ph.D in Shakespeare, so she helped a lot with the language,” Main said. “I can totally see myself taking on Shakespeare in my future.”
Main’s favorite production as a member of PTC was “Glengarry Glen Ross,” a play by David Mamet. “All the characters are male, but we did an all female production,” Main said. She played Shelley Levene. “That was one of my biggest roles I’ve ever played here. The language in the play was so difficult but it was so high energy and high stakes, and it was so fun to be among that group of women.”
Main’s ambition this semester to is to inspire those around her as the seniors did when she was a sophomore. “I remember as a sophomore looking up to the seniors like, ‘wow, how great these people are,’ and I wanted to be a really similar person to this year’s sophomores in the cast,” she said.
The form of theatre Main is most invested in is the art of Suzuki and abstract physical theatre. “It was just physical approach to acting which I tapped into and learned so much about,” Main said, describing how she uses her body to jump into a character and tell a story. “Not just a psychological approach to acting but a physical one,” she explained. “I am a very physically inclined person, so being able find greater specificity in my body and utilize that to my advantage was really incredible.”
Main is thankful to the professors and PTC family. “I know it’s as cheesy as it sounds; they really are like family, but that’s what it is and that’s what I’ve found,” she said.
What’s the next step for Main? She sees herself staying in New York momentarily, but also exploring her options nationally. “If I were to move home to Seattle now, I would probably move in with my parents and get stuck a little,” Main shared. “So I want to push myself and continue being out here (New York) and see what I can do.”
Main also wants to explore film, and being from the west coast, there are many opportunities. “It’s an open map at this point; I’m going to see where things take me. But I am so excited to go after all these opportunities.