Claire Kaplan

Claire’s absolute favorite thing in the world is Shakespeare. She gets this really annoying, earnest face when people talk about it, and she wants to play all the roles. She reads books about this shit, and she still idolizes her college Shakespeare professor, Jim Winker, in a border-line unhealthy way. She is also a Viewpoints enthusiast, an acting technique based on modern dance, and utilized by Siti Company and Steppenwolf alike. She created and taught Viewpoints and improv classes to all ages as the Education Director of Hungry River, a company she helped found in the Mojave Desert in 2011, along with some beloved collaborators.

With the help of her teacher, Kim Rubinstein, Claire developed her personal and artistic philosophy: how do we work from a place of compassion and permission, always? Helping her in this quest are the members of her various ensembles: the UC San Diego crowd, the London crowd, the Ridgecrest crowd, the Long Beach crowd, and now the Los Angeles crowd. If Claire could go bowling with any group of people it would include Bill Watterson, Emma Thompson, Jane Goodall, Mark Rylance, Katharine Hepburn, Carl Sagan, and Earthworm Jim. If Claire could only watch three Netflix series, they would be Playing Shakespeare with John Barton, The West Wing, and Star Trek: The Next Generation (obvs.).

Claire was a little pouty when The West did not initially have a place for her, but that was in sophomore year when what The West mostly did was hide out in Spencer’s room at parties, which she was already doing anyway. They wised up and asked her to join the next year, and she had an incredible time trying to understand most of their jokes. The West represents many years of almost make-out level friendship and creative grooviness synthesizing into a great big hug-o’-war of a company. In her wildest dreams for the future, Claire sees a home for all artists, multiple theatres, workshop space, living space, a place for the community to gather and create, and a five-star bakery called Fat Sam’s. Luckily, the rest of The West agrees. Thanks for stopping by!

Pride and Prejudice photo by Henry DiRocco